Telling family members, especially parents and siblings, can be difficult particularly if you are transitioning later on in life. If your loved ones didn’t know about your situation the news could come as a shock to them, but this doesn’t mean your should feel disheartened. It is normal that they will also go through a transition – of getting to know ‘you’ again and getting to know you as the person you really are.
There may be some ups and downs and your loved ones may struggle to understand things which will seem second nature to you – for example using the correct terminology. You may find that close relatives feel upset by the news – which can seem confusing for you as this is a time for you to feel excited about your new life. Relatives who are just being told may feel upset and worry that they are ‘losing’ the loved one they know. This might be especially problematic for older relatives who might well come out with comments you don’t appreciate.
Reassuring your loved ones that you are still you will help, as will telling them about help and support for them. The more support they have, the better placed they will be to support you.
It may be worth you finding someone to talk to about issues that can come up with family and friends, whether that’s a counsellor, a health professional you trust or other trans men.
Supporting children of trans people
If you have children, they may need a lot of support to understand your transition and to accept it.
A child, whatever age, could struggle to cope with the ‘loss’ of their mum, although many children are remarkably accepting and understanding.
The Gender Identity Research and Education Society, (Gires) provide support for family, friends, and children of trans men and also faciliate workshops.
Depend also provide support for family, friends and children of trans people.