I'm A PFLAG Mom

Posts Tagged "transgender"

Question from Anonymous

4. I don’t feel like I can even go to them anymore because it’s always my fault or it’s not a good time or they can’t handle that right now etc. I feel like I’m a nuisance when all I’m doing is living my life, finally. It got to the point where I had to do something about this as I was so unhappy and they saw that every day so I don’t understand why they can’t see that and try to accept it. They always said, no matter what, they would be there but they weren't. Sorry for ranting :/

this is the 4th of your 4-part question. For readers: he is 25, his parents have known he is trans since he was 9, but don’t appear to be accepting him as their son. He described parents in denial about his gender identity, that they  ignore it and change the subject if it comes up. They think it is a mental illness and are embarrassed to be seen with him in public (his interpretation of their motivation). He was suicidal before he was out as trans but is happy now. He wants a relationship with them even though they respond to his attempts at communication with yelling and storming out.

Ok- you want parents who accept and love you as you are. They might, but the are not showing it. They’ll be there no matter what but if being there means destroying your self-esteem, I’m not sure what good it really is. 

You want your parents to be in a place that they are not.

You can’t force them to be either. If you feel they are  toxic influences in your life right now, you may want to take a break from trying. Tell them what you’re doing and why. You need to be with people who appreciate your happiness and respect you as you are- and when they can get to that point, you will want to be around them more often.

They have the choice of accepting you or not. Tell them you will be waiting anxiously for that time so you can have a close relationship with them.

Question from Anonymous

So.. I am finding myself falling in love with a female. Granted, he is an FTM (female transgendered to male) but I just have no idea how I'm going to come out to my parents. They are pretty religious, and when I've tried coming out in the past, they respond with "oh well you're only feeling this was because you spend too much time on the internet" or "you need to go to church more". I still do believe/ have faith in god. 100%. I guess I just don't know what to do..

Hard to say because I don’t know your age, how long you’ve known him, and other things that could help. The main thing that jumps out to me is you calling him “a female”. If you see him as female and feel the need to come out as…as what? that is problematic. I don’t want to discourage you because it may just be that you aren’t clear on his identity or what words to use.

If you want to pursue a relationship with him, find out about his identity, preferred pronouns, name,and if he wants to be out or stealth.  Compared to a relationship with a cisguy,you have an added dimension of gender identity (and perhaps sexual orientation).  Ask yourself how you identify. Do you love him as the man he is or do you see him as a masculine woman? How does he see himself?

I know women who love transmen and identify as straight. They are women with men. Personally, I don’t think I would be happy if I were a transwoman and my partner identified as a gay man. Everyone has their own feeling so you need to find out his and explore yours.

Finally, being very religious isn’t an indication of them not respecting and accepting of your relationship with a transman or if you are pansexual. If they are very religious in a religion unaccepting of non-heterosexual, non-cisgender people, you may have to talk more about how you identify, that it isn’t going to change, you know God loves you as you are, and want them to love you as well. 

Question from Anonymous

Hello! I am a transmale in my sophomore, soon to be junior, year of high school and to tell the truth, I'm terrified to tell everyone in my family the truth. I told my father and mother but I have asked them to keep it quiet for now but I feel like my mom doesn't really approve it. I don't mean keeping quiet, I mean that I'm trans. I really don't know what to do. All my friend and teachers are accepting and call me by my preferred name and pronoun but I'm still scared about my family's reaction.

Nobody needs to approve of you being trans. Just acceptance. I know from being by my son’s side though his transition that it is a hard thing to tell people. You’re about to tell them something they never thought they’d ever hear.

You have to accept yourself as who you really are. It won’t make it EASIER to tell people but it will make you want to share with people. Your life will feel better if everyone calls you by your preferred name and pronouns. That’s a pretty big thing.  

Tell your mom, if she asks, that you are at a very typical age to know you’re trans. Going though adolescence makes it pretty clear (for a lot of trans people) that they need to make some major changes in their lives. Disclaimer: there is not one trans-narrative. I’m just giving MY opinion of what I experienced with MY trans-son. It may be different for other people.

Question from go-on-higher

I just want to thank you for being such a great parent. Support is so important. I'm trans*, and I it's so difficult for some of us to be who we want to be when we don't have supportive parents. If mine were like you, I would be in completely different circumstances. I try not to think about my future because of it. Being trans* and having supportive parents makes a day and night difference, just because trans people go through such different processes compared to gays, lesbians, and bisexuals.

Thank you back. I’m sad that you’re parents are not supportive. They are missing out on a wonderful aspect of parenting that they never imagined. I’m so proud of the man my son has become. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

That said- I agree so much that LGB are very different circumstances than the T. It is important for people to know that. I teach a course called LGBTQ Psychology and this spring, I’m going to present LGB from one text and T from another- to make it very clear. 

Maybe your parents will surprise you and come around. I hope so 

Question from swimsuitsandfandoms

I have trouble understanding transgender, but I don't want to offend someone because of my own ignorance. How can I avoid offending but not giving into the 'xe' or whatever pronouns that I think are ridiculous?

Well….I’d start with losing the idea that gender neutral pronouns are “ridiculous”. I agree that they are hard to learn and I personally do not believe they will ever catch on. But they are not ridiculous- they are a way to acknowledge that for many people He/She just doesn’t work. Think about being called the wrong pronoun every single day. You’d be looking for an alternative too.

Now, understanding transgender- the internet is a vast wealth of information to help you there. This article from Live Science is good. It is hard to learn about people because you can’t  go up and ask them “hey, what’s it like being Asian?” So reading, watching, hanging around with, being open to people who are different from you is about the only way to do it.  This article can start you off with things NOT to ask a trans person. Start with these things and then follow their links, that should help educate yourself without offending anyone. And when you find out that you have a transgender friend, they might be pleased to find that you’ve taken the time to learn about it on your own.