support, mental health, safe space, family involvement
Tara: Is there anybody in your life who is supporting you? Or any institutions? You mentioned that there’s a psychologist.
Dawn: Yeah, the school psychologist that we work with has been great, really really great. We got the name through the court system actually, so I didn’t know this person at all. And she’s been really awesome. Like, my family, I mean at the beginning there was a lot of “maybe it’s just a phase, are you sure?” And a lot of “well what’s going to happen when she gets older?” It wasn’t like immediate support. My dad kinda got on board with it right away, my mom it took her a little bit longer. But like, for the most part my family, my extended family, my neighbours, my coworkers, most of my friends, like nobody that’s really in my immediate circle has said anything. Like, if they have an issue with it, they’re too polite to say it. And a lot of people can just see that she’s happier now. And, that it’s really not a big deal, and it’s better to have your kid alive and trans than dead and dressing like a boy, and that’s kinda where it was at with my very young child that was already talking about suicide and self harming at six, seven, eight, years old. So to me it was kinda like a no-brainer choice. But luckily, the people in my life have been pretty supportive, and I think that’s because I’m leading it in that direction, like this is the way it is, and either you’re gonna accept it or you’re not going to be in my life, though I haven’t had to really say that. The problem is the other parent and the other parent’s family reject and berate and tease and perpetuate homophobia and transphobia in general and just aren’t supportive people, so that’s a really unsafe space.