Team Pick: “Coming Out With Care,” the E-Care Package For Your Parents!

Today, for National Coming Out Day, A-Camp 7.5 Director/CEO & Editor in Chief of My Kid Is Gay/Human Extraordinaire Kristin Russo is releasing something awesome. “Coming Out With Care” is an e-care package for LGBTQ+ youth (and not so youth!) to send to parents to help them navigate the coming out process.

“While, of course, I know that this day is centered around those coming out as LGBTQ themselves, I also do a lot of work with parents and family members through My Kid Is Gay and know that the coming-out process is a very real thing for them, too!” Kristin says. “My mom struggled for many, many years with my sexuality, so I know the need for these resources from a personal standpoint as well.”

The package includes a welcome video and resources from Kristin as well as contributions from your Autostraddle faves. Emphasizing the journey that coming out can be, celebrity Brittani Nichols curated a playlist called “Stay Up!” encouraging parents to always work at understanding their children. Collage cover art for the collage was created by Autostraddle’s own CEO Riese Bernard! A journaling and coloring page designed by Cameron Glavin reminds your parents to step back, breathe, and take part in some self care.

collage by Riese!

collage by Riese!

Why a care package? Kristin told me it felt important to have “a starting point that gathered not only those resources together, but also gave parents some elements of self-care… Now they can dip their feet into the resources while also listening to a playlist and filling out an adorable journaling worksheet. HOW COOL IS THAT?!”

Kristin tries to bring an element of lightness into conversations around sexuality and gender identity whenever possible. “I think it is important for parents to know that there can be questions, concerns, and confusion alongside laughter, connection, and joy. Coming out is a rollercoaster!”

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-9-13-21-am

Journal by Cameron!

Coming out is a roller coaster, indeed! Help your parents navigate it by signing up for the care package here. Kristin suggests signing up for it yourself and forwarding it to your parents (or your friends’ parents, your mentors, your aunts and uncles, your grandparents…anyone!). What an exciting resource to make National Coming Out Day just a little easier!

Alaina is a 20-something working on a PhD in Performance as Public Practice. They are a mom to three cats, they listen to a lot of NPR and musicals, and they spend a lot of time on Pinterest lusting over studio apartments. They are actively trying to build A Brand on twitter @alainamonts. One day, they will be First Lady of the United States.

Al(aina) has written 272 articles for us.

4 Comments

  1. Hey, so I signed up for the E-package hoping it would contain some resources to help me explain to my parents what being trans means. It’s a hard endeavor because everyone relates to being trans differently (and I’m not ready to come out to my parents and make it personal yet). While I recognize that I’m probably not going to find an article online that represents my transness perfectly for me, I’m frustrated with the article “Understanding Trans Identities” included in the email because I feel like it fails to get some basic trans language and understanding correct. Here are my main issues with it, in order of appearance:
    1. The author says “My first thought when my daughter (at the time, biologically my son) came out to me as transgender….” While some trans people are okay with being referred to as “biologically a male, female, son daughter”, this terminology is largely not okay with the trans community and I am concerned that the language is used with no explanation of that. It would be very different to say “my daughter, who I thought was my son” or “my daughter, who had been assigned male at birth”. The phrasing “at the time, biologically my son” sets up a false dichotomy and leaves room to argue that trans men are biologically still women (and vice versa). I’m not okay sending an into to trans article to my parents that doesn’t even get that basic terminology correct.
    2. The author also spends some time talking about how it made her feel more comfortable to know that being trans might have biological basis, “I found biological studies on the differences of the brains of transgender people. I found theories on the mix of hormones transgender children are exposed to in the womb. Being transgender was no more in Lucie’s control than her being blond.” It feels too much like the mom wasn’t willing to believe that her daughter was trans just because she said she was. I get wanting to know why people are trans and how that happens, but that should not be a requirement for accepting that people ARE trans. There is no self-reflection of that on the part of the author. She never realizes that she shouldn’t have needed to find ways to prove her daughter was trans in order to believe it. It feels dehumanizing to be doubted and have people demand biological proof or scientific cause. I don’t want to model that lack of self-awareness to my parents.
    3. The author includes intersex in the trans umbrella, “Some people feel the need to go all the way from one end (male/female) to the other…Some people are born with ambiguous genitals and have their gender chosen for them by well-meaning doctors. All of these people are covered under the term ‘transgender.'” You can be intersex and trans at the same time, but they are distinct identities. Not everyone who is intersex identifies as trans. I’m not okay giving an article to my parents that confuses those definitions.
    4. The author says to the parental audience, “You will find many notions of what it means to be transgender, so just go toward the ones that resonate with your own experience.” I’m so baffled as to why this advice is being given to the parents. The parents presumably aren’t trans so anything they “resonate with” is going to be based on their prior conceptions of what they think trans is. This is not ok advice! It’s not okay to say “a lot of people have differing ideas on what it means to be trans so pick the one you like the best”! The focus should be on the trans child and THEIR experience and understanding of what it means to be trans. Parents should be reading books, seeking information, and talking to their child to BROADEN their view of what being trans means, not seeking information that already matches with their current views.

    @kristinnoeline, I love the work Everyone Is Gay does, but I feel like this e-package is lacking in explaining being trans to parents, and this article in particular is just going to spread more misinformation.

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