How do I let my family know I am transgender
How do I come out as transgender to my family when I tried with my mom two years ago and she said it was my hormones and keeps trying to get me to talk with therapists instead of her talking to me herself?
Hi there and welcome to Ask Alex.
We understand it can be difficult to chat about what’s going on for you so thanks for reaching out.
You mention that you would like to come out as transgender to your family, but when you tried talking to your mom about it, she tried to get you to talk with a therapist instead of talking with you herself. It can be hard when you feel you are not being listened to by those closest to you, especially when it is about something to do with who we are or how we are feeling.
Have you spoken with your mom recently about wanting to come out as transgender, if so, how did it go? Sometimes it can take time for those around you to process, but it sounds like you have given her space to express how she is feeling. Maybe it might be useful to share some groups or resources she can use for more information about being transgender.
It sounds like your mom is trying to give you space to chat about wanting to come out by suggesting you chat with a therapist; how do you feel about chatting with them? Do you think it might be an option for you and your mom to go see someone together?
When you are ready to talk with her and/or the rest of your family, it is important to let them express their feelings while also giving them time to process the conversation. If it starts to feel awkward or tense, you can share details of local support groups and resources so they can look up more information. If they refuse to accept what you’re telling them or tell you you’re wrong, try to stay calm. You know who you are, but you also need to realise that it might be hard for them to understand if they’ve never met any other transgender person. If they refuse to accept your gender identity, set boundaries. As painful as it may be, it’s important to emotionally distance yourself from people who refuse to acknowledge who you are. Remember that their behaviour is not your fault and it’s not your responsibility to change so that they can feel more comfortable.
Most importantly try to look after your own mental health, even if you’re happy to finally be able to embrace your gender identity, it can be difficult hearing family and friends being negative about it.
For more support, visit the Childline website, where we have more articles that you might find helpful. www.childline.ie/what-does-it-mean-to-be-transgender/ covers topics around gender identity. BelongTo (www.belongto.org/) and The Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI teni.ie/) are organisations that will have helpful information and resources. TENI are also available through telephone, text or email.
You can always reach out and chat to us at Childline by phone (1800 66 66 66) or webchat at www.childline.ie/ (click on the orange Live Chat tab). Childline offers a free, non-judgemental listening service, available 24hours a day, 365 days a year and we are happy to chat about whatever is going on for you. We hope you have found this helpful.
Take care, and please feel free to reach out anytime you would like to chat.