Man this parenting lark is certainly keeping me on my toes! Around 18 months ago our child told us he was gay. No drama for us – we have plenty of gay friends and gay family members, so it really didn’t make much difference to us. Relief from the child that we were ok with it, and life carried on as “normal”. We told family and a few friends over time, but no big announcements or anything like that. It didn’t seem necessary really. It’s not as if we go around announcing that we’re not gay!
About 6 months ago our child started to talk about being trans-gender rather than gay. Again no drama, we have a friend who is mtf transgender, so not a completely unknown scenario for us. We’re happy to go with whatever works and keeps our child happy. These feelings have been present for our child from around the age of 6 or 7 years old. Having talked about it for a few weeks, our child has now asked us to treat them as a girl, call them by the name Angela and refer to them using female pronouns. She has changed her Facebook account.
Now, most of the people we know – family and friends – more or less cope with the whole gay idea. However, I know that our child being trans-gender is going to take more explaining and there will be people who just don’t get it. It is more common amongst the autism community – I’m not sure why, but there is research that suggests that both autistic and trans-gender people actually have different brains than neuro-typical or cisgender people. But that’s actually irrelevant. I don’t know how to explain it to people. Do I even need to? I probably don’t “need” to, but some people will want to know why. Someone asked me “how did this come about?” when they found out. I don’t know the answer to that. It just is what it is. There is no explanation.
Angela said I should just announce it on Facebook 🙂 I don’t think I will be doing that. But it’s not going to take long for people to know. I will refer to our child as Angela. That in itself will lead to questions from people who know us. I can’t not call her Angela in front of people we know. That will only make her feel that we don’t fully support her choice, or that we are embarrassed by her. That would be awful. So, I just need to bite the bullet and do it. I’m worried I can’t answer questions that might come up though. I don’t want to give people the impression that I’m embarrassed by her choice, or don’t fully support her. Deep breath. Here we go!