Here is how not to react to your transgender child coming out and trying to medically transition, taken from a report by Mary Emily O’Hara at NBC News:
A Minnesota mom filed a lawsuit Wednesday against her 17-year-old transgender daughter, along with county health boards, a school district and local health care nonprofits.
"It was brought to my knowledge that my son (sic) began receiving hormone replacement treatments from Park Nicollet Health Services to transition from male to female, with medical assistance paying for this," Anmarie Calgaro told reporters in a St. Paul, Minnesota court. "I was not consulted or informed about this in any way."
Calgaro is challenging a Minnesota law that lets minors access medical care and procedures without consent from their parents. The law doesn’t outright emancipate children, but it makes it so those who are no longer living with their parents — as is the case here — are effectively considered adults under the law when it comes to their own medical care.
Calgaro’s child, who identifies as female but was designated male at birth, used the law to proceed with gender-affirming medical procedures in 2015. This upset Calgaro, who was reportedly frustrated that she was left out of her child’s health care decisions.
If there is an example of the direct opposite way one should react to their trans child, this is it. Not only is Calgaro stifling her child’s transition, but she’s suing her daughter to effectively stop her transition.
This kind of family rejection is downright dangerous for trans people. The 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey found trans and gender nonconforming people who are rejected by their families are nearly three times as likely to experience homelessness, 73 percent more likely to be incarcerated, and 59 percent more likely to attempt suicide. This is the reality for trans kids who are rejected by their families.
Or as Diane Ehrensaft, a developmental psychologist who works closely with trans kids, told me, “If there's any misery, it's probably because people aren't being allowed to live their lives based on who they are.”
After all, gender dysphoria is an actual medical condition, defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a state of emotional distress caused by how someone’s body or the gender they were assigned at birth conflicts with their gender identity. And doctors and major medical groups, including the American Medical Association and American Psychiatric Association, agree that transitioning is an effective treatment for dysphoria.
So Calgaro’s daughter is merely trying to obtain the medical care she needs. And her own mother is trying to get in the way.