Loving Your Child Unconditionally

One day during my hourly “Let-me-read-through-Facebook-and-put-off-homework” phases, I just so happened to find this article in my newsfeed. At first I thought nothing of it because it was so short. However, the more I thought about it through the day, the more it kind of buried itself deep into my heart.

While reading it I immediately thought of the Transgendered Lives video. All five of the subjects in the video attest to being either supported or shunned by their families. The younger children seem to get support while the older ones were more likely to get shunned by their families. Hailey was the perfect example. At six, she decided she wanted to become a girl. Her father, being a Sunday School teacher, took it hard. However it did not take the family long at all to accept Harry as Hailey and love her unconditionally.

Julia Wood states in her book, Gendered Lives, “Problems unique to GLBT families seem to arise primarily from social prejudice rather than from any lack of parenting skills (Snow, 2004).” Sometimes it’s not the parenting, it’s the fear of being judged by society that holds parents back.

After I read that I decided to do some reading up on other blogs to find a good co-blog to go along with that first one. I then found this beautifully written piece by Jacqueline Shephard. I was in awe. It is a lengthier reading, but I promise well worth your time. I cried, I laughed, and I got a whole new outlook on parenting an LGBT teen.

While I was reading through these two articles all I kept picturing were my future children. Would they be lesbian? Bisexual? Gay? Transgendered? Would I love them the same as if they were heterosexual? My answer is YES. There are so many things that could go wrong with my child. Cancer, kidnapping, sexual assault…you name it. If my child wants to indentify with another gender, SO BE IT! If he wants to a date a man or if she wants to date a woman, SO BE IT! At least they are alive and healthy enough to make that conscious decision. Isn’t that what most parents want for their children?

I have taken the pledge to love my future child(ren) unconditionally…can you say the same for yourself?

5 thoughts on “Loving Your Child Unconditionally

  1. This particular blog post “Renaming the Rose” is interesting because it talks about the renaming process of children. I would hope that all parents love their children regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation; but the naming your child is difficult when you start to talk about trans children and the renaming process. I know with some of my friends; they have baby names stored in their head for when they someday have children and parents usually have sentimental ties to the name of their child.
    In Jacqueline Shephard’s case she seemed to be fine with a masculine version of her son’s original name as his middle name, but all parents might not think the same way. I personally don’t think parents should be too stuck on names for their children, because despite if a child is trans or not they may want to change their name.There are plenty of great gender-neutral name options, but it doesn’t mean that a child who is trans will want to hold on to that name either.
    One of the way we identify ourselves is through names, and I can see how changing one’s name could be a step in becoming who you really are. I think its important to let a child discover who they are and shape themselves into who they want to be, even if it requires parents being flexible.

  2. This reminds me of a point I recently heard someone say that I was not sure I agreed with. it went something like this “I can’t wait to have kids so they will love me unconditionally.” After thinking about it I realized why the statement stuck me as odd, they had it backwards. It is not the job of the child to love the parents unconditionally, but instead the other way around. I think this article points that out rather well, that no matter what a child decides to do it is the parent’s choice and job to love them for who they are and to support their child. Now that is not to say they should support everything their child does that is a part of being a parent, guiding them to the right thing but just because society doesn’t agree with them doesn’t make the child wrong or any less deserving of love.

  3. This brought up a point that I have been thinking about in the recent past. As a whole, society is becoming more accepting of the LGBT community (with much improvement still needed but we will give everyone some credit). With that being said I find it interesting that some people who are very open to the LGBT community, including myself, have also thought in the back of their minds, “But it would be a lot easier if my kinds don’t turn out gay.” This makes me want to take the pledge that I will love my children no matter what and that we will face their grandparents together.

  4. I believe in the notion that true love truly conquers all and this is a great example of that. I know as a man, I would like to have a son and share moments of father son bonding with him. It would be devastating to raise a son and see him become a woman to me but at the same time, if I am doing what I am supposed to be doing as a father then I should already see that my child is unhappy in his/her skin and if they decided to make that change then its one that I should and would support wholeheartedly as long as it would lead to their happiness. This short article has made me think about how a gender reassignment surgery can have more wide spread effects then on just the person going through the surgery and how the different reactions to such a drastic change can really shape the quality of life for the person undergoing the transformation.

  5. Camden, I absolutely agree with what you have stated in this blog post. I found those articles so interesting and it also got me thinking about my own life. Until I came to college I did not agree with gay marriage, solely because my mother doesn’t believe in it and that was how I was raised. However, my views quickly changed when I found out my suite-mate was a lesbian. I saw her spend countless days/nights crying because her parents had shunned her since she “came-out”. She loved her family with all her heart, but she also couldn’t help how she felt or who she was attracted to. This really opened my eyes and I started to look at a lot of things differently. Like you said, there are so many other things that could go wrong with our loved ones, we should not judge anyone by his or her actions or decisions because if we truly love them then we will accept them for who they really are.

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