Anonymous said: For the parents of the wee ones out there, like myself. What would your advice be in the case that our child(ren) came and said to us that they were trans? What can a parent do to be the best support to their trans child(ren)? Are there any things that we might do & not realize it, that we should avoid when trying to be an advocate for our child(ren)?
If your child comes out as trans the best things you can do are - emphatically confirm that you love them unconditionally, take a lot of time to listen to their gender identity and what their needs are in trying to best express that, try not to make assumptions but do your research, offer (but do not force) opportunities resources/support groups/etc., and finally advocate for them but let them dictate their needs and the pace. Oh, and get yourself some support!
Accepting and supportive parents are awesome, but I think the biggest pitfall that can happen is that they can be a little overzealous. Think bad helicopter parent stereotypes. Just listen closely to your child’s needs, and do your best to support those. If they just want to wear [____] gendered clothes at home, then buy them some clothes, give them a hug, and move on! If they want to present in their preferred gender in public/at school/etc. then talk with them some more and work out a plan together for how you can accomplish it. If they are experiencing some serious body dysphoria talk about setting up some doctors appointments and work together on a feasible plan for taking care of those needs. Just do not make the assumption that you know what your child needs in the gender department, or that you know best, without having those conversations first.
The good news is there are lots of great resources out there for trans people (and their families, though to a somewhat lesser degree) these days. And on top of that, stories of trans kids are prominent enough that there are books out there, support groups, conferences, blogs, etc. that can help any parent work through what is inevitably a somewhat complicated (and sometimes quite difficult) journey.