Monday, December 19, 2011

To the Reluctant Parent

We started going to a support group. It's refreshing to see a room full of parents who are going through the same thing. Have I mentioned this before?

Today I want to talk to parents. No, more like reluctant parents whose children have recognized themselves as a different gender than what they grew up with.

Points to Ponder:

Ideals--These are what stand between us accepting our child or turning our back on them. See, it's not about them when they come out. It's about us. It's about what other people think, or not seeing them walk down the aisle in a white wedding dress. Never having a "normal" boyfriend/husband (M is considered gay male), and grandchildren (biological).

I sit, as a devout Christian, and ponder the ramifications of me accepting my transgender daughter-turned-son. You may ask if I worry about him going to hell. No. Not really. Because I know M's heart, and if God is going to judge M's choice of living his life in the way that he is supposed to, even though he physically is a contradiction, I can't follow that god. That's not the God I know. The God I know serves people. Loves people. Is there in the darkest time of a person's life. Holds them when they tell their parent that they are in the wrong body. Then He holds the parent who struggles with the above ideals and teaches and guides them to acceptance.

Acceptance---Ahhhhh....the final stage of the grief process. Acceptance is such a deceptive word. It makes you think that by accepting a situation--ANY situation, makes you a sweet Disney story or something. But that's not acceptance. If you really ponder the word and mull it over, you realize to accept means to open up-even when you are not wanting to. Even when it doesn't make sense to you. To me, acceptance is its own grief process. When I picture acceptance, I picture having French Doors on my chest. When I open up those doors, I'm letting things pour in, taking in what I can, which, in that process, means letting go of things that no longer apply to my life (no white wedding dress on my daughter, etc).

In life, you read about people who fight to stay alive, overcome obstacles, and work hard for what they want to do to achieve, and we love it!
Some of these obstacles people overcome are quite large. This is what our kids do when they come out to us. They are climbing a mountain, and that mountain is the unknown of how every loved one in their lives will react, or how they are going to get through life being different somehow, yet choosing what they are comfortable with. Be proud of them! It's a very brave and gutsy thing! They already tried the other way and it didn't work.

So, To The Reluctant Parent: My next words are going to be tough to hear, but they are important:
You have a child that you did the best you could to raise them. If you are happy with the way you have or are bringing them up, then pat yourself on the back and have no regrets. Don't blame yourself or worry about people around you. Your true friends will support you, whether or not they agree-they will be there for you.
Talk to your child about what they want out of life--Because they want to live it to the fullest.

THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU. DON'T MAKE IT AS SUCH! I say that as a person who does make it as such. It has stunted this transition process that will go on with or without me. Finally seeing it as a new growth process makes me want to participate fully.

DO Love them, help them, and accept them. The person in front of you has the same soul that they did before they told you. Love that soul.

The link below (I think you need to cut and paste cuz I'm awful at figuring this out) is a letter that was printed on a blog I love. As I read the blog one day, the letter looked familiar. I then realized that it was a letter I wrote.
NOTE: This is a Christian posting from a fellow Christian who doesn't support the fundamental ideals that, unfortunately, are what society sees the majority of Christians as (they are not), and believes that all people need to be equal. I share the same kind of faith as him.

1 comment:

  1. You're such a good parent!! Wish more of them would understand it like this.
    Transitioning early is essential for most of us, and we can only accomplish that with the help of our parents. Sadly most of us didn't have it back then and reading about early transitioners fills me with bliss, and it's a heartbreaking thing at the same time.