Conquering Fear for my Transgender Loved One


It can be scary

So much has happened in the last week and since I wrote my last blog with hate in this nation. I am often asked by family members of the transgender community in Atlanta, GA, what do I do when I am in fear?  Many people right now are accepting of their loved one’s journey through gender identity transition, but they feel scared or helpless when their loved one decides to leaves the house dressed in their true gender.

Why do you have fear?

First, your fear is warranted and justified.  We live in a nation where violence is high right now.  I am sure you are aware of biases and visibility of those biases. However, that does not mean you should let your worry and anxiety consume you. Worrying and being fearful of your loved one presenting is something can eventually can cloud the emotions of loving that person in the first place.

There are times that I am fearful for my own friends when traveling to a new place or going to a city that just doesn’t feel safe to me.  There are times that I have stayed home from a protest for fear of my own safety or that of my families.  You may be fearful that someone is going to say something unkind to your loved on or physically hurt them.  A much lessor analogy is like when you want for your child to go to kindergarten on their first day, but you are scared for them to go and get bullied or picked on

Letting go of fear

Much like letting our children go to that first day of middle school, or that first day of preschool, we must let our loved ones do what is best for them to grow, change, and get stronger as who they really are. Part of this growth and strengthening process is for our loved ones to come out as who they really are.  If we kept our middle school-er from going to school, their educational and social growth would be stunted.

If we don’t allow our loved one to grow and present as who they are out of fear, their minds will be stunted and their feelings towards themselves may worsen or not improve. Whatever our loved ones do with their appearance or the pronouns they ask people to use, it’s their choice to do so either way and can be different in any given situation.

Room to grow together

It’s our choice to honor them, let them make decisions for themselves and allow them to grow as a person in the best way that is possible for them.  In the reality of today, that may mean that you feel like it’s dangerous for them to do so.  I am almost for certain that this reality is even more apparent to your loved one and the transgender community as a whole.

Like that day your middle school-er went to school the first day, it’s hard to give that trust to your children and loved ones to stay safe and alert.  It’s hard to know they will put themselves in the situations that they need to be in for growth.  Do I think that thinking about your loved one’s safety in this way is going to take that fear way?  I can’t take fear away from someone when it is valid.  I offer you to start a conversation with your loved one about how important their choices are.  Have you had that conversation yet?

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