When Your Trans Child Comes Out Unexpectedly

Posted on Jan 27, 2015 | 1 comment

AJ-brownie-scoutAJ and her friend Jasmine announced they are transgender‬ to the whole Brownie troop tonight. I don’t think I breathed for about four minutes.

Jasmine was visiting and during intros was asked if there was anything she’d like to share about herself. She said “Well, I’m transgender.” My heart almost stopped. I thought I’d be more prepared for that kind of moment than I was. But she was amazing. She explained what being trans is and then AJ jumped in with “And I’m transgender, too! We both are.”

The girls had a couple of questions but they all took it in stride. One even jumped in and said “We can learn about being transgender and earn a Transgender Badge!” Then it was on to the rest of the meeting. No one treated them any differently.

At home later, AJ told her dad all about it. We asked her how it felt to tell people and she said once Jasmine told, she knew she could, too. She was happy and relieved. She didn’t think anyone would care.

He asked a few more questions and we said we were really proud of her for being so brave. She said there was no reason to be proud because it was no biggie. It was just “transgender transgender blah blah blah, transgender blah blah, let’s learn about dogs.”

In the moment it was happening, I don’t know that I handled it as well as I could have. As soon as the words were out, Jasmine looked a lit like “oh my goodness…what did I just do?!” And none of the girls really responded, so I am not sure any actually heard what she said. Thinking it would be easier to move on, I asked her if there was anything else she’d like to tell about herself. But her mom jumped in to see if she was ok and wanted to repeat herself and explain what being transgender is. She was concerned that Jasmine would think she had said something wrong. Two protective mamas, two different responses.

We talked later about the situation and realized that our responses simply came down to being able to interpret Jasmine’s expression. What I read on her face was different than what her mom saw. And that’s why it’s important to remember that we know our kids best. Trust your gut when it comes to your child, and be sure not to judge another parent if they take a different approach to a situation than you think you would.

1 Comment

  1. Great blog post. Since the death of Leela Alcorn I have been trying to learn more about the trans gender community. I end up in tears thinking of this girl who had her whole life in front of her and that was taken away because her parents and society could not love herself just how she is. I am tired and angry of constantly reading about another trans child committing suicide or being killed for being trans. Not one more child.

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