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How do I help my transgender child tell their friends?
Worrying about how to support your transgender child in school or whether they’ll get bullied for coming out is normal for any parent. Liam shares his experience – from the support he got from friends and teachers, to dealing with anti-trans comments.
Liam found that all his friends wanted was more education on what being transgender meant. His story shows how easing friends into the conversation and letting them explore it in their own way can help a trans child when coming out. And most importantly, how having friends and family rally around for support can help when dealing with inappropriate comments or bullying.
Coming out to your friends can feel daunting, but by providing a safe and open space at home for your child, you can help them to express themselves with no judgement.
Is being transgender just a phase for my child?
Learning that your child is transgender can bring up all sorts of feelings like confusion and grief, even fear and denial. Susie, our CEO, explains how important it is to listen to your child and believe them in the here and now – whatever their gender identity may be.
As the parent of a transgender daughter, Susie understands the importance of being open, accepting and supportive – especially when it comes to your trans child being themself. She explains how a variety of toy choices and playing dress up can help a child to explore, wear and do what makes them feel comfortable.
However your child decides to explore their gender identity, try not to focus on what the end result might be. All that matters is that they have your unconditional love and support, every step of the way.
How do I best support my transgender child?
Knowing how to support and advocate for your child when they’ve come out as transgender can feel overwhelming. One of our mums, Sarah, shares her journey – from learning about the trans community to helping her child feel comfortable in school, at the doctor’s and on social media.
Sarah’s story shows how important listening is when it comes to accepting your transgender child. Being patient, talking openly and checking in with them can help you to understand their needs at home and at school, especially if they’re feeling vulnerable or being bullied.
Coming out as trans is a huge step. It takes real courage and bravery. And the most important thing to remember is that you love your child for who they are inside.
What should I do if my transgender child is being bullied?
If you’re worried or anxious that your transgender child is a victim of transphobic bullying, abuse or harassment in school or online, there are a lot of things you can do to support them. Lui shares their advice on how you can protect your child from transphobia and why reporting any incidents of it is so important.
Transphobic bullying can come in various forms, including use of the wrong pronouns, online harassment, physical attacks and other acts of hostility. Lui explains how giving your child a safe space to talk, letting them take the lead when informing their school, and contacting staff members and social platforms can help put a stop to bullying. They also cover the the importance of contacting the police, if your child has experienced a hate crime.
Dealing with things like misgendering or harassment are never easy. But by following some simple steps, you can help combat transphobic bullying for your child, as well as others like them.
What should my transgender child’s school be doing to help?
Making sure your transgender child feels as supported in school as they do at home can really help when they’re transitioning. Faye, an assistant head teacher, talks about how staff training, gender neutral uniforms and putting gender identity on the curriculum can help create a safe environment for your child.
Talking openly to teachers about your trans child is important. What’s more, having a key worker or point of contact in place for your family will help keep everyone up to date on what feels right for your child, including their preferred pronouns. Faye also explains how communicating with the school about their toilet facilities and uniform policy is vital when relaying back to them what the best fit for your child is. Another important thing you can check is the school’s bullying policy.
No matter your child’s gender, no matter what stage of transitioning they’re at, it’s their school’s responsibility to support them and keep them safe.
Which terms should I use to make my transgender child feel comfortable?
Language surrounding gender identity changes rapidly and knowing what to call your child if they are transgender can feel like a bit of a minefield. Jake explains how regular learning, practise and open dialogue with your child can help you understand the pronouns or new name that make them feel most comfortable.
If you aren’t sure which pronouns to use for your child, the most important thing to do is to let them explain what they want to be called. Have patience, don’t feel pressured and if you get things wrong, simply apologise and correct yourself. Jake also explains why you should correct others if they misgender your child.
Knowing how to talk to your trans child about their pronouns and overcoming any miscommunication can feel daunting. But if you take the time to get it right, your child will see that you’re there for them and that they are not alone.
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