Telling the grandparents
So, we have been living with this big secret for the last several months, or so we thought. Our child told us in February that she is really a he, that he is transgender. We only told a couple very close family members at first. We didn’t want to tell anyone until we were able to sit in what this meant, until we could tell our other two children and had a grasp on what path we were taking. We decided that after school is out, that our child can fully transition to male and that we would ask everyone to start using correct pronouns and name choice. Well, school is almost out and we haven’t told either side of grandparents yet.
I (mom) have been so afraid to tell my parents. I kept coming up with excuses as to why it should be next week…First a birthday, then Mother’s Day, then my moms birthday. I knew I had to tell them, but nerves kept getting the best of me. What would they say? Would their old school thinking make this hard to understand? What questions are they going to have for me? How can I get through this quickly? I knew I had to do it, but just couldn’t muster up the strength, until today.
Today, my mom called to chat. I was talking to her on the phone while driving and something came over me. I decided in that moment to start driving to her house. I asked if my dad was home and what they were doing. I didn’t tell my mom I was coming over until I was almost there. I waited until my dad entered the room and asked if he could sit down because I needed to talk to them. They both looked scared for a second and my dad, the jokester that he is, said “You’re pregnant!” and we all laughed. It helped break the worry that was leaking into the air. I told him no, but that might be easier news to hear. Then, I just took a deep breath and started speaking.
My parents know our child has been suffering for many years, but like us, wasn’t really sure what the issue was. They saw our struggles with raising our child, they knew about therapy sessions, ADHD diagnosis and depression issues. My mom has said many times, I wish I knew what was inside this childs head. So, I started with all of this and how we have all wondered what the root of our childs issues were and then I just said it. Our child was born in the wrong body and is a boy. My parents reaction was beautiful. My mom said “we love our grandchildren, no matter what.” It was music to my ears. They didn’t have any fear in their faces, they didn’t push back with any sort of “are you sure?” moments. They just embraced what I was saying and listened intently. I explained everything that is and has been going on. I filled them in on how our two daughters handled it, what our plan for next school year is, doctors appointments that are coming up and the support groups we have found to help us.
My mom shared that she was having a conversation with a co-worker last week and told her friend that her granddaughter looks like a boy and prefers boy things. It made me happy to hear that and that my mom is not ashamed of the fact. I am realizing that people around us are seeing this slow transition over the last several years and that it really isn’t all that shocking or surprising to them once we tell them and a few have approached me with their support without me ever saying a word to them.
The only question they asked was by my dad who wanted to know what exactly does transgender mean and how does that affect his grandchild. I took the time to explain gender identity versus sexual identity and that we are not talking about sexual identity. We are not sure who our child is sexually attracted to yet, and really are not concerned with that. We are working with a child whose gender that was assigned at birth does not match the brain this child was assigned. I explained that his gender expression has been predominately male for the last several years and that we have now realized that we need to support a full gender transition to male. I explained that we need to start working on proper pronouns (he/him) and will need to start referring to him with a new name that has yet to be agreed upon.
They were so loving and supportive and my mom even said she was sorry that we were carrying the weight of this alone for so many months. On my way home, I had a moment of relief wash over me and realized just how hard it must have been for our child to find the strength to tell us. I am so proud of him for being so brave at such a young age. It is not easy to share something with your parents when there is fear of rejection, even as an adult. I couldn’t have been more relieved to hear and feel their love and support and cannot wait for our child to come home from school so I can share the good news with him.
❤︎ Just Parents