season 2

Finding Resilience Without Parental Support

Alec’s story is a little messy. Kind of complicated. There are many layers that make up who Alec is, and how he has come to exist in this world. It’s a beautiful, thoughtful, vulnerable story . Grab the kleenex my friends - you may even be able to hear our jaws drop a few times throughout this one! 

Hearing Alec share his story in my living room was actually kind of surreal. To be honest, the whole time he was talking all I could think was, it is nothing short of a miracle that you are here.

Alec is the definition of resilience. Look up resilience in the dictionary, and I am pretty sure you will find the handsome fellow pictured above right next to it. 

Alec tried for years to come out to his family. Every time he did, he did not receive a welcomed response. 

“Wait ‘til you’re older.” 

“If you were in your late 20s.. Maybe we could accept.” 

“Don’t tell anyone.” 

He knew something was happening, that something wasn’t quite in alignment, from the age of 5, but didn’t have the words to fully express what he was going through. One of the reasons he didn’t have the words was because he was told he shouldn’t tell anyone - told he should keep his thoughts and feelings a secret. 

This week we are exploring a side we haven’t yet seen on The Gender Diaries podcast. What does life look like as a trans youth who does not receive parental support? You’ve heard the statistics. But honestly, we don’t need a study to tell us trans youth need family support. All kids and youth need parental support. 

Trans youth are much more likely than their cisgender peers to experience depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and ideations. Alec explores his experiences with these, has words of wisdom for other trans youth planning to come out, and advice for parents who are struggling with accepting their kiddos. 

At The Gender Diaries we encourage parents to open their arms first out of love, get informed second, and then break down the gender walls that society creates. We heard Alec echo these sentiments, and he articulated it in such a vulnerable, brave, and engaged way. 

Alec has become a real life representation to our kiddos. We are SO grateful to have you in our lives Alec. You are a beautiful, kind, and thoughtful soul. Thank you for coming into MY life, and MY kiddos life right when we needed you. You’re welcome at our dinner table any night of the week. 

XO

Ruby 

Hear Season 2 Episode 3 here!

Gender Diverse Family Planning

We have had one appointment at the Endocrinologist for J. We didn’t even meet the Endocrinologist actually. We met with a Social Worker and a Nurse to talk about what to expect as we head closer to puberty. J came prepared with a sheet of paper with his questions on it. The Social Worker was so sweet with him and made sure every question was answered. 

J’s questions consisted of things like:

“How many needles do I have to have?”

“How big are the needles?”

“Does it hurt?”

“Will I have to take medicine for the rest of my life?”

Serious questions for a kiddo who was just eight years old at the time. 

But one thing that was breezed over was probably one of the BIG thoughts us parents of trans kiddos/youth grapple with during transition. How will my child have children? What will his family look like? 

The advice the children’s hospital gave was to make an appointment with a fertility clinic. Did we make that appointment? NOPE. It feels like a conversation I shouldn’t have to have right now. It feels like a decision my child should get to make when he is old enough, responsible enough, and perhaps with a partner he cares for and respects. It isn’t my decision as his Mother to decide if he can or should have children of his own one day. But alas, like many things on this journey, we do need to talk about this. And unfortunately, Alex and I will have to help J make some of these decisions. 

  • To be perfectly honest. I was totally prepared to accept and explain to J that he won’t have a biological family of his own. Because really, I already know that there are so many ways to have a family and many of them do not involve biological children. But you know what… I was wrong … and I am so glad I hid from the conversation a little longer so that I could learn more about how families are built for gender diverse parents. 
    Enter Trystan Reese … who publicly first shared his story as a trans man growing his family on The Longest Shortest Time podcast a few years ago and continues to share his story on Biff and I and through his work as a social justice professional educating others on fertility for trans youth and speaking across the USA. We are so honoured to have Trystan speak with us this week on The Gender Diaries Podcast as part of our first episode of SEASON TWO! Check it out and learn with us.

— Lucy