Being the parent of a transgender child is so stressful. Heck, I have four kids, so I can say with certainty that being the parent of children is stressful. Here’s a look at five crazy things my transgender child did this week.
- She got up each day and went to school. I know, crazy, right? She dressed in khaki pants and a navy shirt, brushed her hair, and put her lunch in her backpack.
- After getting off the bus, she…ate a cookie. Totally something a trans kid would do. Indulge in a cookie. I try to have a cookie for each of my kids, regardless of gender identity, waiting for them when they come home. Permissive parenting? YES!
- We live in the country with farms for miles. What’s a country girl to do? Take horseback riding lessons. Good news! Nobody’s banned trans kids from horseback riding.
- She played video games with her siblings. I know kids have too much screen time these days, but I need to think twice about this.
- One night this week, she shared that she worries about her math grade. She was sick last week and missed instruction time and a test. Do your kids ever worry about grades?
I’ll let you in on a little secret…my cis kids did much the same, minus the horseback riding.
When I started writing this post, I thought to list the things my child will never know happened this week. The legislation sweeping the country is scary. And then I thought again, why give them airtime? If you are a person who loves a transgender person, you would have to be hiding under a rock not to know what is happening in the United States. Suffice it to say, we, the parents of transgender and gender-diverse kids, will tell you that while the walls are closing around us, we are doing everything we can to insulate our children.
What can you do to support our community?
- Don’t be a passive witness. When people around you are using transphobic, homophobic, or any bigoted language, stop it in its tracks. You don’t have to argue with them if you are uncomfortable. But setting a boundary, “that’s not appropriate, and I don’t like it,” is the start of pushing back.
- Ask for sources. A person erroneously quoted a statistic that I know not to be true this week. They conflated suicide rates of the trans population with those who had elected surgical interventions. Asking for sources is a way of challenging misinformation or propaganda. Nine times out of ten, they don’t have an actual source, or it is from a tabloid or biased news source.
- Educate yourself. I knew nothing about transgender or gender-diverse people before my daughter came to me almost eight years ago. My opinions were ripe with misconceptions and false narratives. narwhalmagickindness.com has a page that educates parents and caregivers about our incredible kiddos. Don’t find the answer there? I’m open to answering your questions; drop me a line. If I don’t have the answer, I will find someone in the community who does.
- Stand up to bullies. We need allies and supporters to stand up for our communities’ human rights. Can you imagine having your child’s ability to take medication taken away? Be it insulin, Excedrin, or ADHD meds. Can you imagine your neighbors deciding if your child should have access to birth control?
I promise you that politicians and parental rights groups are far more concerned about my child’s genitals than we are. Our life does not revolve around her transgender identity. We care far more about the important stuff, friendships, happiness, learning, and community, and you should too. Our children will inherit the earth. I would spend time focusing on the five crazy things my transgender child did this week than what is under her clothing.