Auntie Says...

Parents of Gay, Trans, or Confused Kids… I Don’t Know How You Do it.

It’s Pride Month and I meant to talk about this earlier but I got distracted. So here goes…

First off….

Please know that I do not purport to be an expert–in any way, shape, or form. I’m still learning the pronouns and try to be respectful of all. The following is my words. my observation. my questions. Don’t judge me and I won’t judge you. Simple as that. Thanks.


Source: unsplash Jason Leung

One night I couldn’t sleep so I was scrolling through Canadian Broadcasting streamer GEM.

Though I wasn’t looking for anything specific I clicked National Film Board Collection and ended up watching a very short (15 minute) documentary entitled: I Am Skylar. Click on the link to watch.

You see, I write a lot about teens and like to learn and read young people and the challenges they face.

I think I was meant to see this short film and that’s why I tripped upon it.

Half asleep and not paying much attention, at first I thought it was a simple documentary about a young girl, but it was actually an honest and open look at the life of a transgender girl and the challenges she now faces.

This young person was labeled a boy at birth, but Skylar refers to her former self as being dead and gone.

She didn’t want any family pictures of her dead self displayed in the home and insisted she be called by her new name.

Even at a young age, she’s mature and well spoken, but that doesn’t stop my heart from breaking for her or her family.

The parents lost their son when he became a girl. I can’t imagine the angst and deep-seated pain–on both sides–the child, as well as, the parents and siblings.

Now, I say that not because of the choices made, but because I realize that no one would choose to make such decisions unless there was no other way. Does that make sense?

As a parent, we want the best for our kids. We want them to succeed and we try and share our experiences with them and hope they don’t make some of the same mistakes.

To identify as transgender isn’t taking the easy path through life. If anything, it’s a path full of ups and downs for that young person. It’s not cool or trendy–it’s who they are. Period.

I remember many years ago a friend came to tell me her son had just come out as gay (I wasn’t the least bit surprised) and she couldn’t believe it (some ‘hopeful denial’ was happening on her part, I think).

She said he came out of the closet and she went in.

What I think she meant here is that she felt she needed to hide and come to grips with the change. To her the change (or coming out) was sudden and she felt the need to close herself off. I don’t know if this is normal for parents or an anomaly.

Source: Unsplash Jon Tyson

Her son had grappled with his truth for a long time, but she was just beginning.

Let’s face it. Some people will judge the parents just as much as they judge the ‘labeled’ person.

In Western society the issue of sexuality is politicized and churchisized (I made that word up), to a point of judgement and trying to force an agenda that doesn’t fit the person.

I’ve read about conversion therapy and think it’s a pile of bunk–IMO it should be completely banned. I can tell you that there’s no amount of brain washing, prayer, or threat of expulsion that would make me want to be with a woman…that’s not WHO I am.

To try and rewire someone’s brain so they can fit into defined societal norms is presumptuous, ignorant, and arrogant.

Why do we feel such need to control?

People travel through their individual journey’s and why should we tell them how to do it? If they’re good people and it hurts no one, why do we judge?

I’m not talking about curing cancer here, this is about trying to deny a person their right to be who they are. There’s an old saying: God doesn’t make junk. Why do we feel the need to question that?

Going back to the Skylar documentary.

While there was acceptance and even celebration, there was also great sadness, ostracization, and major life-changing decisions facing the parents.

I seriously don’t know how they cope or get through.

I think as a parent I would want my child to be who he/she is without reproach but would support and love my child no matter what path he went down. Watching your own child be abused by society would break my heart. It would bring out the Mama Bear of protective instincts toward the world. Everyone just back off!

source: Unsplash Marco Secchi

Raising kids is already so filled with anxiety (am I doing this right?), guilt (is it something I did to make them this way?), and questions (what happens if I say no? yes?)

I don’t think there are any easy answers and each person’s journey is such an individual and personal one.

The one thing I know that doesn’t work is passing judgement. I don’t care who you are, there is no need for name calling, belittling, or attempting to force change. Like Mama Bear said…back off!

Auntie Lesson:

This is 2021 and we must all learn that all human life–whether black, brown, white, gay, straight, fat, tall, curly haired, or straight etc… Old, young, Muslim, Jew, Christian…–all life is sacred and needs to be accepted the way it was intended to be presented. Stop the judgement. Stop the cruelty. Embrace compassion. No one made you God.

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