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To the parent who is not okay with this

This is your kid.

You don’t have to understand the process to know that no matter what, you want to be in your child’s life as a source of security and acceptance.

It is time to let go of your expectations, your judgments. It is time to let go of all the lies you have been told in your life about what it means to be a boy or a girl.

This is the child you held, this is the baby you loved, this is the person you raised to be a thinking, breathing, feeling human being.

And they learned something about themselves and shared it with you. And you’ve learned something about yourself… but the only one who needs to stay in the closet about this is you.

You can have your doubts.
You can have your worries.
You can have your questions.
You can have your uneasy feeling of wrongness and anxiety.

But your job right now is to look at those things, put them in an envelope, put that envelope in a box, stuff it in a closet, and turn to your child with love and acceptance and say, “I love you, I love who you are, I love who you are becoming, and I will always, always be here for you. I’m on your side.”

This is, for many kids, a life and death matter.

Condemnation, lack of acceptance, criticism, misgendering… these things actually affect kids’ brains. A loving and accepting parent can wrap a child in a protective armor from the hurts of the outside world. A judgmental parent can be a crown of thorns. Rejection can make children suicidal.

You don’t have to be okay with this. You don’t have to understand it. You don’t have to be comfortable.

But you need to be the grownup, and you need to be the parent, and you need to remember that rule number one is “Mama loves you”, and set the rest of it aside.

And your child needs to NEVER hear your process of figuring this out. Get a therapist who understands gender issues who is highly rated by LGBT organizations, and talk it out with them. And then you go to your kid and remember that no matter what, you are your child’s mother, and you love your child, and that is the ONLY thing that matters.

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image copyright 2016 saltkettle.tumblr.com

Published in Feminism Health Lessons for my kids LIfe Political

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