letters | Sunday Forum

When kids come out at the holidays, it’s a challenge for parents

RE “FOR some students, holiday time is coming-out time, too” (Page A1, Dec. 26):

Three years ago we received an email before Thanksgiving from our daughter. She told us she would be wearing men’s clothing when she came home from college, and no longer wanted to be described with female pronouns. Over the next weeks we saw our child’s breasts were bound and hair buzzed off. We didn’t quite understand the difference between gender and sexuality, but learned quickly and allowed love to guide our parenting as our child transitioned from female to male.

For transgender people and their families, coming out at the holidays has the added dimension of a visible change. We had to adjust to a new name, new pronouns, and a child who looked quite different than we previously understood him to be.


We were fortunate to find a support group for parents of gender non-conforming kids. Sharing stories enabled us to become supportive and accepting.

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When kids come out, they’ve usually been thinking about it for a long time. For parents in can be like jumping on board a moving train. It took us a little while to catch up with our son, but it has been wonderful to share his journey.

Deborah Peeples

President, Greater Boston
Parents, Families, and Friends
of Lesbians and Gays, Inc.