Ok I drove to Va to pick my teenage son because he for the pass 3 month has talked about suicide and needs a change of enviroment. Once I picked him up he confessed that he wanted to move in with me because he wants to live as a girl. Needless to say this was a Surprice and shock to me. I need guidance, help in how to help him. I have no clue what to do next. I know there has to be many people out there that have gone thru this change. I want to help him but I myself have no clue where to start.
Thank you for taking the time to ask for help and submit your concerns! Asking for help takes a great deal of courage. I understand that you are having difficulty in figuring out what the next step would be in helping your teenage son who just confessed to you that he wants to live as a girl. Typically people whose gender identity differs from their assigned sex at birth identify as “transgender”. However some people perfer other identifiers such as transsexual, trans, genderqueer, a person of transgender experience, etc. For the purpose of this letter I will use the term transgender as an umbrella term.
Remember that questioning sexual orientation/gender identity is a normal part of life. The great thing in exploring sexual orientation/gender identity is that there is no rush in making decisions. At the tender ages of youth, it’s important as a parent to offer your child a loving and supportive environment that allows freedom in the exploration of sexual orientation/gender identity. Simply admitting “you have no clue where to start” and by seeking education/resources is both admirable and the best place to start. Therefore I commend you again for submitting your concerns to Ask Trevor!
When it comes to Transgender education and resources a good place to start is the following link (http://www.glaad.org/transgender). This webpage provides a wonderful Trans 101/Frequently Asked Questions section. Additional resources and links can be found throughout the website as well.
Have you heard of PFLAG? PFLAG is made up of parents, families, friends, and straight allies uniting with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education and advocacy. PFLAG is a national organization and by going to there website (http://pflag.org) you will be connected to additional educational material. This brochure can be found on there website, which may be of use to you: (http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Be_Yourself_TT.pdf). Also, on the website you can search for a local PFLAG group where you can be connected with other parents, families, friends, and straight allies in your area.
Another wonderful resource for both parents and children is an organization called Advocates for Youth. Visiting their website will provide additional education and support (http://advocatesforyouth.org). Specifically, on this website you can find a brochure that’s titled “I think I might be transgender, now what do I do?”. The brochure is available here: (http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/storage/advfy/documents/transgender.pdf).
Also, keep in mind the use of Trevor Space (trevorspace.org). It’s the Trevor Project’s, online social networking site for LGBTQ young people ages 13 to 24 their friends and allies. It’s a great supportive community where your child could connect with others who might have had or are having questions about sexual orientation/gender identity. Remember that we also have Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR and TrevorChat as well.
I hope you find this information useful. Remember that you are not alone and we will always be here to help out.