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Is My Child Really Transgender? Managing Disbelief and Doubt

coming out parent support Jan 09, 2024

When my son Leo came out as transgender, I spent a lot of time looking back over his life searching. I looked for signs that may have indicated he was unhappy with his gender, which I may have missed. Because he had gone through a period before he knew what transgender was, when he tried on different sexualities to see if that was what was causing his unhappiness, I thought maybe this was something else he was trying on. I found myself asking, "Is my child really transgender, or is something else going on here?"


I didn't realize that he had known from the time he was in middle school that something didn't align with his gender; he just didn't have the words for what it was. To me, his being transgender came clear out of the blue, which added to my confusion and doubt.


It's normal to have questions, disbelief, and doubts when your child comes out as transgender.


Learning your child is transgender is overwhelming. Your child tells you information that initially makes no sense and doesn't align with how you see them, yourself, and your family. You've spent their whole life viewing them one way, and now they have asked you to consider them another way. In doing so, you must change how you view their past, present, and future. You also have to change how you view yourself and your family.


It's not possible to do this in the instant they tell you they are transgender. Nor is it possible to change this view in one day, one week, or even one month. This is where your questions and emotions come into play.


As you navigate new information about your child, your brain will try to hold onto the memories and information it already has.


Because of this, you may wonder how it could possibly be true. You may experience feelings of grief, and wonder, like I did, if your child is transgender. All of this is normal. It's all part of navigating life as the parent of a transgender child.


Very few people come to a place of acceptance right away, but that doesn't mean you can't love and support your child.


As you begin to learn what it means for your child to be transgender, you will get answers to your questions. As you discover what your child's journey has been like, your disbelief and doubt will fade. As you continue on your journey of learning what it means to be the parent of a transgender child, you will work through your emotions and come to a place of acceptance and understanding.


It won't happen right away, and it won't be easy. You will need the support of other people, and it's important to seek out the help of a trained professional if you need to do so. Join a community of other parents of transgender children who have been where you are.


Most importantly, don't share your doubts and disbelief with your child.


Continue to love and support them as you work through whatever you need to sort out for yourself. They have enough insecurities without adding on your emotional baggage.


Have you felt doubts and disbelief after learning your child is transgender? How did you overcome them? Feel free to share in the comments so we can support each other.



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