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Am I doing the right thing?
Knitting daughter
Posted: Wednesday, April 20, 2022 11:09 AM
Joined: 1/1/2022
Posts: 4

My Dad has advanced Dementia and does not remember what I told him five minutes ago. When our youngest came out to us we made the decision to not tell Dad that she is transgender. I guess I was trying to prevent any type of heated arguments as Dad has a history of not understanding or agreeing with anyone in the LGBTQ+ community. 

Am I doing the right thing? We love our daughter no matter what and I want to respect her but there are times when talking about her I feel bad by using her old name.

At this point I am not even sure how to bring it up to family when the time comes. Let's just say the Catholics, Pentecostals and Southern Baptist will not be understanding. Would it be wrong to list her as Old name (new name) as if there was a significate other?

There is so much hate in this world it makes everything hard.

Jo C.
Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2022 2:32 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 13113

Hello Knitting daughter and welcome; it is very loving to be considerate and respectful of your daughter as she moves forward.  This question will probably bring a variety of different answers.  I do wonder how old your daughter is; answering the question may possibly be slightly different depending on age which may make a difference in how your daughter is able to manage the different reactions made by family.

Since your father has advanced dementia, the thought processes and memory will be severely compromised.  Unless there is a reason to discuss this, there is no reason to bring it up.  Since your father has no memory retention, telling him each and every time IF he is capable of  understanding what you are saying will bring nothing positive except confusion and possibly upset.  He may not even have any recall of your child at all.

As for informing other relatives, that is a decision that only your daughter can make; it is her her personal privacy to whatever point she wishes to have it be.  Why not discuss this with her now and then abide by her decision.  Have you had such a conversation yet?

As for family who would find the gender change a highly negative matter, well . . . that is their problem.  Personally, I would choose not to feel "embarrassed" with family.  It would serve best to be calm, kind and loving regarding your daughter's choice.   If anyone begins to go off on you regarding this, you can simply remove yourself from their presence without saying a word. Your taking the high road and being able to be someone who is in a way, teaching by example is something that will perhaps not be understood at that point, but you are showing what unconditional love really is.

Your daughter's wishes are what will be the ultimate decision.  Either she chooses to have you divulge her change and her new name, or she chooses to keep that private for awhile and want you to refer to her by her former name until she is ready to move forward.

Do let us know how you are and how things are going, I send warmest of best wishes for all to work out well,