We recently had a guest speaker speak at one of our online events for members about her experience as a parent of a trans person. Loss, grief, denial, acceptance and love.
Talking to parents within Chrysalis over the years, these are common themes that come up– grieving for a child not lost, coming to terms with the changes that happen, concern for what their child’s life might be like. For most this is followed by a period of adjustment, and then they can (or may not) accept that it is what their child needed to do and start rebuilding their relationship.
It’s something that all relationships can go through when someone transitions, to greater or lesser degrees. Change happens and some people accept it more easily than others. The mum we had on said something that framed it in another way: “I was worried she would lose friends over this, and she did, but he made new ones, and I thought, we lose and gain friends all the time, this is just one reason. It’s normal.”
She spoke about the worries that she had for her child, the other parents she had met who had tried to stop, or even disowned, their child because of transition, the trans people she had worked with who reached out for her support when they came out despite working in completely different areas of the huge company she worked for because they knew she was a parent of a trans person.
What touched me most though was when she talked about the way that those people reaching out to her helped her as much as she hopes she helped them.