The easiest way to support a transgender person you know is to treat them with the same dignity and respect you would treat a cisgender person you know. Use the name and pronouns they prefer (even if you are their family and have known them for their entire life). Stand up for them if you witness them being bullied or disrespected or victimized. Seek out more information about trans identity so you can better understand them. Finally, do not ask them rude or intrusive questions about their identity or transition.

I’m Struggling to Support My Child

As a parent it is normal to have hopes and dreams for your child. Deep down, the hope or dream really equates to a general feeling of goodwill for your child. You want your child to have a happy, fulfilling, and safe life. As hard is it may be to change the way you view your child and to change the hopes and dreams you have for them, you are going to have to let go of what you want for your child and embrace them for who they are. In the long run your child will be happier and healthier and have a better chance at a fulfilling and safe life if they embrace who they are. It is devastating to a transgender person when their family rejects them. These statistics make this fact very clear:

Transgender individuals with supportive parents

  •     72% reported life satisfaction
  •     70% reported mental health that was very good or excellent
  •     64% reported high self-esteem
  •     23% reported depression
  •     4% reported attempting suicide
  •     0% reported housing issues

Transgender individuals without supportive parents

  •     75% reported depression
  •     57% reported attempting suicide
  •     55% reported housing issues
  •     33% reported life satisfaction
  •     15% reported mental health that was very good or excellent
  •     13% reported high self-esteem

You should seek professional help from a licensed psychologist, or other mental health care professional, so that you can process the emotions and feelings you are going through. They are normal, but you shouldn’t allow them to control how you respond to and treat your child.

I Suspect My Loved One is Transgender

You should not ask them if they are transgender. If you think that a person you know is transgender, then you should make it very obvious to that person that you are supportive to them by treating them with respect and dignity. If you do not support them, then you should, at the very least, treat them with respect and use the name and pronouns they prefer.

What Are My Next Steps?