don't assume that because your niche of the world is accepting, that folks transitioning, esp. teenagers, are doing okay. Being trans, having dysphoria, fighting for transition care & acceptance -- these are all really difficult things.

even in an accepting, loving family, being a trans teen sucks. There's accidental misgendering, trying to learn whole new social patterns, fighting the medical/psych system, the massive stress of school, wider social alienation & fears, whatever else issues there are at home, the ever greater global precarity, and just the general emotional tumble-dryer that is teen years. It's pretty much always gonna be shitty.

even aside from dysphoria & social pressure, being trans involves killing your past self. I say this metaphorically, but it's still traumatic, even if it's ultimately fruitful. It's an incredibly vulnerable to be rebuilding one's sense of self, and usually at the same time that one's brain is feeling a lot of self-disgust/hatred. That's what we mean when we say dysphoria is hell. As a kid/teen? So fucking hard.

I think the most important thing I can say is:
If there are kids/teens close in your life that might be Having Gender Feelings, or have expressed that they're trans -- acceptance is good but not remotely enough. Don't just be 'cool' about it. You need to be actively loving and supportive. Because they are trying so so hard, and being met with casual acceptance may be less than they need even if they don't know it. They are dealing with grief, and fear, and confusion, and new joy, and so, so vulnerable. Talk about that with them.

Don't brush off their strong feelings. Meet them with stronger love. Be a safe harbour to explore parts of themself -- what is staying, what is going, what is blooming anew.

If you're a parent of a trans/questioning kid, seek out other loving parents who are a few years further down the line and talk to them about it. Facilitate your kid talking to trans adults who went through it themself. Talking to a trans person who's been through the shit parts and come out into themself on the other side is worth so much. Your trans loved one needs to be able to imagine a happy future for themself.


suicide & suicidality of young trans people, yeah personal experience here 

I've been talking around it through this ramble-essay but the burden on your sense of self is immense. Depression & anxiety is hard to avoid. And if your brain starts to suggest suicide, it's really hard to argue against.
To be fucking blunt: We lose a lot of trans teens to suicide. A lot of young people who never got to really decide who they were. Plenty of kids whose family considered themselves supportive. And it's a tragedy, and it's really hard to know what could have helped, what could have changed anything. So we just have to try harder.

This thread was for Hannah.

· · Web · 1 · 8 · 28

suicide & suicidality of young trans people, yeah personal experience here 

@s0 Farewell Hannah, whereever you may be.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Cathode Church

A place for trans makers, coders, tinkerers and dreamers.