Opinion Piece: Celebrate Your Kid’s Transition. Don’t Grieve It.

Not a research study, but a powerfully written piece about the emotional impact of disaffirming one’s child’s transition, and the possibilities for reconciliation and loving relationships.

Published in the New York Times. October 18, 2019. Author: Meredith Talusan.

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“…We often have to tolerate these expressions of grief, knowing well that we would not receive the same level of empathy for our struggles, because we live in a world that affirms the feelings of cisgender people while rejecting our own.”

“…Expecting us to comfort them promotes the transphobic idea that cisgender people’s feelings must be prioritized over ours, even when we are clearly dealing with so much more, and those expressions of grief are harmful to us.”

“An even better step is for loved ones to reframe their feelings over a trans person’s transition. The person they’re mourning is a projection of someone who didn’t really exist in the first place. And the person sitting next to them on the couch is finally taking the steps they need to be happy. (Often, one of the biggest factors that has held them back is their worry that their loved ones’ will react negatively.) So families and friends should celebrate, rather than mourn a trans person’s transition. That would be one of the greatest sources of support and it’s also one of the best ways to show the person that they are truly loved…”