Two Very Different Communities Show What It Can Look Like To Accept Trans Kids
For a transgender child, a supportive family, much less a supportive community, is an buy canada goose jacket cheap invaluable privilege. Mothers of three Beth Claussen and Jamie Bruesehoff are the kind of fierce parents who get trans kids through the hard times intact.
Beth is a married mother to a 10 year old trans son, Caiden, as well as 13 year old Caitlyn and 7 year old Megan in Des Plaines, Illinois, a fairly progressive suburb of Chicago. Jamie is raising a 10 year old trans daughter, Rebekah, along with 8 year old Elijah and 3 year old Oliver, with her Lutheran pastor husband in rural, conservative Sussex County, New Jersey. Yet there are no easy conclusions to be drawn based on their locations.
Canada Goose Jackets What is common, however, is both parents’ strong commitment to figuring out how to best support their children’s needs, a commitment that is unfortunately not shared by every parent of a transgender child in this country. Canada Goose Jackets
canada goose coats According to studies done by the Family Acceptance Project, gay and transgender teens who are”highly rejected” by their parents are at very high risk for health and mental health problems when they become young adults. They are eight times more likely to attempt suicide, six times more likely to report high levels of depression and three times more likely to use illegal drugs as compared to gay or transgender youth from families with “low or no level of rejection.”In other words, family support is crucial. canada goose coats
cheap Canada Goose Beth and Jamie spoke to HuffPost about their canada goose uk shop experiences as the parents of young trans canada goose uk outlet children, the process of transitioning and perhaps most amazingly, how their communities have responded. cheap Canada Goose
canada goose clearance HuffPost: When did you first notice your child’s gender identity was different from how you originally perceived it? canada goose clearance
Beth Claussen (Illinois): Really I started noticing in preschool, when he could verbalize uk canada goose he didn’t want to wear dresses and he didn’t want to wear Canada Goose Jackets his older sister’s hand me downs.
canada goose store He was Spiderman for Halloween in preschool. At the costume store, I pointed him to the cute little girls’ Spiderman costume. He’s like, “No.” He goes over to the boys’ area and he’s like, “I want that one.” It was the super muscle one. canada goose store
canada goose Jamie Bruesehoof (New Jersey):From the time that she could have a favorite color so 2 or 3 when they start to gravitate toward things she liked the color pink and things that were typically girly. We didn’t think a lot of it. We were like, “OK,we’re not those parents. Kids can like any color. Colors are for everyone.” Yes she can pick the pink thing but at the same time we didn’t run out and get her everything pink. I remember thinking “Well what if this is a phase?” canada goose
Canada Goose sale Beth (Illinois): One of the memories that stands out to me like, “OK, something might be a little.” is when he was 6. I took all the kids to Target because they all needed socks or underwear. I said, “All right. Here’s your underwear. Pick a pair.” Canada Goose sale
Canada Goose online I told Caiden that and he looked at all the girls underwear and he’s like, “I don’t want that.” He walked around to the other side and grabbed a pack of boxers, and was like, “I want these.” I said, “OK. That’s fine.” That stood out to me as it’s something that no one else sees that he felt more comfortable in. We bought it. Canada Goose online
Jamie Canada Goose sale (New Jersey):By 5 or 6 she was very much gravitating toward all things girly. Most of her friends were girls. But she wasn’t saying at that point, “Oh I am a girl. I’m not a boy.” So we said, OK, you can like what you want. So we were supporting her and navigating how kids deal with that because she’d hear from people, “Why are your nails painted? That’s for girls.” So anxiety grew around that; what we first thought was anxiety about kids kind of bugging her about liking non typical things eventually became more intense. She started to get really upset when she was separated into the boy group if it was separated boys and girls or if she was going to a birthday party and they were going to have certain things for boys and certain things for girls. And by the time she was like 7, it was preventing her from wanting to do things. So our super bubbly, outgoing kid was really having trouble enjoying the things that she’d always enjoyed. And as the anxiety got worse she just canada goose factory sale struggled more. Clearly something wasn’t canada goose fitting but she didn’t have the language. He just became more angry and more withdrawn.
He would say things like, “I want canada goose coats on sale to be a boy.” I was like, “Well, I’m sorry, but you’re a girl. That’s what God made you.” We’d say things like, “Why do you want to be a boy?” He’d come up with things like, “Boys are stronger.” I’d pull up on the internet female bodybuilder pictures just to show him that females can be just as strong as boys. He’d say things like, “Boys are faster.” I’d pull up female runners.
canada goose clearance sale Then it cheap canada goose uk got to basically he’d say, “I don’t know why, but I just want to be a boy.” He never said, “I am a boy.” He always knew that he had girl parts. He always knew that he was a girl, but just saying, “I want to be a boy.” He wanted to cut his hair in preschool. It started off longer and over the years,it just got shorter and shorter and shorter. “I want that haircut,” he’d say, pointing to different boys. canada goose clearance sale
buy canada goose jacket cheap I never let him until it was the summer after second grade. I let him cut it super short and he was so happy. He said things like, “Oh, great. Maybe now I can go in the boy’s line and they won’t notice.” buy canada goose jacket cheap
How did you come to an awareness that your child was transgender?
canada goose deals Beth(Illinois):A little before the eighth birthday, 7 and a half or so, we started looking into things online. Just ‘transgender kids’ and I checked out books in the library. We had my parents watch the kids and just my husband and I went two months in a row and said, “OK, this sounds like what could be Caiden.” We met with a psychologist at Lurie’s Hospital who saw Caiden for about three months and then he would talk to us after. canada goose deals
Jamie(New Jersey):At that point she’d been in counseling off and on because she is a super sensitive kid. We’d been in counseling to help with anxiety tools and not taking on everybody else’s emotions and all of that and so when things got really, really tough we were able to work with our family doctor and our counselor to treat what looked like anxiety and depression at that point.
Canada Goose Parka The conversation that kind of canada goose black friday sale pushed us over the edge happened when we were preparing for her brother’s swim birthday party, and she was like, “Oh what am I going to wear to swim in?” I was like “Oh good question we can get you pink swim shorts we can get you a pink rashguard,” and I said, “Well let’s Google gender non conforming swimsuits.” And when we did, some stuff came up that said transgender and LGBTQ and I said “OK maybe it’s a good idea that I explain this to you. This is what these letters mean.” And I explained what transgender meant and she went “Ooooh. Maybe that’s what I am.” It was very much a lightbulb moment. She didn’t realize that people could be transgender and that there are people who are transgender. Canada Goose Parka
buy canada goose jacket Beth (Illinois): The psychologist said, “OK, why don’t you try calling him a name in the house? A different name and different pronouns in the house and see how it feels? See how he reacts and see.” I remember that just taking my breath away. I cried a lot then. I Canada Goose Online think I just knew that this was probably the journey we were going down and I didn’t necessarily want to. I knew it was going to be harder. buy canada goose jacket
canada goose coats on sale How did you approach your child transitioning? canada goose coats on sale
canada goose black friday sale Beth (Illinois): We gave Caiden the choice of names and let canada goose clearance sale him pick. I canada goose coats said, “I get some say so in this. I’m your mother. I named you initially. We get the say so in your new name.” He chose Caiden, so we started calling him Caiden in the house and trying to use “he” pronouns. uk canada goose outlet We did that for many, many months, about a year. In the house and then slowly telling grandparents who babysit for us a lot and slowly telling some close friends and going and visiting the Pinwheels community. He really liked going there because there were kids like him. He was not the only “weirdo” that he knew of. He could totally be Caiden and it was not an issue. After calling him that for awhile in the house, we said, “OK.” canada goose black friday sale
canadian goose jacket Jamie(New Jersey): She learned the word transgender at the beginning of March and by the middle of April she was Rebekah. For those six weeks every day, we were having these conversations about gender and she was asking questions and we found a gender specialist and we were like “Are we crazy? What’s going on here?” And she talked to Rebekah Canada Goose Parka and she talked to us and said, “No, you’re doing the right thing. Keep following her lead.” So for awhile we’d talk to Rebekah and just say “Tell us how you feel each day. Do you feel like a boy? Do you feel https://www.canadagoosestorevip.com canada goose clearance like a girl?” Then every day it was never “I’m a boy,” it was always “I’m neither” or “I’m a girl” and then as she got more confident it was “OK. I’m a girl. I’m a girl. I’m a girl. I’m a girl. This is who I am.” canadian goose jacket
Canada Goose Outlet We gave her a name that I had considered when I was pregnant with her. There were two or three and she picked Rebekah. And we said “OK, let’s try it out.” And from that day on, it was so clear. I had no idea what we’re doing, we were holding our breath thinking let’s just see what happens, and instantly we had a kid whose spirit exploded. She was happy. She was joyful. She was more herself. She was running up to people at church and saying “hi” and shaking their hands instead of hiding behind me. It was very clear that this made sense to her and this was who she was. Canada Goose Outlet
The only thing I’ve ever gotten were parents emailing me. I said to the principal, “If they want to email me, if they want to text me, if they want to call me, I am open. I’m open to discussing this. canada goose uk black friday I’m open to any sort of books, articles on how to talk to their kids or ways to talk to their canada goose outlet kids.”I never got a call about that or a text or a email. I got one or two emails saying “Good for you. I’m very glad to be part of Caiden’s life.”
Jamie(New Jersey):We are in rural New Jersey. There’s not a lot near us. It’s super conservative. I mean 70 percent of our town voted for Trump. We would not expect canadian goose jacket the support that we’ve received because of the community we’re in. There is no reason that we should have had the positive experience we had living where we live with the resources we have and everything else. We’re just so grateful and hopeful that we can pave the way so others kids can have that positive experience in a rural place that you wouldn’t expect and have more resources and all of that.
Beth (Illinois):I don’t know everything that goes on on the playground. I don’t know everything that goes on in the bathroom or anything. My kid doesn’t necessarily talk about feelings at all. From teachers, principal, and parent, and what I can canada goose store get out of my kid, it has not been negative. Really it doesn’t matter. We’re not changing communities. We like the community we live in, we like the school, we like the house we’re in. We’re going to stay put and hopefully things go. continue to go smooth.