Open Letter to Parents of A “Recently Out” Trans Teenager

Kate W. Hall
7 min readNov 4, 2019

It’s a tough road but it’s been successfully navigated

Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

Dear Parents,

You’re probably freaking out right now, but please take a few moments to read our story; if this helps you in any way, these words serve their intended purpose.

Four years ago, at age thirteen, our assigned-male-at birth child came out as transgender.

After knowing her only as male with what we felt were zero signs, we were shocked. We didn’t know anyone at the time who was transgender and barely understood what it meant.

Caitlyn Jenner was our only frame of reference for a transgender person transitioning when our child came out to us; this was not a comfort.

I immediately poured myself a giant glass (read: bottle) of red wine, hugged my husband and cried, mainly because I felt like I’d failed my child because I didn’t see this coming. (She told us via text, and was spending the night away from us at a friend’s house. This time to process a bit was a gift I didn’t realize until later.)

Then I took to the internet to see what research I could do to figure out what was going on in her mind, and cried much more — hysterically this time — at what I found online.

That was an awful mistake and one of the reasons I decided to write you this letter.

1. Hunting around the internet for transgender news stories is a terrible idea when you’re first getting started.

If you haven’t already started Googling all things transgender, please discontinue if at all possible. If you still feel compelled, please visit Genderspectrum.org; it’s full of helpful information.

Unfortunately, stories about transgender children committing suicide, attempting to commit suicide, or having serious mental issues and ending up on the streets, on drugs or as sex workers rise to the top of many internet rankings.

The horror you read about online does not have to be your reality. I now know several dozen parents of transgender teens and interact with hundreds more online, and most of these families are well-adjusted and living their best lives.

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Kate W. Hall

Change Agent. Love is my superpower. Writing a collection of stories about families with trans kids.