Par­ents pres­sure son on col­lege es­say

The Buffalo News - - LIFE COLUMNS - Email Carolyn at [email protected] wash­, fol­low her on Face­book at face­ carolyn.hax, or chat with her on­line at noon each Fri­day at wash­ing­ton­

Hi, Carolyn: Our trans­gen­der teenage son will be ap­ply­ing to col­leges in the fall and has started work­ing on his col­lege es­say. His fa­ther and I feel he should use this op­por­tu­nity to write about his tran­si­tion to help high­light his unique per­spec­tive, ma­tu­rity, and the chal­lenges he has faced.

So far, he is against this. His goal for tran­si­tion­ing is to blend in – he doesn’t want to be a “trans guy,” he just wants to be a “guy.”

We un­der­stand that, but feel like if some­thing can be used against you, it is bet­ter to em­brace it and use it to your ad­van­tage when you can. Nor­mally, we are hands-off when it comes to his aca­demics, but he wants to get into com­pet­i­tive pro­grams and we feel like this is the edge he needs. Are we over­step­ping?

– To Push or Not to Push Yes. Let your son tell his own story his own way. What a gift. More valu­able in the long run, I’m guess­ing, than ad­mis­sion to Im­press U.

AUGH NO NO NO NO NO. I know you are try­ing to help your son but, se­ri­ously, this is not your jour­ney to butt into!

If he doesn’t want to out him­self, he does not have to. He is not de­fined by his trans-ness, and it’s hugely over­step­ping for you to try and force him to make any par­tic­u­lar choice about how he wants to be seen and by whom. Please take my word for it as a mem­ber of the LGBT+ com­mu­nity, that con­tin­u­ing to push here is the op­po­site of be­ing sup­port­ive and likely to alien­ate you

Re: Trans Son:

from him.

Hi, Carolyn:

I have been asked to help plan and, I be­lieve, pay for a baby shower for my daugh­ter, who is ex­pect­ing her first child. She has a guest list of al­most 60 peo­ple – aack. I as­sume I’ll have to rent a din­ing room in a restau­rant and pro­vide a meal and drinks for all of these peo­ple, but, boy, my heart just is not into it!

Do I suck it up and go along so I don’t dis­ap­point her? She’s one of the last of a group of friends to have a child so the prece­dent on this type of func­tion is wellestab­lished. Why can’t I get ex­cited? I can af­ford it if I am care­ful.

– Par­ent

“[A]nd, I be­lieve, pay for”? Talk? Please?

And set lim­its that are com­fort­able for you, on the guest list and the ex­pense. The “prece­dent on this type of func­tion” is pure bunk.

Where is it writ­ten that we must never dis­ap­point the peo­ple we love? Talk to your daugh­ter and set lim­its, as Carolyn says, and rec­og­nize that if your daugh­ter is dis­ap­pointed, then she’s an adult and can find a way to deal with it, as we must all deal with dis­ap­point­ments. In the long term, not hav­ing the Baby Shower of Her Dreams is pretty small pota­toes.

– Anony­mous

Blas­phemy! I like it.

Re: Shower:


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