This Little Parent Stayed Home

Transgender Families and Their Children

February 8, 201457 min
Champions come from the most unexpected places. I'd like to think of myself as a pretty open-minded and accepting individual. No judgements here. But in the realm of authenticity, I'll admit that when I was first introduced to Ryans Sallans, a trans-gender male, public speaker, educator and author of the book "Second Son," I found myself making quick assumptions about him - not that I am proud of myself. Even I, who touts non-discrimination wondered... what's wrong with this person that he couldn't find peace until he had transformed his entire gender identity? The more I read about Ryan, the more he became a hero to me. Gender identity is a complex and awkward topic, even for the most broad-minded and unbiased but through Ryan's writing, speaking and mentoring, his message is such an important one. He brings a multitude of positive attributes to the trans-gender and gay communities, as well as to their families who love them and want to understand them. Shouldn't we all make an effort to be more understanding? We can all learn a thing or two from Ryan Sallans, the brave trans-gender male who found his authentic self. As a mother, I've always sworn that I'd be 100% accepting of my child's sexual orientation and lifestyle without question. But would I be able to maintain this stance should my child develop deep depression and extreme dysfunction due to gender identity crises? Our children may decide to go down a different path than we had envisioned for them. As parents, there is nothing we want more than our child's true happiness in life. To meet this life-long goal, we may be faced with circumstances that challenge our ideals and force us to push past our comfort zones. At some point we must concede that we will not always "know better" when it comes to our children's happiness. At which point, there will be nothing left to do but trust that they will find their own path to whatever divine happiness means for them personally. Friday's show has become a true passion piece for me as I believe this topic is timely and important for anyone who loves and wants to understand another human being. This week I will have the honor of interviewing this brave gentleman, an icon and role model for the trans-gender community, a patient teacher for those who are affected by their transitioning family members, and a life saver to suicidal teens.

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