What If My Child Came out as Transgender?

U.A. Nigro

I think that the problem with being empathetic is, feeling the constant pain the people around me are feeling. I am forever putting myself in someone else’s shoes and trying to see things from their vantage point. Why do people react the way they do, and why do some folks think a certain way? Can I see it the way that they do and truly understand where they are coming from? I was recently thinking about all of the transgender folks who get rejected by their families. Trying to understand how that could possibly happen. And, all the partners who make the decision to stay with someone in transition and get flack for it.

So I flipped the situation on myself. I thought; what would I do if one of my children came out to me as transgender? Would that be a reason to disown them, kick them out, send them to some kind of conversion therapy, or erase them from my life? No, I absolutely would not. I cannot imagine any scenario in life that would make me want to turn my back on any of my children. I made three amazing human beings. In my eyes they are perfect, why would one of them coming out as transgender make them any less perfect? About two years ago, my youngest came out to us as pansexual. We didn’t bat an eye, nor did it change the way we love her.


Then my mind wanders to all the partners of transgender folks whose families gave them the boot as well. What? If your child was happy in their relationship, why would you want them to walk away from that? If they were not being abused and their lives were full of love only, why would that be a bad thing? You raised your child to love unconditionally. Isn’t that something to be proud of? As a mother of three girls, all I want for them in life is happiness. Happiness in their work, in their love life, and the families that they create. Why would any sane person want to destroy that?

The way society views transgender people is one reason. Ridiculous as it may sound, anything that is viewed as out of the norm, must be wrong. Organized religion is another reason people turn their back on a transgender family member. They feel they need to follow a book that could be translated to mean many things, but they use it to justify their hate. It makes me so angry I could spit nails. I recently met an aunt of a transgender girl who had just come out to her four days prior to us meeting. She wanted to educate herself so she could be the best supportive aunt in the world. She was open minded and loving, and I wanted to adopt her as my own aunt. I wish there were more people like her in the world. That would lower the rate of suicide in the transgender community to just about nonexistent.

Call me crazy, but I think once you make the commitment to bring another life into this world, you have an obligation to that human being. To feed them, teach them, protect them, and love them unconditionally. Not just when they are doing what you want them to do, always. Why do people think that it is ok to renege on that promise? How could you stop loving your child and turn your back on them for any reason? We have always told our children from the time they could understand that some women love other women and some men love other men, that no matter who or what they are or who they choose to be with, that our love for them will never change. If only we had more love and acceptance in the world we would all live


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