Image is of a parent sitting on a couch with a teenager, who has their head resting on their hand, looking away from the parent who is trying to talk to them. You may feel like your child isn't the same person after they come out as transgender, but it could be a variety of other circumstances that happen to collide with the coming out process.

When You Feel Like Your Child Isn't the Same Person

coming out mental health parent support May 28, 2024

It's not uncommon to feel like your child isn't the same person they were before they came out as transgender after they come out. As parents, we may feel this is a reaction to something we've done wrong. Perhaps we aren't supporting them well enough, and they are pulling away from us.


There are many different reasons your child may appear different after they come out, and none of them have anything to do with you.


If your child is a teenager or early young adult, there is a good chance they are going through regular developmental changes. They would have gone through these changes regardless. You may focus more on them because so many other things change simultaneously.


Change is a normal part of a child's development, but when too many changes happen at once, they can throw off our perception of who our child is.


Likewise, if your child is navigating a mental health illness or having some other type of difficulty, they could be going through some changes. Their personality may change for a time, especially if they are working on adjusting their medications or are having a particularly challenging time. They may ignore self-care, and taking care of their personal environment may become a low priority. That it coincides with their coming out may be a coincidence, but because that is the thing that is at the top of your mind, it's what you are focused on and relate the changes to.


On the other hand, there may be positive reasons for believing your child has changed. They could have had to hide their true selves for a long time, and now they are emerging into their authentic being. This could look like a happier, more outgoing version of your child you don't recognize. Remember, by stifling their true gender, they were pretending to be someone they weren't.


The person you see may not look like the child you knew before, but your child is working on figuring out who they are without hiding from the world.


Your child coming out as transgender can be an overwhelming time, full of change and new beginnings. It's important to remember that change isn't bad; it's just a normal part of life. As you navigate these new changes, you may feel like your child isn't the same person they were before they came out as transgender. But remember that your child is still the same person they have always been, and they need to know you love and support them. It may be helpful to enlist the help of a trained professional to help you navigate these feelings and emotions.


Have you noticed a change in your child since they've come out? Has it been a change for the better or worse, and has it resolved over time? How are you supporting yourself as you navigate all this new change in your life?



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