pyrotechnician asked: my family makes fun of a dear friend of mine who went off to college and recently came out as trans, she's had a hard time after coming out and I've tried to explain to my family that they should stop making fun of her, but the words I say are just overrun by comments on how "if she put herself out there like that she deserves to get made fun of'. do you have any advice on how to get through to my family at all? I'm not good with words at all. Any help would be appreciated.
First, I am not sure why you are asking me, I am not trans myself and am clearly not an authority. Hopefully some people will with more specific knowledge of this topic will chime in.
But I have a few quick thoughts in general.
First, your family is wrong. It’s good that you know that. I think if you say to them that this friend is important to you, that she is your friend, and that it bothers you to hear them make fun of her, you have definitely made it clear that what they are doing is not okay.
The consequences of that are then up to them. They can show they respect and care for you and stop, or they can continue, and in doing so, they are saying very clearly that your feelings in the matter are not important enough to worry about.
What they are doing is hurtful to you, and clearly, would likely be very hurtful to your friend if it got back to her. Hopefully, it hasn’t. This sort of casual, thoughtless cruelty is common as dirt, sadly.
But I think the important thing is that you continue to stand up. YOU continue to tell them this is wrong, it bothers you, and if it got back to her, it would be hurting a friend you care about for no damn reason. It’s wrong, it’s mean, and you need to continue to make that point if you care about this friend.
Finally, I think it’s equally important that your friend, if she is aware of this, knows your position without question, that you stand beside her and support her and that you will never be okay with people, even family you otherwise love, treating her with something less than dignity.
Your family put you in this position. But you can stand tall and be the friend we all hope for, the friend who sticks by us against thoughtless and mean comments. Your friend will need your support, and I hope you make sure it’s clear both to her and your family that she has it without question or hesitation.
If your family cares about you, hopefully they will get the message.
Sometimes, the bullies are the people we love. It doesn’t make them any less wrong. And it’s your friend who did nothing wrong.
That’s my opinion, anyway. Anyone from the trans community have better or more helpful advice here?