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Dad of trans daughter explains incorrect presumptions parents make, and it's an eye-opener

Jesse Thorn opened up about the journey of understanding his daughter and what gender really means.

Dad of trans daughter explains incorrect presumptions parents make, and it's an eye-opener
Image source: Transgender pride flag waving on the blue sky - stock photo/Getty Images Inset: Twitter/@JesseThorn

Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 9, 2022. It has since been updated.

Learning your child doesn't identify with the gender assigned to them at birth and wants to transition can be a lot to process for a parent. Their child looks up to them for guidance as they're figuring themselves out and don't fit into the predetermined labels society throws at them. There is a lot of confusion and misinformation regarding transgender people and transitioning, leading to incorrect presumptions on the matter. One father, who learned his daughter is trans, posted an illuminating thread that discusses his daughter's transition, what he learned and how he approached it. Jesse Thorn, who hosts multiple podcasts, posted the thread and it's an eye-opener for parents who find themselves in similar situations.

Transgender Flag Waving Against Trees - stock photo/Getty Images


In the thread, Jesse Thorn says one of the most important things a parent can do is to tell their kids that private parts don't determine gender. This gives them the space to understand themselves and not assume that there's something wrong with them. Thorn adds that it's important to listen to kids and not just blandly dismiss them, which can be confusing for them and also hurtful. Thorn also added that he and his wife, Theresa, were aware his daughter could be a target for others and also sought the help of a therapist to support her. His daughter's transition also made him reflect on his own parenting. "I realized how tightly I had held her identity as a boy. I'm not exactly Mr. Butch, I didn't have masc goals for her or anything, but I realized how hard it was to let go of my idea of her as a boy," wrote Thorn, before adding that it helped him understand gender. He hopes the thread will help other parents who are learning or have learned that their children are trans.
















































Paria Hassouri, who's a parent of a transgender kid, said it was important to not be pessimistic and paint negative pictures when kids come out as trans to their parents. They were also channeling their fears into conversations with their child which can be harmful. "Once our daughter came out, the language in our home became predominantly negative. Are you sure? Your life is going to be so much harder and you’ll be discriminated against. You are so smart with so much potential, but some people won’t see that. You could be the victim of a hate crime," wrote Hassouri in New York Times. She then added that along with her husband, they took the conscious decision of being more optimistic about it. 

Protest defending the human rights of LGBTQi people/Getty Images


Multiple studies have also shown the benefits of supporting children, especially teenagers. The studies showed that supporting transgender teens in their identity significantly improves their mental health and reduced the risk of suicide by three times as when compared to the rate of their cisgender peers

Jesse Thorn and Theresa cited The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals by Stephanie A. Brill as one of the books that helped them how to help their daughter realize her true self. His wife Theresa has also penned her book on gender identity —  It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity — that can help you more on the subject. 

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