06 November 2014

Why Parental Support For Trans Youth Matters

For two years, I co- (as a volunteer) a group for LGBT teenagers and young adults.  It was one of the more rewarding--and heartbreaking--things I've ever done.

One of the things that made it rewarding--apart from knowing (or hoping, anyway) that I helped--was seeing just how smart and resilient young people can be.  The heartbreak came in knowing the circumstances of some of those kids--especially the ones whose parents threw them out of their homes when they "came out".

After a while, I didn't have to ask--and the kid didn't have to tell--for me to know that he or she had suffered such a fate.  Much of that had to do with the kids' body language and overall bearing which, of course, are a reflection of how confident or beaten-down the kid was.

Having seen such things, I wasn't at all surprised to learn the results of a study conducted in Canada two years ago.  In six different categories of well-being, trans youth with supportive parents did much better than those with unsupportive or hostile parents.  The only thing that shocked me was just how stark the differences were between the two groups of trans kids.


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