While the stigma surrounding transgender youth is slowly lifting, it still exists. Trans kids and teens need their parents and allies to listen, learn, and be the gender-affirming caregivers they need throughout their transition. If you are or know a parent who has a trans kid, being supportive is crucial. Here is how you can do that.
The best way to help a parent with a trans kid is to go to them and ask questions. Instead of making up your mind with bits and pieces of information you “heard somewhere,” go straight to the source. Share your reservations, express your concerns, and don’t be afraid to ask silly questions. Of course, not all parents will be open to discussing their transgender kid with you, but that’s why you need to ask them and build the conversation from there.
Be the Ally That Trans Kids Need
Parents of transgender kids, much like the kids themselves, need to be seen, heard, and respected. The last thing they need or want is to be questioned or belittled. These parents are already experiencing an immense amount of adversity, often even from their own family, so they need people in their corner as they’re facing criticism from others. It’s not an easy role, but it’s an essential part of helping trans youth and their parents on this transition journey.
Don’t Ask Transgender Kids to Explain Themselves
When talking to a trans person, especially a kid, don’t attempt to deliberate your reservations with them. Transgender people don’t have to justify themselves, and asking a trans kid to do it is the opposite of helping. Any reservations or concerns you might have, you need to discuss with the parent. No child should ever feel invalidated or have a loved one question their existence. Remember, you’re their friend and ally, and it’s your role to protect them from unnecessary burdens and discomfort. They already get that from society.