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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Coming out to parents about being Transgender

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Author Topic: Coming out to parents about being Transgender
LightandDark
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In a few weeks I am finishing up with School and doing my final exams. After I've finished School I will hopefully be able to start on HRT in a few months. I am part of a transgender community and all of my friends know about my plans to transition but my family still doesn't know. I've been waiting until after School was done and over so I at least wouldn't have that to worry about if they took things badly but with School almost over it's becoming more of an Issue on my mind everyday.

My parents very rarely listen to me, in fact there have been plenty of times I've felt flat out ignored when I try to tell them something important. I guess what I'm really trying to say is how do I get them to at least try and understand this when I come out and what would be the best way to deal with their reactions especially things go badly.

Posts: 8 | From: Ireland | Registered: Sep 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Molias
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Hi LightandDark,

This can be really tough. Sadly, I don't think there's a way you can guarantee your parents will take you seriously. The most effective way to communicate a difficult topic to someone can vary depending on who the recipient is, but I've often found that writing a letter is easier than having a face to face conversation. That way you can take the time to express yourself clearly without being flustered if the initial reaction isn't what you'd hoped for.

One thing that might be helpful to keep in mind is that it's entirely possible for loved ones to react badly, either by being upset or disrespectful, and still eventually come around and accept you.
I know there's PFLAG in the US, but I'm not familiar with a specific organization that offers support & education to families of LGBTQ people in Ireland. I did find this site which does have some "support for parents" links at the bottom of their sidebar. If they're willing to seek out that support, this might be a great resource for your parents. They have to want to do that, of course, but again: even if they are hesitant at first, it may be that they are willing to learn how to support you eventually.

If things do go badly, are you dependent on them for financial support at all right now? That might make a big difference in terms of how you approach this issue and how you might manage a negative reaction. It's easier to say "ok, if you can't be respectful I am going to walk away from this conversation" if you aren't worried about losing a place to stay.

Last year I wrote an advice column about coming out to family members that you may find helpful; the situation isn't exactly the same as yours but I think the three-pronged coming out letter is a useful framework for a few different situations. You can read that here.

Posts: 1345 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LightandDark
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Hi Molias thank you for responding.

I am currently living with my parents and I do depend on them financial but hopefully when school is over I can get job before I tell them. I happen to live near a big city and work is becoming much easier to find these days.

If they throw me out of the house I have friends I can stay with however I often worry that it could still become an issue especially if I have to move for College or work. But maybe writing them a letter would be easier then a talk face to face.

Posts: 8 | From: Ireland | Registered: Sep 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LightandDark
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Another problem I have is that I also have something of a time limit, I don't want to be on HRT and them noticing something like breast growth and confronting me about it. I would like to tell them first.
Posts: 8 | From: Ireland | Registered: Sep 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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LightandDark, I wanted to make sure you knew about this amazing org in Ireland with a handful of branches and community centers. I've done education for their Dublin wing once, and I was so impressed: http://www.belongto.org/

You might want to see if you can't get connected with them, both so you have some extra local support, but also an org who will know all of your options near to you and can likely help you navigate some of these issues and systems.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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LightandDark
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Thank you for the link Heather I'll check it out [Smile]
Posts: 8 | From: Ireland | Registered: Sep 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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