Parenting a Trans Child: Our Journey

Originally posted on 6/11/15 on outcomeonline.org.uk now here.

Mandy & Bob are Methodists worshipping in a small rural church who have gone from being fundamentalist Christians to Christian LGBT activists. They would like to share some of their story with you.

Just under 2 years ago our child rang us and said that they wanted to come home and ‘drop a bombshell’ and then return to university. Mandy said “please tell us now” so we wouldn’t imagine all sorts of things. They explained how they wanted to transition from Male to Female (M2F), how they were struggling with their emotions which were leading into depression. We arranged to meet up in London shortly afterwards, where as we were eating chocolate fingers and drinking copious amounts of coffee they said ‘there was no other path they could take’.

The video which describes this journey is below:

What it Feels Like by FFH – Exodus wilderness photos

We reassured them of our love and began to try to walk this path with them. They elected to change their name by deedpoll. We struggled with the change of pronouns: from “he to they” and then subsequently from “they to she”, and more recently from “she to they” again. It was at this point that we went into grief: losing a son and gaining a daughter. We also started to gain some limited understanding of AMAB & LGB&T…& Q & I.. &…

We spoke with our minister who, along with other members of the church, have been very supportive. We read mountains of Christian literature on LGBTQ topics and have come to a better understanding of how the Church should relate to LGBTQ individuals.

If you would like to hear our story in some more detail please listen to the podcast uploaded by the Methodist Church.

We had been travelling to London to be supported by other parents of LGBTQ children at the Two23 group, linked to the Diverse Church run by Revd Sally Hitchiner. However, we needed someone closer to home so we founded a support group for parents of LGBTQ children for all faiths and none. Here we help, support and walk alongside parents throughout Lincolnshire, and also from Manchester and Norfolk, as we use Twitter as our main communication tool and it has failed to recognise county boundaries!. We provide telephone and email support as well as a secure Facebook group which allows parents to chat about their issues without fear of criticism or judgement.

We would greatly value your prayers and your support of other parents who you can pass the details of our group onto.

Recently, Bob and Mandy updated their post:

Everything we feared about this journey of transition has not proved to be true. By showing that love, and not rejection, there has been a positive outcome. We have since passed on the mantle of the support group in Lincolnshire, which continues to flourish. Our child continues to also flourish. We now work more closely with Diverse Church Parents and Mermaids, whilst preparing for diaconal ministry.”

—Bob & Mandy

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