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Supporting My Adult Child Who Came Out as Transgender

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Editor's Note

This story has been published with permission from the author’s daughter.

A few months ago, our 23-year-old child, who was assigned male at birth, called us and said they were thinking about suicide. After losing one child to suicide, we were distraught and panicked, but we also knew what steps to take to help. Our child immediately started counseling, which brought to the surface a truth they have known for most of their life but could only verbalize through assistance from professionals.

Our child invited my husband and me to their home and shared with us that her spirit does not match her body. She is transgender. We listened intently, working to understand this new normal. She told us she has chosen to live the gender of her soul. We did not argue with her by telling her she was wrong or that she needed to give it more thought. We did ask if she was sure. She told us this is the surest she has been of anything in her life. We physically and emotionally embraced her and told her we love her unconditionally, and we are happy she has found herself. We expressed we are glad she chose life, even if it is in a different shell.

She is taking steps, in her own time, to help her body match her truth. Because we are supportive, interested and respectful, she answers our questions with candor. She has adopted a new name, wears fingernail polish and is growing out her hair. We can see the change in her eyes. There is joy in her spirit and step which we did not know was missing until we saw it there.

Was this a surprise? Yes.

An adjustment? Yes.

But using her correct name and pronouns has been easy because she is our child who we love deeply and intensely. We choose to accept her for who is she is, even if we do not completely understand. We will continue to ask questions and research so we can support her on her journey.

We love you, Gwyn.

And we are here for you.

Getty image by Roman Didkivskyi.

Originally published: May 12, 2020
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