Today I’d like to discuss how to navigate being an ally to our transgender children. Although it may seem easy to some of us, it is something that evokes a great conversation and some important talking points. As the mother of a trans woman, I’ve learned so much over the past five years but I am by no means an expert, I am just going to talk about what I have experienced.
First and foremost …. Be open minded, listen to your child and be willing to talk. Just hearing someone and respecting what their truth is, that’s validating and being an ally is just showing your support and acceptance. I find that people get kind of caught up in trying to understand what it means to be trans, as cis gender people, it’s impossible to actually understand BUT we can absolutely accept and respect people.
You may have just found out that your child is transgender or you’ve been in this for a while, I’m just happy that you are interested in learning as much as possible. That is truly the first step of being an ally as a parent. You just have to be there and love them.
In today’s society we do know a little more about the transgender community than even five years ago when my daughter came to me to tell me her truth. I remember her sitting me down with this whole speech, explaining who she really was. I have always thought of myself as very liberal and open minded, I even thought of myself as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community but I didn’t have enough education and knowledge about the transgender experience within the community. I didn’t quite understand, I knew I’d love and support my daughter no matter what. So, I searched out information and found groups to help me be the best ally and advocate for my daughter.
So what does being an ally consist of?? How can you be an ally? If you aren’t about being “loud and proud” you can still be an ally to your child. You don’t have to wear rainbow flags and march in Pride events to be an ally. You honestly just have to give your child the love and acceptance that they deserve, that they crave and they need. I can’t stress LOVE enough, and showing that acceptance is so important to showing that unconditional love we have for our kids.
Pronouns!! This is literally one of the most validating things we can give our kids. I understand it’s hard, that and the changing of their birth name, but this is who they are and we truly need to respect that. At first you will make mistakes, you will misgender and use the wrong pronouns that you have used since they were born. When you make the mistake, correct it and move on!! Don’t dwell on it, if you keep trying and keep correcting yourself your child will see the effort and appreciate it.
Here are some great articles and guides to being an ally.