Welcome Message

As founder of TransParent Canada , I welcome you and invite you to share your experiences, concerns and joys as your trans children take steps in their journey towards authenticity.

In my limited experience with trans issues, it has become apparent to me that when trans folks emerge from the closet, their parents often enter it. There may be many reasons why they go into this dark place: denial, shame, or bewilderment that the child they thought they knew is a stranger; an overwhelming sense of loss, grief or guilt; and cultural or religious considerations and biases.

I also believe many parents want to support their children, but are so overwhelmed by the circumstances and an unfamiliarity with the issues that they are overcome by paralysis. After all, the only exposure many parents have had with trans people has been the daytime talk show portrayal of the confused soul who leads a freakish and isolated life.

Those of us who have been blessed with trans children know the huge challenges they face, and parents correspondingly also face larger-than-average hurdles.

Our trans children share some of the same challenges as gays and lesbians, and also experience issues that are completely different: risky sex reassignment surgery; hormone treatments; prying, intimate questions that would be considered shockingly rude if asked of anyone else; endless red-tape procedures to obtain legal name changes; the wiping-out of previous volunteer and career experience once the name change has taken place; very real personal safety issues; inadequate funding of social services; delisting of provincial medical services; and of course, rampant rejection by family and friends.

It would seem that there is so much fixation with what is going on below the belt that people fail to remember the human heart that beats in the chest. The trans person is not defined solely by his or her “transness” any more than a straight person is defined by his or her “straightness”.

Despite these hardships, many of our children succeed to live their truth with joy and celebration. And this is why, when I am standing with a trans person, I know I am in the presence of astounding courage. Every trans parent with whom I have ever spoken has made the same observation: our greatest source of courage and strength is our trans children.

So fasten your seatbelts, and enjoy the journey.