Stop Encouraging Your Child to be Trans

I wasn’t sure how to title this entry.  The runner-up: Stop Encouraging Your Trans Child, but that would not capture the Trump-sized misconception that parents are encouraging their cis children to be trans. No need to reread that sentence, you read it correctly the first time.

A lot of negative comments I receive revolve around this notion; that parents, in some twisted, gender bending way, are molding their children to be trans.  Here’s an example comment:

“Are you serious? You encourage this in a 7 year-old? This is insane.”

I would liken me “encouraging” my child to be trans to me encouraging my 5-year-old to have autism.  The notion that I had a typically developing boy, who I then encouraged to be trans, or perhaps didn’t discourage enough to not be trans…that, my friendis insane.

Many families of trans children go through a harrowing process of understanding what is happening to their child, their family and their sense of normalcy.  I will be the first to admit that early on we regrettably discouraged our child’s gender bending . What we initially labeled as a “phase” eventually took over our household with fights about clothes, clothes and more clothes.  Every. Single. Day.  Being the liberal-minded parents we like to think ourselves to be, we justified our gender limitations by taking a principled stand against feeding the corporate machine of brands, marketing, and consumerism. Fast forward to present day; we didn’t know how the hell to navigate the social implications of our child’s gender identity and expression.  What would people say?  How would we explain this to Grandpa Joe?   People are going to think we’re insane (I didn’t really think that but it fit really nicely with the gentleman’s comments above.)

I want to reiterate the reality  of  raising a transgender child. It’s a process.  My child didn’t wake up one day and say, “Mom, I really dig the name Sally. And that dress you have on is dope. In summary, I’m a girl.”  My child started identifying as female somewhere between the ages of 2 and 3.  She transitioned publically at the age of 6.  All those years in between were filled with an assortment of family stressors (followed by tears), frantic web searches (followed by tears), and doctor visits (followed by tears); somewhere in between we shifted to boas (followed by laughter), strings of pearls (followed by laughter), and acceptance.  And we never looked back.

No parent is going to sign their kid up for a hard life. Believe me, I’ve heard it all.  Any suggestions you might have (hang around dad and his boys more, put him in sports, take away his girl clothes and toys) I’ve heard a hundred times before.  And to some degree, we’ve tried it.  We did not do this to deny our child her true identity, but to attempt to protect her from a life that was going to be harder, the statistics are loud and clear.

So, back to your questions:

Are you serious?  As a heart attack

You encourage this in a 7-year-old?  Did I encourage my child to be trans? No. Did I encourage my child to censor herself? Well, before I understood what was going on, kind of.  Now? No.

This is (you are) insane.   That’s debatable.





19 thoughts on “Stop Encouraging Your Child to be Trans

  1. Great story!!! Really enjoyed reading this morning!!! We all of you are well and would love to try and see you all this summer, it’s been too long.

    Love and Hugs
    Dave, Marisa and Maddie

  2. Thanks for reading. We’re great; hope you all are equally well. I’ve seen pictures of Maddie. These kids are growing up too fast. Take care!!

  3. Wow, another wonderfully written/felt entry. Is there some other place you might try getting these published? So many people would benefit from your experience. I’ve got an out of town guest coming Friday night and not sure how long she plans to stay, so I don’t think I can beg you to come out this weekend…….. But I’m sure looking forward to WHENEVER we do get to squeeze a visit in! Hugs n’ Bluebonnets,Paul

    “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.”~RumiDate: Tue, 12 Apr 2016 02:33:03 +0000 To:

  4. Hi Paul!! Thanks for your comment. :0) Most of my blog posts are also being published on the Huffington Post. So exciting!! Looking forward to a visit. Are you out of town Mother’s Day weekend?

  5. Thanks for the great article! It’s always nice reading about others experiences because sometimes as parents you feel like the only ones who are going through this. We wish our 22 daughter was able to transition at an early age instead of waiting til 19 and then suffering from severe depression . What came first, we will never know. We are on,y thankful that society is now more accepting. As with all parents all we want is a healthy, happy, independent child!

  6. Jane – go easy on yourself. It sounds like your daughter has an incredible source of familial support now. We all do our best. Blessings to you and your family.

  7. What an inspiring piece! Being the proud Mom of a child that’s making their transition, I find this so beneficial! Hopefully, others are as inspired and touched as I am!

  8. Hi Nicole. Thanks for reading…glad it struck a chord. Best of luck on the transition!! Feel free to contact me with any questions or just a listening ear. :0)

  9. This story is encouraging and exactly what I needed to here while going through the process of my daughter’s transition. I am scared. Very scared. But we love our daughter immensely and support Her to becoming He. Thank you thank you!

  10. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Would I choose this for my child? No. Did anybody get choices in this? No, no and a thousand times no.
    Have we all gone insane? On any given day, a distinct possibility.
    We keep going regardless.

  11. Best wishes, Veronica. We were scared too but it all ended up okay. There were bumps here and there, but worth it. We’re all happier and in a better place.

  12. I swear we got this question for a solid year! Gah! If encouraging your child shaped their gender identity, I am pretty sure our daughter would still be sporting all things dude considering we encouraged this until she came out. 🙂

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