Everyone requires a family environment that provides safety, love and support. Family can have a great impact on the development of young people, their self-esteem and self-confidence.
The concern of being “different” and therefore rejected often preoccupies adolescents. If they are queer, it plays an even bigger role for them. Therefore, it is even more important that non-binary and trans children and adolescents are seen and understood by their own family.
Young trans and non-binary people may have been dealing with their inner coming out for a long time before they talk to and trust their parents, siblings, or friends with such a personal part of themselves. Some develop a clear understanding of their own gender identity that does not match the gender assigned at birth as early as kindergarten age. Others only become aware of this later in life. Each journey is equally valid. Each person has their own unique timing and biography.
If you keep an open mind and heart, your support will be of great value to trans and non-binary children in your family. If your child comes out to you as trans or non-binary, you can assume that they trust you. Your child chooses to let you into their personal life, offering you a relationship and seeking your support.
Act responsibly with regards to this leap of faith the young person has taken:
- Encourage them to go their own way.
- Ask clear questions about what they need and how you can help.
- Accept and respect boundaries: everybody is different. There are many ways to be trans or non-binary.