Parents of trans* children

Hi Readers!

In this week’s article I would like to focus on the needs of the parents of trans* children. We mostly focus on the child going through a transition and the impacts and effects it has on their lives – and rightly so! They are the ones that have to deal with a lot of opinions (which they did not ask for), looks, questions, etc. But we also need to think about the parents of these children. They too will get those looks, questions, opinions, etc. They also have needs and will want and need to be supported. 

If you have a friend or family member going through this transition, keep these tips in mind as your friend or relative might not be ready to speak to a Sexologist or Psychologist yet, but they will really appreciate your support. And if you, reader, are a parent of a trans* child, know that I am here for you.

When they’re ready, these parents will want to talk through the experiences and prejudices they are facing as they go through this journey with their child. Lend an ear. Listen to them, hear what they are saying. You will learn so much about what a parent and child are going through during this time. This may also be helpful if you want to be an ally and explain to others that are around this family how they can help rather than being judgmental. 

If you are not equipped with this information, you may want to help them find the information they need about trans*, the different terms, information and clarifications on the steps there child will be going through, deconstruct and demystify all the myths around trans*. In the UK, Mermaids has existed since 1995 to support trans and gender-diverse children.

Parents may want to have discussions with the school and other environments their child may come across to make sure it is a smooth transition and that it is a safe environment for their child. 

Parents of trans* children may feel a sense of guilt, questioning their parenting skills, etc. They will want to talk about their own feelings regarding this; people’s judgement, gaze, questions, concerns, etc. There will also be a stage when they will talk about their child’s future, how they see their child, etc. All you need to do is be supportive and listen. Be present! Show up for your friend or relative.

All parents react differently. In some cases, one of the two parents may be in complete shock and may not want to hear, participate or accept any of this and it can be an additional barrier for the parent and the child. 

When a child is going through a transition, the parents also have to deal with questions from family members and friends and they often find themselves explaining what’s going on repeatedly. This can be tiring and frustrating. So, if you are a family member or friend of parents of trans* children, please be respectful. Give them space. Let them know that you are there for them (if you are actually there for them and not just wanting information…) Just knowing that they have a support system will help a lot. 

There will be a grieving phase as they are losing a child and gaining another. Even though that child may still like the same things, have the same personality, it is not the child that they brought into the world. It is all part of the process. 

And don’t forget that even during all of this and while working through their own feelings, questions and emotions, they will have to support their child and be with them through their process. 

If you are a parent of a trans* child and would like to talk, please contact to set up an appointment. 

If you need any additional information, please contact me on depetrillojulia@gmail.com

Be kind to one another!

Julia, Sexologist

Julia, Sexologist Blog

We are here to help you grow. To improve, maintain and restore your sexual health. To help keep this blog going, any contribution will be helpful.

7.00 £

Sexual Orientation

Hi Readers!

Today’s blog post is all about sexual orientation. We will look at the definition as well as different terminology.

What is sexual orientation? It is the term used to describe an individual’s sexual, psychological and emotional feelings of attraction towards another person. In other words, sexual orientation is a person’s affection and sexual attraction towards other people.

Before we look at sexual orientations, I would like to explain Heterosexism. This is the assumption that everyone is heterosexual and that this sexual orientation (heterosexual) is superior. For example, asking someone who identifies as a boy, “Do you have a girlfriend?” “When are you going to bring a nice girl home?” You know what I am talking about…. Be neutral when asking these types of questions, for example: “Do you have a special someone?” “Is there someone at school or at work that interests you?” These questions are open-ended and neutral and will show the person you are asking that you are open minded and don’t have a heteronormative mindset. We need to be sensitive and aware that some individuals, young or old, may be questioning their sexual orientation or might be unsure of their sexual orientation. Being a neutral and inclusive friend or family member, can make the person feel at ease and feel comfortable to be themselves.

Children, teenagers and adults who get to the stage of wanting to tell someone about how they are feeling want to be able to speak to someone who will not judge them and will remain silent until they are ready. In most cases, the individual will choose someone they know who is an Ally. Being an Ally is someone, regardless of their own sexual orientation, who supports the human, civil and sexual rights of sexual minorities.

We also know and hear the term Queer. This is an umbrella term used by some to describe members of the LGBTQ+ community. The term has been reclaimed by members of the community from previous derogatory use but some members of the community may not wish to use it due to its historic connotations. Queer is also linked to 1990s Academic Queer Theory and for this reason, as well as is reclamation, is seen by many as inherently political. When Q is seen at the end of LGBTQ+, it typically refers to queer and, less often, questioning. (Brook, November 2019). The term QPOC/QTIPOC, stands for Queer People Of Colour or Queer, Transgender, and Intersex People of Colour. Queer people of colour experience intersecting oppressions based on race, gender, sexual orientation and other factors.

Let’s look at other terms of sexual orientations:

  • Heterosexual: A person who is physically and emotionally attracted to someone of the opposite sex. 
  • Homosexual: A person who is physically and emotionally attracted to someone of the same sex
    • Gay: this word refers to both male and female who are attracted to the same sex. Although this word is most used for men. 
    • Lesbian: A female who is attracted physically and emotionally to other females. 
  • Bisexual: A person who is attracted physically and emotionally to both male and female.
  • Pansexual: Someone who is emotionally, sexually, and/or physically attracted to others regardless of gender identity.
  • Polysexual: Someone who is sexually attracted to many genders. 
  • Asexual:  Someone who experiences limited or no sexual attraction, interest or desire. (You can read my blog post on Asexuality here) 
  • Allosexual: Someone who experiences sexual attraction, desire or sexual interest directed at other people. The opposite of asexual.

There are two terms that may be confusing to people who think that if a man has sex with another man, they must be gay. The answer is No. The term is MSM, Men who have Sex with Men. Some men do not identify as being gay. They just have different sexual practices. This term is also used for women. So, WSW, Women who have Sex with other Women but do not identify as lesbian. They just have different sexual practices.

I hope this article has helped better understand the some different terminology.

If you have more questions please feel free to contact me on depetrillojulia@gmail.com. I will be more than happy to chat with you.

Be kind to one another!

Julia, Sexologist

Julia, Sexologist Blog

We are here to help you grow. To improve, maintain and restore your sexual health. To help keep this blog going, any contribution will be helpful.

5.00 £