My journey when my child came out as transgender

By Shauna Engman, Wood’s Homes Administrative Support 

When my child came out as transgender, my world turned upside down in an instant. As a parent, you spend years imagining what your child’s life will be like, dreaming of their future, and nurturing the person you believe them to be. I always knew Skye was different, but I had no idea how different. When my expectations shifted so dramatically, it began a journey of emotions unlike any other.

I’ll never forget the moment Skye came to me and shared his truth with me. The first truth was he wanted to change his name to Skye and identified as nonbinary. I didn’t really know what that meant. Skye took the time and shared with me what that meant. “Ok,” I thought. “We will call you Skye and use they/them pronouns.” No big deal, right?

Then Skye came to me a few months later and dropped another truth. He was trans. The shock was real, and my mind raced with questions. How did I miss this? What does this mean for his future? Will he be okay? It was a whirlwind of emotions, and I struggled to process it all. I was scared for him and his future, but I knew in my heart I would always love and support him. But I really didn’t know how to support him.

The first step was buying the chest binders. He hated having his body look “feminine”. The girl clothes were being donated, and more masculine clothes were being purchased.
In the midst of my trying to wrap my head around this news, I knew I needed to try to understand. Understanding what being transgender truly meant was crucial not only for supporting my child, but also for reconciling my own feelings. Skye was a teacher, walking me through his journey, trying to explain how he’s feeling. I will admit, I don’t always understand, but I continue to try to learn and just love.

As I began to understand more about transgender identities, I realized that Skye is exactly who he is meant to be. Embracing his truth meant letting go of preconceived notions and stereotypes. It meant loving him unconditionally and wholeheartedly supporting his journey, wherever it may lead.

The journey hasn’t been without its challenges. There have been moments of fear and uncertainty, especially when it comes to how others will react. But there have also been moments of incredible joy and pride. Celebrating milestones like choosing a new name, starting hormone therapy, and seeing Skye’s confidence grow has been profoundly moving.

Our family dynamic has evolved as we’ve navigated this journey together. We’ve tried to have open and honest conversations, supported each other through difficult moments, and celebrated each step forward. Skye’s sister, Morgyn, and Skye have had many moments of frustration. They are two very different people that haven’t always gotten along. But just recently, they were having a conversation about the difference between nonbinary and agender. Skye walked Morgyn through the differences and Morgyn’s response was, “Thank you, I get it, and that explanation made a lot of sense.” A lot of Skye’s family have been supportive, and some don’t understand at all, nor do they want to. It has caused some friction and some missed family holiday get-togethers. But some family members that I wouldn’t have thought would be supportive have shown incredible empathy and acceptance, which fills my heart with gratitude.

Looking ahead, I am filled with hope for my Skye’s future. I envision a world where he is accepted and celebrated for who he is. I am committed to advocating for his rights, ensuring he has access to the support and resources he needs to thrive in the communities he’s a part of.
My journey as a parent of a transgender child has been transformative. It has challenged me to expand my understanding of identity, love, and acceptance. It has shown me the power of embracing authenticity and celebrating individuality. Most importantly, it has reaffirmed that my child’s happiness and well-being are paramount.

To all parents embarking on a similar journey, know that you are not alone. Embrace your child’s truth with an open heart, educate yourself, seek support, and celebrate every step forward. Together, we can create a world where all children feel safe, loved, and accepted for exactly who they are.

A Letter to Skye

As I reflected on our journey, I felt compelled to write a letter to Skye, expressing my deepest feelings and hopes for his future. This letter is a personal message of love and support, and I would like to share it with you as well. Please find the letter below: