Coming out is a journey for individuals and their loved ones. Did you lean on organizations for guidance as your children felt the confidence to authentically be who they are?
Both of my kids came out around the same time. At first, my husband and I were shocked. But the more we engaged in dialogue, everything made sense. EQUAL, a PepsiCo ERG for LGBTQ+ people and their allies, has been an amazing resource for me. As a parent of two trans kids, I really had a lot to learn.
What have you learned?
I’ve attended a lot of virtual sessions that cover what different words mean. What does it mean to be nonbinary? What does it mean to be cisgender? Some of these are words that I may not have been that familiar with. There have been sessions about things like how to be a good ally, how to be supportive, why it’s important to use pronouns, why it’s important to trans people to use the right pronouns and what it does when you don’t. I also found legal sessions that help trans people navigate the legal challenges of changing your name or changing your identity on legal documents. There were also sessions teaching the LGBTQ+ community how to go about starting a family.
Today is Transgender Day of Visibility. What does that mean to you?
It’s about acknowledging and seeing trans people for who they are. As a parent, it’s just so important for me to know that my kids can be their true selves and live their full lives, feeling comfortable, confident and successful, and know that the world sees them the way they see themselves.
What has it been like to see your children become who they are?
Watching my children go through this journey of coming out as trans, I have seen them grow into that peace and that confidence that they have in themselves. I see that they have a community. They have a network. They feel supported. And you can see it in their faces, in their actions and in their successes. And there’s nothing more important to a parent than seeing your children thrive and be happy and successful.
Candid Conversations is an ongoing series about identity and workplace culture.