Life Lessons, Parenting, Raising a Trans Child

Dear Trans Teens,

I know I’ve upset some of you with my last post and that’s not sitting well with me. I received a couple of very angry comments.

And I want to say I’m sorry.

And I hope you’ll read on to gain a little more clarity.

First and foremost, I actually don’t view you as “youth”. Although you are legally labeled as such, you’re not exactly who I picture in my own mind, (since my son is only 9), when I say “trans youth”.

But more so, I don’t picture you as youth because I know you’re doing a lot of adult-type work. Work that’s advanced well beyond your years. More work than we can imagine as your parents.

You are the fight. You are the movement.

We know you’re having to advocate for yourself in so many spaces. We know you’re the ones fighting the true fight that we as cis people will never understand.

I certainly cannot walk in your shoes.

But I would if I could.

I don’t want you at the forefront of this war. I hate that you have to be there. I want to do it for you. Because it’s completely unjust.

I absolutely wish I could take all of your pain and hardship away. Every single one of you.

I’m fighting for every.single.one. of you because I don’t want you any of you to experience the pain you’re living.

And I’m fighting so hard for my son in hopes he won’t struggle…but I’m not naive. I know struggles lie before him that I cannot fathom.

But this is why I will take this kind of tired a million times over.

We would lay our lives down for you as parents. We would do anything to make your lives easier and we are listening.

Your lived experience is certainly valid, but so is ours as your parents. And we need support and connections, too. Our struggles are different, but they’re real for us.

This is new to us and we are learning and we are transitioning with you and we are wanting to shield you from any path that’s difficult. But we know we can’t and that’s exhausting in ways that are different from your fight. Not more exhausting, just different. And if you decide to have children someday, you’ll have an appreciation for what I’m saying here.

My post wasn’t to take alway from anyone, as I mentioned. We are on the same team, I promise you that. And I certainly don’t want cookies, empathy, or praise. I need none of those things from anyone, especially from you, the ones on the front lines of this.

My post was to educate those who don’t walk any of this, especially those with cisgender kids. Nothing more.

It is an honor and a privilege to parent my trans child. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I will accept this exhaustion for him in every lifetime, and I would choose it all over again. Because he is giving me an invaluable education. One that I am eternally grateful for everyday.

Please give us as parents some grace. We are trying to understand this the best we possibly can. We are.

I’m proud of you and I’m thankful to you because you are paving the way for my child, too, in ways that I can’t imagine and in ways that certainly matter more than my exhaustion. And that certainly isn’t lost on me.

Thank you for all you do and for who you are.

Carry on, warriors.

Love,

This Mama Bear

1 thought on “Dear Trans Teens,”

  1. I saw some of the angry comments as well, and I was sad to see them.

    It is a sad but true fact of life that as trans people, we have to lead our own battles. That’s the way it has been. I congratulate the young folks on the battles they are facing and winning.
    This isn’t a matter of silencing or ‘one-upsmanship.’
    We’re all fighting. All the time.
    I am certainly not going to start up with battles that I was fighting “before you were born”. I know that doesn’t help, and you’ll see that as silencing as well – unless you’d like to talk to me about how to help you face something you’re dealing with because of my experiences; in which case, I’m more than willing.
    Dear young trans folks : we are JUST NOW starting to have allies in the fight. Parents. Doctors. Friends. I’ve seen this change over both of our lifetimes. I’ve seen the sea change from no allies (those T people sure do have issues, but they don’t belong here with us gays) to some absolutely amazing allies who, in their love for one of us, take on just as much as one of us.

    I know fighting leaves you angry and tired.
    Please, though : be kind to those who are just now starting to realize how hard we fight. It’s not their fault they didn’t know. Hurting them when they are trying to help does not advance anything.

    Like

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