Nothing 'Broken' About Our Family: Mum And Non-Binary Child Share A Glimpse Into Their Life

Pride Month feels like a good time to highlight how often young trans people and their families are in the news – but how rarely they’re given a voice.

So, we wrote something about our family. And, for the people who don’t think of families like ours as healthy, loving, safe environments, here we are – we exist. 

For the parents who are struggling to support their trans children, we hope this helps in some way – and that next year you can join us to celebrate Pride Month as a community.


You don’t know me. We’ve never met. But you probably have an opinion about families like ours. And your opinion may range anywhere from “they seem like nice people” to “she’s an unfit mother”.

If you fall into the latter camp, you’re probably not that curious about us. But my experience is similar to many families and contrasts with current stereotypes.

Chase was trans long before they’d even heard the word: before a world of phones and social media. At age seven they slowly and quietly began rejecting ‘traditional’ femininity.

By the time they came out, I’d watched and waited for four years, and was happy to offer whatever support they needed. 

Parenting a trans child is difficult and depressing but none of that is because of my child.Therese

I love being the parent of a trans child and I’m hugely proud of Chase. Parenting a trans child is difficult and depressing, but none of that is because of my child.

It’s absolutely due to outside influences telling trans kids that they’re wrong about who they are, that their existence makes the world less safe for others.

It’s tiring to fight for small victories, like getting the correct name on a passport, reminding school that gender inclusive language improves mental health outcomes or finding support groups in a world that delights in reminding trans kids that they’re alone.

I’m happy to advocate for Chase because it shouldn’t be the job of a 16-year-old to navigate a broken NHS or peel transphobic stickers from walls in our town.

The joy in parenting a trans child is that Chase is never going to be anyone other than who they are. And there’s not a politician or a transphobe alive that can take that away from them. And you can’t shame me into thinking that there’s anything “broken” about our amazing family.

I was there when Chase bought their first suit, when they started testosterone, and when they returned from their first LGBTQ+ Youth Group.

I’ll be there to proudly watch them reach adulthood, get the gender-affirming surgery they need and become a much-needed example to younger trans people that happiness is possible.

For now, the joy is seeing my child grow into the person that they always were and find their community.

Chase is lucky to have fiercely supportive family and friends, resourceful teachers, and an incredible GP. I’ve found practical support from organisations like Mermaids and emotional support from families like ours. Together, we’re the village raising the children that others want to marginalise.

To honour Pride month, Therese and Chase told HuffPost UK about how their family supported Chase in their coming out journey.To honour Pride month, Therese and Chase told HuffPost UK about how their family supported Chase in their coming out journey.


When I came out, I knew my parents would be supportive, and up until that point I’d assumed that it would be the same for my friends’ parents. It really shocked me when I compared my own coming out experience with theirs and it felt weird that I was so well-supported when they weren’t.

Not telling anybody I was trans made me feel guilty because I knew my parents would be supportive, but it felt like such a big change that I couldn’t.

Part of me had bought into the narrative that you have to be a certain age to know who you are, so I tried hiding it – and that lasted about four months because it was just such a tiring and isolating experience.

Finally coming out to my mum felt good because it wasn’t all on me to figure things out anymore, and I had someone to talk things through with while having things go at my own pace.

All my queer friends, whether they’re trans or not, have had wildly different reactions from their families when they came out. It was such a positive thing for me and it’s hard to hear that some peoples’ families think they don’t know who they are until they’re 18, or some are out to parents but not their younger siblings.

Coming out to my mum felt good because it wasn’t all on me to figure things out anymore.Chase

I have friends whose parents know they’re trans but won’t acknowledge it. That’s the one that makes me angry because it was such a relief for me.

I can’t imagine how it would be to come out to someone and have them pretend that it’s not happening or not want to talk about it – especially in families with other queer kids.

Because I’m an out trans person, some of my friends’ families blame their identity on me, and I’ve been treated differently because of that. It’s a strange weight to bear.

Having to advocate for yourself in any situation can be exhausting, so it really helps to have someone to take the strain off it. Having my family’s support helped me to start advocating for myself and for other people. I’ve been able to help other people know what they can ask for, which is important as school treats people with parental support way differently than people without it. 

This year, I’m going to Trans Pride in London to protest, because I believe that trans people should be both seen and heard.

Too often I feel like we’re left out of the conversation regarding our rights, and I think it’s important to remind people that we’re here and that we’re not going anywhere.

I believe that pride is about celebrating how far we’ve come, and our community, so I’ll be going to my local pride with some of my friends.

At the end of the day, trans young people are still young people, and we deserve to have fun.

* Names have been changed to pseudonyms to protect the writers’ identities.

To donate to the trans youth charity, Mermaids, head to their website now.