Catholic deacon writes touching blog about his trans daughter
A Catholic deacon in the US has written about being the supportive parent of a trans child.
In a blog published on the News Ways Minsitry site, Ray Dever talked about when his daughter came out as trans and what that meant for his faith and his community.
He wrote: “Our journey has probably not been very different than the journey of any family with an LGBTQ child. It really began with our daughter descending into a deep depression during high school. That journey would eventually lead to questions of gender identity that were intimately connected with her mental health struggles.
“When our daughter came out, my wife and I experienced the full range of thoughts and emotions that any parents do in that situation – shock at the news, a lack of understanding of gender issues, conflict with what the Church teaches about human sexuality, confusion and guilt about what we should do as parents, profound sadness at what felt like the loss of our son, fear and worry for what the future would hold for her.
“We slowly came to the realization that we hadn’t lost the person who had been our son. In fact, in many respects we got our child back, as she embraced her gender identity and emerged from the depths of depression.
“All the creativity, humor, empathy, and intelligence that make her an exceptional person are still there and are shining through stronger than ever. And I’d like to think that the acceptance of her immediate and extended Catholic family have played some part in that positive transformation.”
He also referenced the Pope’s recent comments on LGBT people: “This happened just a few weeks after the now famous Pope Francis interview that made “Who am I to judge?” part of our vernacular.”
He ended by calling on other parents of LGBT children to love and support them: “For those Catholic families with LGBTQ children that are struggling with what they should do, I would suggest that they look to the Holy Family. Look to the love embodied in the Incarnation, a love like no other, and embrace your children.
“As the Church calls us to do first and foremost, follow your conscience, love one another, and especially love your children.”
The Pope said in December that parents should support their gay children.
American trans teenager Leelah Alcorn took her own life at the end of last year after her Christian parents refused to support her.