15 October, 2013


It seems like it's socially acceptable for "liberal" parents to say things like, "This is hard for me, I need time" as an excuse for saying offensive or hurtful things to their kids who are queer or transgender, and generally not making an effort to support them.  For some reason, this functions as a get out of jail free card to keep the parents from being seen as prejudiced or a bad parent, and I don't really think that is okay.

It's harder to actually belong to a marginalized group than it is to have your kid not turn out the way you were expecting.  Queer and trans people shouldn't have to deal with our parents being insulting and unhelpful on top of other things we have to deal with, and we definitely shouldn't be expected to act calm and patient when they're not even acting like parents.


  1. Yes, very much.

    (I also see a lot of people who belong to several marginalized categories --- especially when one of them is something that's been present from birth/childhood and another is something that doesn't become apparent until later, like sexual orientation --- saying that their parents told them something like, try not to be [second marginalized category] because your life will be so much harder. It's true, but it's not like any of this stuff is a choice and sometimes I think "your life will be harder" also carries the implication "I don't want to deal with [set of issues relating to Marginalized Category #2].")

  2. Parents are people and sometimes people let you down though. Like, "this is hard for me and I'm having trouble learning how to do what you need in the way that you need" is just a statement of truth. "That feels really shitty to me because it seems really obvious to me that those are things that I need you to do that you could do and none of them seem hard to me" is also a statement of truth. IDK, part of moving into an adult relationship with parents is understanding that sometimes they fuck up for normal human reasons without being terrible people, but that's also in parallel with parents letting go of the ability to define reality for their children. Like, my mom said shitty things to me when I came out and I'm mad about it, but she also deliberately helped me be in places where I wasn't the only queer person and she acknowledged that she didn't know or understand everything about how to behave in the way that I needed. That was really valuable to me.