What to Do When Your Family Is Not Supportive of Your Transition

Have you come out to your family, only to have them reject your transition? Here are some ways of dealing with family that are not supportive of you.

Are you a transgender person who has come out to your family and want to transition, but they are not supportive of you? Do you live with them and they’re threatening to evict you, stop paying for some of your living expenses, or are refusing to acknowledge you, feeling ashamed whenever your name comes up? If so, this may have you on edge and make it feel like you’re not able to transition and be who you truly feel you are deep down. But, you can change this.

Portrait of androgynous young teenager transgender person
© Ranta Images

Parents who are not accepting of their children generally have a bias. Maybe they have heard negative things about transgender people, are religious and do not believe in it, or have some other form of bias that prevents them from seeing life from your perspective and see you being trans as a failure on their part, and you should just stay as you are now. However, there are parents that are accepting of their children, no matter what they identify as, and may not see it as a failure on them, but rather you expressing yourself authentically. Whatever the case is, there are many things within this realm of uncertainty as you come out to your parents, and you never know what the end result will be. You may not know their opinions on the matter, and will hope for the best, but it may not work out. Or you may hear them talking negatively about trans people, confirming that they would not accept you if you came out to them. However, that may be completely different once they realize their own child is trans.

You have to test the waters first, such as asking some questions, brining up important political things going on in the world, since trans has entered the political climate when it had no right being there. If you can understand a bit better where they’re coming from and their bias then you’ll be able to better approach them about you being trans. However, you don’t want to ask in a way that makes it obvious to them that you are trans. Rather, you have to navigate around the topic and see where they stand on it. Maybe question about their thoughts regarding various tense political opinions, such as sports, children transitioning, and so on. See if you can get an idea where their bias is as it pertains to you and the general population since they may be opposed to trans athletes and children, but be fine with transgender people in general. You have to probe and see where they stand.

walk on eggs
© tiero

Approach with caution. If you have realized that they will not be supportive of you when you come out, and still want to come out, it’s best to be cautious and have a backup plan. Have money, a place to live, and other vital things on the back burner ready to go if you come out to them and they threaten to kick you out of their home.

And when it is time to come out, do so from a place of confidence and do not be argumentative. If they have a bias against certain trans people because of whatever they’ve heard on the news or from their favorite political commentator, it’s your turn to show them that what they’ve heard is not true of every trans person and not you. If they call you a child predator or groomer, what will be your response? Maybe you do not believe in children transitioning, so express that mature way of thinking to them. Say that there should be hurdles for people to go through to transition to ensure this is what they truly want. The road ahead isn’t meant to be easy, so the more you have to work at something, the more accomplished you’ll feel once you make it there.

And lastly, ensure them that they have not failed as a parent and that you’re not transitioning for anyone else but yourself. Make sure they know that they’re not losing their child, but rather you’ll be changing in a more positive way. Make them proud by coming out of your shell and being who you have been hiding all this time. Don’t be controlled by them as they threaten to take away things from you, but rather be calm, rational, mature, and respectful, so you can prove to them that they raised you right, and your transition is out of their control.

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If all this fails and they refuse to speak with you, give them time. It’s not uncommon for parents to finally come around, especially if they’re able to break out of their bias and limited thinking and see how happy you truly are. This may take months, if not years, for them to finally come around. But, generally it will happen given enough time. You cannot force it, nor can you get upset about it. This time is for you now.

If you have parents that are not supportive of your transition, then have a backup plan, approach with caution, and ensure them that they have not failed by expressing your true self. It may take time since you cannot rush their acceptance. Be patient and see where it goes.

Let me know how this works for you. Have a great day!

Additional Info

Fortunately for me, my family was supportive. It took some of them more time than others, but they all came around and saw the massive personality shift from who I was, which was basically nothing since I didn’t talk or socialize, into who I am now, someone who is confident and not afraid to engage in conversation. But, I know a lot of people who’s families had a hard time accepting them. Most came around after many years, so it took time, but it’s not impossible. Patience is key.


LGBT / Transgender / TranssexualComing OutParentsTransgender / TranssexualTransition

About the Author

Autumn Asphodel
Autumn Asphodel helps others live a better life through natural means, hard work, and dedication.

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