Home' Families like mine : Families Like Mine Contents GET SUPPORT
LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL,
QUESTIONING YOUNG PEOPLE
GENDER DIVERSE YOUNG PEOPLE
RESOURCES AND REFERENCES
which may involve other gender diverse people or communities, some of which may not.
You can suppor t your child or loved one through periods of difficulty or hear tache as you
would any other child or young person. The relationship and friendship experiences of
your gender diverse or transgender child or loved one may be similar to the experiences
you have had – draw on your experiences to give advice and suppor t.
Remember that you won’t always get it right and some mistakes will be made as you
move for ward. The impor tant thing is to learn from them. Moving through this journey
together will help strengthen your relationship with your child or loved one.
I’m worried about discrimination my child may face if they question or change
It’s true that some people are ver y uncomfor table when gender norms are challenged
and they may make deliberately hurtful or aggressive remarks. Others will be unaware
that someone’s gender not matching the biological sex assigned at birth is even an
issue for people. Mis-gendering (for example, using ‘he’ when someone identifies as
‘she’) can also be an issue and can make someone feel unsuppor ted. This is something
parents or loved ones should try to remind others about as they help suppor t their
child. Remember there will be plenty of people in the community who will admire your
child or loved one and want the best for them.
The more open and inclusive your family environment can be, the greater the chance
that your child or loved one can talk about any negative experiences they’ve had and
ask for help. Your child or loved one may have already developed some strategies for
coping with bullying or discrimination related to their gender identity. You can ask your
child or loved one how it’s going for them and how they have handled any negative or
challenging reactions if they have occurred – and if there is anything you can do to help.
Your child or loved one might also want time and privacy to process any experiences of
hurt or humiliation.
The Australian Sex Discrimination Amendment Act (2013) recognises and promotes
ever yone’s right to a fair go and to be included in public life by making it unlawful to
discriminate against a person on the grounds of their gender identity. Therefore, your
child or loved one does have rights protected by law. Remember that your worries and
concerns about discrimination should not be a reason to hold your child or loved one
back from challenging a gender that is not right for them. Make sure you have plenty
of suppor t for yourself so you can talk openly about your worries and fears. A suppor t
group can be helpful for you and your family.
I’m worried about the changes my child will face in puberty.
As we know, bodies change in puber ty. For young people, who do not feel their
biological sex fits with their gender identity, puber ty can be a distressing time.
Attributes of their biological sex will become more prominent, breasts grow larger,
facial hair thickens and voices break. For those who live their gender differently or
opposite to their biological sex, puber ty may be a time where they find it harder to live
their life in their affirmed gender identity. Even simple acts like using a public bathroom
which is gender specific may become more challenging. If your child or loved one is
yet to go through puber ty, it’s impor tant to be honest about the physical changes they
will experience. Ask them how they feel about this and if there is anything you can do to
suppor t them. You may not have all the answers to their questions or concerns. In some
cases, you may need to seek medical advice with your child or loved one about how to
manage puber ty. Seeking suppor tive and experienced medical practitioners will be
really impor tant. Also, be aware that advocating for a child may involve arguing against
Puber ty blockers at adolescence are designed to prevent the onset of puber ty and are
fully reversible. This might enable longer-term and often irreversible decisions to be
made, once your child or loved one has understood fully and confirmed the changes
they wish to under take.
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