When my kid came out as nonbinary, their grandparents cut off all contact. It has created a painful divide in the family. – DAVID RAUDALES


Businessman, musician / former Full Stack Developer


When my kid came out as nonbinary, their grandparents cut off all contact. It has created a painful divide in the family.

The author, right, and her nonbinary kid, left, on Halloween.

Courtesy of Tamra Moon

When my kid came out as queer and nonbinary, their grandparents refused to accept them.One set of grandparents completely cut off contact from us for four years. Although it’s extremely painful, my kid is looking toward the future with my support. 

When I gave birth to my now-teenager, I was ecstatic that mine and my spouse’s parents were just as thrilled to become first-time grandparents. From the moment our teenager was born, they were loved and celebrated. As the only grandchild, our kiddo was surrounded by a large, extended family of people who showered them with affection and support. Birthdays and holidays were filled with food, family, and festivities.

However, in 2020, when our teenager came out as queer and nonbinary, they experienced a painful wake-up call: Their grandparents’ love was not as unconditional as we’d hoped.

My partner and I accepted our child after they came out

My spouse and I love being parents. For us, parenting is a noble and beautiful calling, and we take the task very seriously. It is an honor to parent an LGBTQ+ young person, and we are wholly committed to providing them with the love, safety, and acceptance that they won’t always get outside our home. It seems so easy for us to love our child unconditionally.

But when our teenager came out, I had honest conversations with them about their expectations for others. They knew from the beginning that not everyone would seek to understand the nuances of gender and sexuality.

My spouse and I communicated our fears about how their grandparents may react to our teenager’s truth — ultimately entrusting them to come out to extended family members when they were ready.

Their grandparents decided to walk away from our family

Seemingly overnight, the well of support and compassion toward their only grandchild dried up. One pair of grandparents went completely “no-contact” and hasn’t spoken to us or our teenager in four years. Another pair of grandparents has attempted to maintain the relationship but refuses to use our teenager’s pronouns or preferred name.

My teenager’s grandparents are of a parenting belief system that doesn’t leave much space for children to explore their interests, identities, or feelings in a safe, supportive, and judgment-free environment.

While we weren’t surprised by their cold response to our teenager’s honesty, it has been heartbreaking for myself and my spouse to accept.

Knowing that our families choose not to widen the network of love and support for their only grandchild hurts us. Their choices have caused a painful division in our family.

We are surrounded by love and kindness — even if it isn’t coming from our extended family

The sorrow I’ve experienced as a mother watching her child grapple with such a significant rejection has been a heavy burden to bear, but my heart is healed by the people who stepped up to love us through these losses. We have a strong and diverse network of friends, and we belong to a beautiful community. Our teenager lost biological grandparents four years ago, but they have gained adoptive aunts, uncles, and cousins who love them for who they are.

Together, we grieve the loss of our families, but wonderful humans have filled the division their grandparents created through their refusal to learn and adapt.

Today our teenager is thriving and on the precipice of adulthood, looking toward college and their career. Our kid is excited to step out into the world, knowing it won’t always tolerate them, but assured that there is a support system at home. I wish their grandparents would allow themselves to be part of this support system, but we respect the choice to be absent.

This is their loss, but not our teenager’s. My kid will be just fine.

Read the original article on Business Insider