What, when and how do I tell family & friends?
This can be a challenging topic and there are no right or wrong answers. We cannot control the reactions of others and so ultimately a well-planned disclosure can go far better than you predicted, but likewise responses may be upsetting.
Ideally, it is best if possible, to talk it through with your child and agree how they would like their news to be shared and with whom. This may take some time and require detailed discussion, as often children may not consider all factors and may have unrealistic plans.
For example, a child may wish to tell only certain family members but not others, but they may not have considered how this will practically work as family members are likely to talk to each other. Even if those informed agree not to share the information, this is unlikely to work if there is a large family gathering such as a wedding.
With this in mind it can be helpful to talk things through in as much detail as possible and consider consequences. It is also helpful to think about the way information is shared and what this means to different generations. For example, teens are far more likely to think it is acceptable to share such news via social media, but for older family members this may seem extremely insensitive.
Free2B worked with a family whose child posted a disclosure statement and updated their gender on Facebook. Whilst the parents were supportive of their child’s gender identity, they were very upset by the way their child shared their news.
Proud Parent group member 2019:
“All my friends were supportive but very taken aback…I felt some people were intrigued and perhaps not in a good way!”
You may find it helpful to invite family members to join you if you attend a support group as they may benefit from meeting other families. Our monthly support group welcomes any family member who may wish to come along.
You may find it helpful to show people the Genderbread person and the initial section of this guide to help explain what being transgender means.
Please be assured, whatever you are feeling right now is ok and there is plenty of support available to help you through this journey.
Please do get in touch if you’d like to speak to our qualified parent worker for information, advice and guidance: Nicki Ryan 07884 425408 | Nicki@free2b-alliance.org.uk
Please support our work and help us achieve LGBTQ+ equality through inclusion.