In this short film, vlogger and children’s illustrator Kat Blaque shares what it is was like for her growing up as a gender nonconforming child, and how being rejected by her parents has impacted her life.
“Being trans in this world was hard and that the support of my parents would mean absolutely everything to me, after all, even if the world rejects you at least you have the love and support of your family,” Kat says in the video.
Kat’s struggle for acceptance comes with an important and vital message to parents, “Just let your kids be who they want to be, don’t try to force them into a box or a category, don’t project your dreams onto them, let them define themselves.”
I remember when I was a kid and I used to love the Power Rangers.
For one Halloween I wanted to be the Pink Ranger who was naturally my favorite Power Ranger. When I asked my dad if I could be the Pink Ranger he told met that I should be the Blue Ranger instead. I didn’t understand why at the time but the look of disapproval on his face stuck with me for a very, very long time.
I came out to my parents when I started my hormone replacement therapy after a year and a half of living full time as a woman. I told them that I was trans and I told them that being trans in this world was hard and that the support of my parents would mean absolutely everything to me, after all, even if the world rejects you at least you have the love and support of your family.
Long story short, my father told me that he never wanted to see me in a dress or with a woman’s name.
My father and I haven’t been very close because he could never accept me for who I actually was and honestly by the time I came out to him I already knew that we weren’t going to have much of a relationship.
At this point in our relationship we’re getting better, I’m post transition and I’ve proven to him that I can live successfully and happily despite my gender but to be completely honest, I’m really not holding out any hope.
“My parents tried hard to get me to be their son, but they didn’t really understand that I was really their daughter.”
I always wondered how much further I’d get if my parents created an environment for me as a child that told me to love myself rather than hide my feelings for so many years. One of my earliest memories as a child was dancing like a ballerina in our living room and my father telling me that boys don’t dance like that.
I always wonder what my life would be like if instead of telling me to dance more like a man he saw that that’s how I like to dance and he allowed me to just enjoy being myself.
I’ve had to fight through years and years and years of self-hate and denial to get to where I am right now and I know I’d be further if I had the support of my parents. Parents mean well, they always want the best for their children, and I know that my father policing my gender was him trying to help me but I hated him for many years because of it.
So much so that I acted out in very self-destructive ways and I spent a lot of time trying to find love in all the wrong places and I was trying to fill a void that wasn’t filled by him.
I envy trans people who have supportive families. If you’re a parent, just let your kids be who they want to be, don’t try to force them into a box or a category, don’t project your dreams onto them, let them define themselves.
Not all little boys who want to dress up as Wonder Woman want to be little girls and not all little girls who want to dress up as Captain America want to be little boys but if it goes there they need you there to support them.
They need your love and they need your support. They need to know that you’ll be there to support them and that you will stand with them against the harsh world that they’ll face.
You can teach them to be proud and confident in who they are instead of teaching them to hide themselves and to blend into a gender that they don’t feel is them. My parents tried hard to get me to be their son, but they didn’t really understand that I was really their daughter.
They still don’t understand me. I’m twenty-four years old. Don’t be like them, love your kid, and allow them to be who they are. Love and support is all we need.
This Halloween when your kid is grabbing a costume that may or may not fit into the gender that you want them to be, don’t tell them that they can’t do it because people will make fun of them.
Tell them that they can be whoever they want to be and stand with them and teach them to be fearlessly themselves.
Let them be who they want to be.
If you love Kat’s amazing illustrations, check out her shop here.