I found a parent support group about 6 months after R came out, and a few months later found Mermaids UK. I attend the parent group every month (almost without fail) and my husband once asked why I was still going now that we were all coping better. My answer was that I got help and support from others and I feel the need to pay that back. I speak to parents whose kids have recently come out fairly often and I often say that even if your friends and family are very supportive, having a trans kid is one of those things you can’t understand until you’ve been there yourself. There are so many things which seem insignificant but are a huge deal and are either so difficult or so amazing.
One of the first people I reached out to was a friend I met just 7 years ago, and that was because she worked with a charity that supported LGBT youth and I thought she might know what this all meant, what non-binary was, what trans was, and she might be able to help me understand. She doesn’t have kids, never mind a trans kid but she gets it. She listens, doesn’t judge, and is just there.
We have lost family and friends who have been around longer, who were supposed to be closer, who we would have relied on before anyone else.
I continue to attend a group, and give and receive support through Mermaids, but without that friend I’m not sure I would have been strong enough to find that other support.
It’s sad that we have lost people but I’ve come to think that if I lost those people over my kid being trans, they weren’t much to lose anyway.
If you’re struggling or just need to talk reach out to Mermaids, find support groups, find a friend, find someone – contact me if you need to. Support is the most important thing for all of us and take it wherever you find it.
My friend will know who she is when she reads this, and I want to say thank you for being you and for all you’ve done, I love you mate 🙂