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    • #742633

      Hi Everyone,

      Sometime in the next couple of weeks, I will be letting my immediate family know that my teenager is a transgender girl.  My family skews conservative, religious, etc.  What types of negative reactions should I expect?  What might they say or do?  What reactions have you experienced, witnessed, or heard about?

      Things to consider: Only my wife knows that I crossdress.  So this will be the first time for anyone in my family to come out.  I do not intend to come out about myself.  We happen to live in California while my family is scattered in red or purple states.  My daughter will not be part of the phone call when I tell my family.  Also, my family will be visiting us throughout the month of July.

      I very much appreciate any insight you can share.  It will help to calm my nerves the more prepared I am for what may happen.


    • #742643

      You won’t know for certain until afterwards.

      Conservatives, even religious conservatives, can be a mixed bag. For example, some politicians who represent the right change their messaging after their own children come out. Pray that your family is like them, too.

      There are a few variations of this maxim: Expect the best, prepare for the worst, and take whatever comes your way.

    • #742648
      Angela Booth

      It is never a given as to who will react. In my experience nearly everyone who now knows has been supportive the rest are unsure but okay with it and I have had two that will have nothing to do with it. There are those who I felt would react badly but were among the most supportive. So as the previous poster said, you won’t know until after..

    • #742679
      Cassie Jayson

      Spectra, best of luck. You just never know how each individual will react. My nephew came out as trans (later found out as non-binary) about 7 years ago. the family reactions were about the same as when I came out. I have 2 brothers on the conservative side and 2 on the liberal side. One of my conservative brothers want nothing to do with with my nephew or me, actually he just ignores ‘the problem’. If he does not acknowlage it, it does not exist. Then there is my X politically she is on the left religiously on the right. She calls me any name she can come with.
      Just be prepared for any reation.

      . Cassie

    • #742683

      They won’t know what to do or say. Most likely they will be stunned for a second or two.

      Start with how you hope they will react. People like to follow a leader. Be one.

      Best of luck.

      • #744649

        Hi Madeline,

        Thanks for the suggestion about leading the way.  I appreciate it.

    • #742701

      I agree with everyone else.  Each person’s reactions will be dependent on the individual views.

      There are conservatives that are publicly against it, until it is a family member, then they support the family member, and some conservatives that stand against it, and will stay against coming out no matter whom it is.

      The other spectrum of liberals have some fine with coming out period.  But some are fine with coming out, until it is their family.

      It is kinda funny how religion kinda goes the same way.

      Either way, your support will be needed for your daughter.  Please make your strength available to her.


    • #742717

      Why are you telling them about your teenager? A teenager should have self agency in such matters, no? Is this the way she wants it to be?

      • #744650

        Hi Wanda,

        My daughter wants me to tell my family without her being on the call.  I agree that she should be able to do this on her own because she will have to do this on her own later in life.  But, I’m having to balance my expectations of a teenager with that of a trans-teenager fighting depression and suicide.  Plus, I’m too scared to come out myself… so it’s hard for me to hold my daughter to a standard I can’t meet.

        • #744656

          Oh, ok. I didn’t mean to sound unsympathetic, it just struck me odd as I read your post. Since you say “wants” do I correctly surmise that the call is still in the future? If that’s so, I hope it goes well and that you and your daughter will each grow in peace, comfort, and courage as time goes on.

          Hugs & kisses,

          • #744660

            No, you didn’t sound unsympathetic at all.  I appreciate the different perspective.  I’m probably starting the calls tomorrow.

            P.S. Sorry for mis-addressing my last post.  I fixed it.

    • #742723

      I don’t think you should be announcing it to anyone.  If someone asks how is (boy name) say (boy name) goes by (girl name) now and uses she/her pronouns.  Otherwise leave it be.

    • #742730
      Liz K
      Managing Ambassador

      Spectra – for the moment, let’s forget about the reactions you’ll get from your family.  What about your daughter?  You said she won’t be on the call.  Did you even ask her?  It would be a mistake to exclude her against her wishes.  An even bigger question….is she aware you’re going to out her?  If not, that would be a huge violation of her trust.  If it were me, I’d want to be the one doing the telling.  Not dad!

      If you out her without her knowledge and consent, you’re going to have one angry and alienated daughter.  If she gets blindsided by a negative reaction you’ve got a BIG mess on your hands.  Don’t go there!

      TBH I don’t know that you should even tell them at this point.  Ask your daughter what she wants to do.  She might prefer to boymode their visit and save the conversation for another time.

      I’ve been lucky and gotten acceptance from everyone so far. There’ve been a few surprises.

      As for your family, you might get an idea by talking about recent news.  Maybe make up some story about a local trans kid.  There’s no telling how they’ll react.  Not all religious/conservative types are anti-trans.

      Good luck.


      • #742756
        Cassie Jayson

        Thanks Emily for bringing up the thought that telling family without the daughter’s knowledge or consent might be a disaster. Part of this might be how far along the kid is in transitioning and how much dysphoria is effecting her
        Your fight go slowly and thoughtfully


      • #744653

        Hi Emily,

        Good points!  Yes, my daughter requested that I tell my family, and she knows I’ll be doing this soon (probably starting tomorrow!)  My family is visiting throughout July, and that’s what is driving this now.  Boy mode is not really an option because she’s already grown her hair out for the last year and a half plus gotten her ears pierced.  Hopefully, telling my family will give them context so that they don’t need to say anything about her looks which has been happening when we do an occasional video call.

    • #744704

      I might suggest saying to those that are scheduled to be visiting that you and your wife are navigating unfamiliar waters and that your daughters well being is at the forefront. And for that reason if your daughters presentation to the world would be upsetting or cause one to make unkind statements or ask inappropriate questions that it might be best if they change their travel plans.

      You can’t invite negativity into your home during this delicate time. Additionally, you must be prepared of throwing a family member out of your home should they cross the line. I feel anything less than a full response will be seen as unsupportive by your teen. In other words it’s all or nothing.

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