Parents, when you make mistakes, let your trans kids be angry with you. That’s what I wish I had said to the person who asked me if I had any advice about caring for transgender children.
I’m hesitant to give out parenting advice. Raising a child is the sort of enterprise you survive rather than master. Childrearing advice is a sucker’s game for the even most experienced parent; as someone without kids, I’m not qualified to offer any opinion. So, at the time, I gave the mother who asked my thoughts the same advice I give everyone who asks me about supporting trans people: I recommend learning about trans people from trans people.
I stand by what I said, but there is one more piece of advice that, with humility, I’d like to offer now. I may not be a parent, but I do have parents, and I’ve been an openly trans adult for almost a decade. I know what it’s taken me to survive. So if you really want my opinion, here it is.
Let your trans kids be angry with you. If you make a mistake – and you will make many – don’t demand their forgiveness.