A quick heads up.
My child isn’t comfortable with me blogging about his experiences at this point; I leave this up as a pointer to the existing posts and resources, but I’m not maintaining it. People with pressing issues should look to the sidebar, for support groups.
You need a support group, if you’re the parent of a GLBTQ kid; other parents of kids your age. PFLAG is great, but the issues of gender non-conformity, gender identity, are confusing for many even in the gay and lesbian communities, so finding support that is specific to your child’s circumstance is important.
Progressive parts of the culture seems to be moving towards an embrace of the idea of the transgender child, which some supportive professionals find problematic. Most gender non-conforming behavior, traditionally, has been associated with same-sex attracted outcomes.
IE, kids who seem different in this way often end up identifying as gay.
You will need to discover, how best to support your child, how best to come to your understanding of his or her behavior, and you should open to the idea that while we must listen and reflect our kids identities, the kids themselves need time to figure it all out.
There’s no short cut. It doesn’t matter how cool or on-board you are, it doesn’t matter that gay marriage is legal and trans people are on TV, it is still unbelievably hard to come out, to be authentic, to be different, and we don’t really know, even now, what all this really means.
I can say, that traditionally, most gender non conformity is associated with people who will one day identify as gay, but nobody knows for sure; will we ‘encourage’ transgender people into existence, who might have, in the old days, identified as gay?
And, if we don’t grant children this self-determination, and we discover, in twenty years, that hormone disruptors / pollutants had vastly increased the number of transgender people, what will we think then, about our caution now?
As parents you will have to find your way through this, to some sort of peace, some sort of understanding. Be kind to yourself on the way, if you can.
Love your child. Hold open options as long as you can. Let kids know, about the different ways to be a boy, or a girl; get your kid therapy if they experience dysphoria; be open to the possibility of a trans outcome; be open to the possibility of a gay outcome; be open. Be loving. Be kind.
Don’t assume another kid’s story will be your kids story. And vice versa. Do not judge parents of other children for coming to different conclusions.
Don’t be afraid of ambiguity.
Don’t be a afraid of not knowing perfectly the future.
My kid is seventeen. He is insecure, in some ways, about his future, college and career, but he also knows himself, and there’s a pillar of strength inside him.
When a friend needed him, recently, making a comment on social media, he was the only one who responded appropriately. Can’t give details, but we were so proud of him.
My kid is a great person. Imperfect, but great.
His story is his own. I’m proud to have been part of it.
That’s it for now.