Family & friends

Family and friends are a big part of your child’s life. Below are some resources to help start conversations and set expectations inside and outside your home.

In the home

First, we invite you to consider the family and friends who live in your home. Making sure you have the support of the people your child interacts with every day is a good place to start. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Is everyone in our home affirming my child’s gender?
  • Does anyone need information, education, or extra support (siblings, for example)?
  • Is everyone in agreement about when and how to disclose my child’s gender identity A person's deeply held, internal sense of themself as male, female, a blend of both or neither. (Source: ?

Outside the home

Next, when planning how to come out to family members and friends:

  • Work with your child to decide when and how disclosures should be made.
  • Consider how knowledgeable and accepting individuals are likely to be.
  • Decide on the best approach (such as in-person, or with a phone call, email, letter).
  • Decide what information you will and will not share about your child.
  • Prepare yourself and your child for different kinds of responses.
  • Plan for everyone’s safety.
  • Practice what you will say.

People will have a range of reactions, and some may not know how to react. Be ready to answer questions and provide information. It can also be helpful to let people know how you would like them to support you, your child, and your family.

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Meet in a place where everyone feels comfortable.
  • Have some Resources ready to share.
  • Ask for the support you need.
  • Give people time and space to process information.
  • If necessary, set boundaries for how supportive they must be to remain in contact with your family.
  • Have a plan to debrief with a supportive person later on.
  • Check in with your child.

Plan for future conversations

As new friends come into your life, you will have more choices to make about disclosure. Regularly check in with your child about how private they want to be and if they want to disclose their information or have you share it.

Having conversations about what to do when you run into old acquaintances or how to deal with disrespectful people (for example, by misgendering or using the wrong name) before it happens can help these situations go much smoother.

Need support?

Contact our team of experienced health navigators for information about gender-affirming care in B.C.