Stages of Acceptance Parents Go Through When They Find Out Their Child is Transgender

3/7/20242 min read

close-up photo of man and woman sitting on bench
close-up photo of man and woman sitting on bench

Discovering that your child is transgender can be a challenging and emotional journey for parents. It is important to understand that acceptance is a process that takes time and varies from person to person. In this blog post, we will explore the stages of acceptance that parents often go through when they find out their child is transgender.

1. Shock and Denial

When parents first learn that their child is transgender, it is common for them to experience shock and denial. This initial stage is characterized by feelings of disbelief and a struggle to come to terms with the news. Parents may find themselves questioning their child's identity, hoping that it is just a phase or a misunderstanding.

2. Anger and Guilt

As reality sets in, parents may start to feel anger and guilt. They may blame themselves for not recognizing the signs earlier or for not being able to protect their child from potential challenges. It is important for parents to understand that being transgender is not a result of their actions or failures as parents.

3. Education and Understanding

Once parents have processed their initial emotions, they often begin to educate themselves about transgender issues. They may seek information from support groups, books, or online resources. This stage is crucial in gaining a deeper understanding of their child's experience and the challenges they may face.

4. Acceptance and Support

As parents become more informed, they are better equipped to accept and support their transgender child. This stage is marked by a willingness to listen, learn, and advocate for their child's needs. Parents may seek therapy or counseling to help navigate their own emotions and to ensure they are providing a safe and supportive environment for their child.

5. Advocacy and Empowerment

Once parents have fully accepted their child's gender identity, they often become advocates for transgender rights and visibility. They may join support groups, participate in community events, or educate others about transgender issues. This stage is about empowering both themselves and their child to live authentically and with pride.


Discovering that your child is transgender can be a challenging and transformative experience for parents. The stages of acceptance outlined above provide a general framework for understanding the emotional journey that many parents go through. It is important to remember that each person's experience is unique, and the timeline for acceptance may vary. With love, education, and support, parents can navigate this journey and provide their transgender child with the acceptance and understanding they deserve.