Q. My daughter has been a part of a girl scout group ever since she was 8 years old. As the girls have grown, one of her friends has announced that she no longer identifies with being a girl and has begun to transition herself into a male gender identity. My daughter at first was confused but I have assured her that her friend is still her friend irregardless of what gender she now has identified with. How can I offer her ways that she can give unconditional support to her friend during this transition?
- I commend you first of all for being forthright with her and encouraging her to see her as a friend and not with a specific gender. Many parents today face the challenge of explaining to their children transgender and role swapping that back in my time we of course had; but it was just not talked about. It is often an uncharted path both in parenting as well as in many friendships as society learns to accept a more open and perhaps honest lifestyle identity from it’s people. Acceptance for many is hard to come by and unfortunately not so many people are as open minded. I would encourage your daughter to invite her friend to sit with her at lunch, not change any habits of their lives thus far and if she finds that her friend needs to talk to make sure that “he” knows that your daughter is always there for him. Friendships are about connections deep within each of us and making memories. Just staying true to what made them become friends in the first place is the best way of showing unconditional support.