National Coming Out Day falls every October, and it’s always an incredible reminder of how publicly presenting your gender is a serious process. For parents of trans and non-binary kids, the topic of gender expression can be difficult to navigate– even if your intentions are positive, there are ways that you can accidentally show insensitivity or ignorance towards your child’s gender.
It’s so much more than just taking them shopping for new clothes or taking them for a new haircut. With years of experience as a personal stylist, and working with 20+ trans or gender fluid clients, I’ve put together ways that you can be supportive through their growth, as well as a list of what to be mindful of in regard to your behavior.
In order to fully be yourself, you need to feel safe as yourself. Your role as their support person is to create a safe space. You may feel like you’re protecting them by sharing your opinion, but unless they ask for your opinion, your words could do more harm than good. The way your child, friend, or family member needs to express themselves (through style) is completely about them as the unique individual that they are. It might feel like you’re protecting them by telling them what to wear and what not to, but you could be smothering their need to show up fully expressed. It could be challenging for you to let go of how you view your loved one, but to be blunt, it’s not about you.
If your child or other loved one seems unsure of whether they’re wearing the right clothes, here are some genuine questions that you can ask to lead them in a positive direction and open up a bit more. (And hopefully make them more excited about the experience!!)
Always bring the attention back to them and their feelings. Being able to talk about how they feel in their new clothes, will help them to find more clothes that are similar in the future, because they will be able to reference back to how they felt.
I’m always excited to help people with finding the style that affirms their gender and makes them feel euphoric, so please reach out if you or someone you love could use some help from a personal stylist. But there are also tons of other resources that can help you in all other ways. Here are some things I highly recommend:
@thejeffreymarsh – Nonbinary author, coach, and healer
@jamesissmiling – Trans actor, writer, and influencer
@mx.deran – Trans content creator
Rainbow Connections – Abington Free Library
http://arrivetherapy.com/ (Philly suburbs, but they also have virtual support groups for trans folks/parents of trans folks/partners of trans folks that can be incredibly helpful!!)
I help dress your soul, and allow you to step into your higher self. You’ve already done most of the work – our time to work together occurs as one of the final steps before your transformation. Does that sound a little scary? It’s ok, you’ll always feel supported through the entire process. My goal is for you to love everything in your closet, and to feel incredible every time you get dressed.