How do you write a coming out letter to your parents? (Transgender)
Last Updated: 06/10/2019 at 2:06am
Alison Humphreys, LCPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
During the therapeutic process, individuals will learn to manage transitions, overcome obstacles and work towards their full potential .
Top Rated Answers
Here is what I think may be quite helpful to challenge common misconceptions and reassure parents : - show them you know what you're talking about : that's not something that just popped in your mind, but something you thought about thoroughly and seriously. - Talk casually, without shame or anything like that : it's not a pathology / mental illness, it's not as uncommon as it seems, it doesn't make you monstruous or anything like that, trans people are like everybody else, and most of them you don't even notice they're trans (yeah that kinda suck to reassure them about cispassing, but that oftenly scare parents a lot, because they fear of social stigma) - Challenge their misconceptions, and and if your family is made of quite rational and logical people, you can even give them some statistics about regrets (that seems to be the first fear of parents : "what if you regret this ?!") etc. - no need to talk too much about details (like intimate things as genitals, or graphic description of surgeries you may consider, etc. You can reassure them about hormons, if you plan to take them, to describe simply what's gonna happen and most of all : that it will be progressive, slow and that it won't change who you are as a person. - open yourself to them, show them this CO is a very biiiig sign of trust and explain how it's important for you to be supported by them, and how it's crucial for you to be respected as who you are. More chances to get people's empathy if you express your feelings.. It's very hard to come-out, and it's really a risk to lose the people we love.... so it can be very well taken if you show them that well, it's not easy for you, and you tell them because you need and trust them. - It's important also NOT to ask for their opinion or permission. It's YOUR decision to transition (if you transition), and you don't need anyone's opinion about it. You tell them you're trans, you're not asking for the right to act on it. It's important because it shows they don't have a word in this. That mean they don't have any responsibility to take : they can only support you, or not. - You can tell them what it means for you. They don't need to know how things are for "trans people", they're interested in YOU, so be specific about yourself, no others. You can for instance telle them that it means you are going to change your name, and that from now on you're gonna use this or that pronoun, and be gendered as ***, that you'd like them to put away the family photos in the living room for instance, or that you'd like them to stop calling you "son" or "my princess" etc. :) - Finally.. lots of parents will think they did something wrong, or that they "should have known"... so it can be useful to say that : 1) there is nothing wrong with being trans, it just happens, 2) they didn't do anymore "wrong" than if you were left-handed instead of right-handed : that's just how you are, period. 3) People don't "become trans" because of education or things like that 4) it's ok if they didn't noticed it before because well, maybe you didn't yourself, or maybe you showed them what you wanted to show them, etc... You can also give them ressources, like pamphlet about transidentity explained to family, or contact of organisation where they can be listened, meet other parents, forums on the internet etc.. It can be of GREAT help :) That's just some ideas, you just do your best and what fits your situation the best. :)
Start honestly and openly, think about what you want to say. Try to explain how you feel, how long you have known, in your letter you can also address any questions you feel might pop up. Take your time and dont be afraid to rewrite it as many times as you need to until you feel it expresses what you want to say.
Coming out can be a very hard and scary thing to do. Be truthful and explain clearly. but always remember that your parents are your parents and they love you. Sometimes it takes parents some time to adjust and fully understand. Also remember that you do have support!
Coming out to parents can be a very scary nerve-wrecking experience. They are your parents and chances are they love you as a person. Your situation and relationship with them may help inform how you write the letter. It can be helpful to try to anticipate how your parents will react to this news. How will they react to it ( what kinds of emotions, fears etc.?) Are there actions they might take, if so what might they be? Are there any sources of information you can provide if that might be helpful to them? I am not fully familiar with your situation with them or what their views or reactions to this be it acceptance or not. It does help to be open calm, thorough. You can explain that this is who you are and that it won’t change key features of who you are and personality. Often, I have found that parents are afraid for their child’s general happiness and success, and how this may affect those. I think it is great that you have that certain level of trust with your parents that you want to come out to them. Each coming out is different and that remains the same for each coming out letter. They all have some commonality, but they are all individual to the writer and what is communicated to the recipient. Different contact different ways of conveying topics, etc. What is important is your safety though ( I don’t know age, living situation, attitudes etc.) in coming out. Just as realizing this may have been a big change, so is it may be for your parents may also help with any of the coming out results. Sometimes they will be accepting from the beginning, sometimes it may take a while for them to come around to understand you and the way you identify. However it goes, know we wish you the best, but listeners and the general community (and LGBTQ+/MOGII) believe in you and have you back and here to continue to support you on your journey as you need it.
The key is to try to help them understand your reality. Try to be as open as you can about how you feel, explain how it was for you to live as a trans person, tell them about your hopes and dreams, encourage them to ask you any question they might have to know your reality better. Make sure they know how important they are for you, and why it is so important for you to share this with them. Remember, the people who truly love us will always care for us! Good luck!
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