Our foremost concern was to think about the kind of relationship we wanted to have with our child. I realized when he talked about Queer Camp as his best Safe Place that I was jealous. I wanted US to be his best safe place. We may never be that, but we could make a decision that we wouldn’t be part of the hard part of his life.
So we had to stop wanting an outcome for Ian that reflected our own world view and work instead to understand and support the vision he has for his own success. If your child’s vision of success includes the ability to shave, perhaps a show of support might be to learn more about the current gender reassignment technology and support research to make it safer and more effective. It would show your concern about hormones and surgery is honestly rooted in concern for his health and not rooted in resistance to his identity.”—
My mother in an email she sent to a parent of a young transguy.
What I love so much about the entire situation of this email is that my mother sent it as an afterthought after she spent an hour on the phone with these parents trying to help them figure out how to find comfort with their child’s identity even though their child’s gender and body needs are completely different from my own. My mother never had to come to terms with her child’s desire to medically modify because I have none, and I presume that this mother does not have to deal with understanding her child’s desire to live outside of a recognizable gender binary. Still, there are basic tenets of respect and affirmation that any parent should learn and at this point, I feel that my parents have them down. Both of my parents have worked so hard to understand my identity in all its non-binary glory (and through that work, I think they are really able to process a huge range of gender possibility) and they are wonderful examples to any parent of a trans child.