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28.06.21

1 min read

WTF: Barn med Transföräldrar med Shelley Withington

Säsong 2 Avsnitt 3

Barn med Transföräldrar 🌥

I det tredje avsnittet av What The Fluff säsong 2 gästas Estrid av Shelley. Hon är här för att prata om sina upplevelser med att växa upp med en transpappa, som kom ut som trans när Shelley var 16. Hon berättar om vikten av att stötta inte bara transpersoner men även deras familjer, då det kan vara en knepig övergång för alla involverade. Shelley berättar också om boken hon skrev om sin upplevelse i hopp om att stötta andra som går igenom liknande situationer.

Vad är “What The Fluff”?

Det bästa sättet att skapa förståelse och empati mellan människor är att prata om saker. Dem viktiga, svåra sakerna. Därför skapade Estrid ”What The Fluff”: en IGTV serie där vi bjöd in olika profiler för att prata om svåra saker. Från att bekämpa ätstörningar, till hur det är att leva med en kronisk sjukdom, och vikten av att stötta unga transpersoner - våra gäster har delat med sig om sina personliga erfarenheter kring en mängd olika ämnen, och hjälpt oss skapa en trygg miljö att prata i.

Klicka här för att läsa en transkribering 👀

Hey guys, my name's Shelly and I'm a content creator from South Hampton, and today I'm here with Estrid to talk a little bit about how I feel that the children of transgender adults don't receive much support.

When I was 16, my dad told me that she wanted to transition into a woman. Now, obviously, at 16 I was at a very impressionable age. I didn't know how to respond to this because to me, it was all new. I had no idea about this. I knew that my dad throughout my life had been quite unhappy, but I hadn't really it worked out. I just always put it down to my mom and dad's divorce and anything else that happened. So this news was a really big deal to me.

Now, the first thing I wanted to do was to try and find some support, to understand my feelings and all of the different emotions that I was experiencing at the time. So I went about kind of searching for things and there just wasn't really anything like that at all. And obviously, I had the support of my family and friends and they were an absolutely amazing support system for me throughout the whole experience. But to me, I just felt like although they were great, they didn't actually understand what I was talking about.

They didn't understand the feelings I was experiencing because they hadn't gone through what I was going through. And obviously I could talk to my dad's parents, too, if I, if I'd wanted to. But again, I just felt like their experience would be slightly different to what I was feeling. I was 16. I was at such a poignant point in my life and I did struggle at times. I really did. I had so many different emotions. I was upset because I just felt like I hadn't been trusted enough by my dad for her to tell me.

But obviously, now I completely understand that's not the case at all. It must be so incredibly daunting and terrifying for my dad to have to tell me, her daughter, that after 16 years of me growing up with a manly dad, because my dad as a man was very manly. She was always doing triathlons. She had mohawks, piercings all over her face. So I definitely was used to my dad being a little bit out there.

It was just a really big surprise for me, completely took me off guard, I guess. And I was just upset that the way I found out wasn't directly through my dad. But I do understand now that it must have been so nerve-wracking to tell your child that, you know, you want to be a different gender. I also felt apprehensive. I wasn't sure how people would react. And now that doesn't bother me at all.

I don't care how people react as long as they're nice and they're kind to my dad. I don't care if they're horrible to me. But yeah, I was really apprehensive because at 16, all you care about is what people think and how everybody else will respond and whether or not how you're feeling is normal. I just didn't feel like there was any outlets there for me to normalize my emotions.

I also, as well as apprehensive, was scared. There are so many hate crimes still happening towards transgender people. And I was so terrified that my dad would fall victim to that. Just going out and walking on the street, people react really aggressively and violently towards transgender people. And that is terrifying. And depression rates are so high in transgender people because they just don't receive enough support. So I was experiencing so many emotions at this time.

I actually found that one of my best forms of support at the time (because this is how little I was able to discover), was actually that the Kardashians revealed that Caitlyn Jenner was going to transition. I watched those episodes and it all happened at the exact same time. So it was really funny timing, actually. So I watched those episodes and I just found it really great because I felt like I could relate to every single one of those Kardashian-Jenner's and I could see how they felt and I could understand that.

It made me realize that, do you know what? It's OK to go through a whole variety of different emotions on this journey because this is a journey not just for my dad. Obviously, it was a much bigger journey for my dad, but it was a huge journey for me, too. I felt like I had to get to know a completely new person. Obviously, it was still my dad, but she was now so different and it really did feel like I gained this new figure in my life. So then obviously comes the part where my dad decides that she's going to go to Thailand to finish the transition.

And this again brought even more emotions. I had no idea how to deal with this. I was so worried. My dad was going to travel to a different country on her own, undergo major surgery on her own and have nobody there. I had so many different emotions. I was partly angry and I think this is another really important thing for people to understand. It's OK to feel angry sometimes, that doesn't make you a bigot, it doesn't make you a bad person. But if your anger is coming from a place of care because you're just so anxious that your dad or your family member might not be OK, then that's OK.

I think my anger actually should have been directed more towards the lack of support that exists in the UK. The average waiting time for a transgender person is four years. So it's no wonder that people search for other ways and different locations to perform these surgeries because people just don't want to wait that long. And I completely understand that. I think that the whole system just needs reviewing and working on. But I think as well that whilst my dad, Eve, she's called, was out in Thailand, it gave me enough time to really think about things and to get all of my thoughts into place and just see how we would move forward when my dad returned.

And actually meeting Eve properly for the first time was a really underwhelming experience. I think I'd really built it up in my head to be this huge thing that was going to be life-changing. And it wasn't, it was kind of just like meeting my dad again, but with her better qualities. She was just able to be her authentic self. I think that's such an important thing to be able to do. I'm so grateful that I've had the opportunity to meet my dad's authentic self.

She's very sassy, but so am I. So, I guess I just felt like there just wasn't any support on the huge journey that I undertook with my dad. I don't even think there was that much support for my dad at that point. I mean, obviously there was a little bit, but I think that I'm much more aware now of support systems for these kinds of things and I don't know if that's just because I've researched them and I'm very much into promoting the topic, but I do feel like there's a lot more support out there.

So I go to university and I had to make a final major project and I wanted to make something that was really, really emotive. I'm a very emotive person, I love to talk about my emotions, my feelings and just support other people. So I decided that I would create a book that would document my dad's gender transition into becoming the beautiful woman that she is. Because I just felt like having an outlet, where I could have just related to somebody that had been through the same thing as I is the thing that I required so much during that time in my life.

So I thought, why not create it myself? The book literally documents every single thought and feeling I had throughout the whole entire journey. I actually kept a little diary at the time because the lack of support was just that much of a big deal so I kept a little diary throughout the whole journey in which I wrote everything that I felt at different times. I went back and read it for the first time when I was writing the book. And it was a really, really weird thing to have to do, but it made me realize just how important creating this book was, just being able to provide that platform where people could read and relate to how I felt on that journey and have so much comfort from that was just so motivating for me.

So, yeah, I created my little book and it's called "Man, I Feel Like a Woman" and I will give you the details. And it's received such good feedback from the people that have read it. They've said it's really nice to be able to read from a different perspective, because not only does it help the children and the family members of transgender people, but it also helps people who are transgender to understand how the people around them might be feeling.

I just think it's so important to know that obviously everybody on this whole journey is supported and you can find the best support in talking to the people that you love and that you know you can trust. I think having a really secure trustworthy support bubble during these kinds of journeys is so important. So I hope you've enjoyed my talk today about the support for transgender parent's children. Just know that it is out there. There are people that can and will relate to you and we can all support each other.

Nu får du belöning när du bjuder in vänner! Ge , och få genom att bjuda in vänner som inte redan är del av Estrid-familjen.