Melissa Ballard

By Melissa Ballard

Harassment and bullying rates are also higher within the community. Transgender kids get the brunt of it, not only from peers and often teachers in schools, but sometimes their first bullies are their own families. Non accepting families are abundant in the LGBT world. Many times parents kick their child out of their home for coming out as homosexual or transgender. Often kids will run away and get into unsafe situations after being rejected. Frequently this happens due to the religious upbringing and backgrounds within the family unit. Sadly, these children are basically thrown away because of who they may happen to fall in love with or who they really feel like they are supposed to be gender wise. If a family has such deep religious convictions and claim to be Christian, they need to reread 1 Timothy 5:8:

“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

The greatest commandments given were love God above all and love thy neighbor as thyself. Jesus told people this was what needed to happen. He also showed this in his daily actions. It seems like pretty easy instructions based on these two pieces of the Holy Bible. It is hard to understand claims of religiosity from certain groups, when the basic principles are not followed. It is heartbreaking to hear stories of people who have gone through this in their life.

When our kid was in the hospital and just had come out, it was very near to the time Leelah Alcorn took her own life because her own family was not accepting of her. I vowed then upon reading of this tragic death that this would not be my child…this would not be our family. We made it through some rough times and our kid knows he is loved and accepted for who he feels like he is inside. This week, I have been conversing with a young trans person who is longing for support from their own family and not receiving it; scared to fully come out to them expecting that they will kick them out, stop loving them and reject who they really are inside. It is a situation heard all too often. It is a situation that tends to lead to horrible actions made through desperate decisions. I want to help this child and be there for them, even if just to listen. To have them know someone, anyone cares.


I try to educate people on the weight of acceptance of the LGBT community. Basic rights, love, support and freedom to be authentic are all life-saving. All too often humanity is forgotten and compassion is tossed out the door simply because a lack of understanding. This is the daily battle within the trans community…even for the accepting parents of a trans child. When going up against negative discussion or comments I always ask the opposition if they actually know a transgender person, or if they are just hopping on the media and political bandwagons running amuck currently. Almost always there is no response to these questions, just vitriol and rhetoric spewed and repeated or copied from Wikipedia, thus the root of their problem. As a parent of a transgender child I would ask anyone who questions or fears trans people to take the time to get to know one or several. You will then understand there is really nothing different about them and nothing to be feared. Step outside of your comfort zone once in a while! If you have an ounce of compassion, just remember this could be your kid, or future grandkid or anyone that you love. Make an effort to be kind, and understanding long before you are forced to rethink those negative thoughts. Self-education goes a long way!


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