support, clothing, discrimination, outness, safe space, community, trans
Dawn: I have met a lot of trans adults who somehow have become close friends of mine in the last couple years, like through "name", that I’ve met a lot of people that I didn’t know before. And it does make a difference as a parent to hear that. And I have one friend, and she came to my house, and to see “child’s name”’s room, and we have you know, some of the books, and there’s a safe space sign on her door, and she was almost crying, and she was like “You know, if I had had a parent like you when I was a teenager, when I was a child, I wouldn’t have had to wait until I was in my 30s to come out.” So it does make a difference to hear that. Because the way the world is, and I think this is what I meant with the discrimination by association kind of idea, the way the world is, you know, even if you’re the one supporting the child, and even if intellectually you know you’re doing the right things, even if the doctors tell you, even if you read the research, and even if instinctively you know it’s right, there’s still a whole society around you that’s sort of telling you “Well maybe you are crazy, and maybe you are forcing her to wear a dress, and maybe you are pushing this agenda on her.” And I’ve heard that just so, so much. And I think in my case, it’s heightened because it’s the other parent who is the one saying it, and the other parent is my abuser. So it’s very hard, it feels like this complicated gas lighting situation. And when you’re having a bad day, and your kid is expressing anger on you because you’re the only place that’s safe, then it’s like “well am I doing the right thing?” And the self doubt is really hard. So it’s definitely good to surround yourself with people, like if I didn’t have the other community of parents, and the playgroup, and knowing other trans people, I don’t know if I’d have the confidence to just stick with doing this. I think people working together makes a big difference.