Published on:

5th Nov 2023

Becoming A Dad To Transgender Children

In this bonus episode of Gloriously Unready, recorded for Transgender Parent Day, Josephine sits down with her husband Tim to talk about their journey as parents of transgender children.

Tim shares his experiences, emotions, and reflections as he navigates the complexities of understanding and supporting his two transgender daughters.

Together, they explore the impact of their children's transitions on their family dynamics, the importance of creating safe and inclusive spaces, and the unwavering love and support they needed as parents and got during this journey.

Please Note:

Everybody mentioned in this podcast series has agreed for their story to be told.

We are keeping the names of Josephine's children private.

Has a young person in your life just come out as transgender or non-binary? Do you feel confused and have a lot of questions?

Perhaps you’re feeling frightened for them? Or maybe you’re feeling upset?

Download Josephine's guide for parents Help! My Child Is Trans at

The information contained in Gloriously Unready is provided for information purposes only.

The contents of this podcast are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this podcast. 

Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this podcast. 

Josephine Hughes disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this podcast.


I don't mean any harm by it.

So today I am doing a special edition of the podcast on special request from a lot of people who've asked if my husband can come onto the podcast and tell us about his experience and what it is like to be a dad when your kids come out as transgender. And I think in particular because I was asked a question on a podcast and he said you didn't give enough of my story, so here he is.

So, Tim, would you like to introduce yourself?


So I commute up and down to London most days a week.


So for me, the way it happened was the youngest one came out to me just before they left for school one morning. They were just coming up to their 17th birthday. And when we were discussing why a particular relationship hadn't worked out, they said it was because they thought they were a girl. And then subsequently, a few months later, my oldest child came out to me after she'd returned from a trip to the States, where she'd actually tried out her female persona.

So that's my side of the story. And Tim, what was it like for you and what happened? How did you find out?


It's not too major, don't worry. But I really need to talk when, when we get home. I had no, absolutely no idea. And, and I certainly didn't suspect what eventually transpired. Yes, I came home as usual. You told me rather than our youngest. And then we had a talk about it and probably just sort of sat there with our, our mouths open slightly for a while thinking what!?

What, what does this, what, what does this mean? And I think, I think to start with, it's just, it's just shocking. It is just shocking. You don't, you don't expect it. We had no inkling at all that this was, that this was happening or that was how our youngest or even our oldest, how they were feeling. There were no, there were no hints that this was going to happen. So it really was just, pow! it's happened. And so I think out of the blue, so I think, you know, there was just a moment of, I'm going to have to, that's going to, that's going to take a while to, to sink in.


Tim: 00:04:28 Yeah. Yeah. Good question. Yeah. I think you go through, through all, all the different stages. I mean, I think now, and we've talked about this and you've talked about it very openly and very honestly, I think initially, because we knew so, it was a world that we didn't really know about other than perhaps through the lens of sort of popular media, the first thing that kicks in is in fact the phobia, the fear.

I think, because you think, you know, this is a terrible decision, it's going to ruin their lives. You know, that, that's there. And of course, you know, over time, as you, you know, as we've come to see them grow and settle into their adult selves and become very happy, you, you realize it was just a, you know, misinformation and just ignorance really.

You just don't, you don't, you don't know what it means, because it's not your world. You know, the popular media, even then, what, seven or eight years ago, was... Pretty, um, not unfriendly, but just, yeah, well it was unfriendly. I mean, it's always been unfriendly. And so your view of what it means is completely skewed.

And, and, and so you end up with just fear of the unknown, or fear that it's a terrible mistake, or all the, all the memes and the tropes that, that, that are still going today are just there in your mind. And I suppose that's, it's part of being a parent, isn't it? Just regardless of the trans bit, it's just part of being a parent.

Your kids make a decision about their lives that you don't really understand, and all of a sudden that, you know, that parent reflex kicks in of, is this a terrible mistake? Are they gonna ruin their lives? Are they gonna regret this forever? It's just a, it's almost a reflex. You can't help it.

And so yeah, you just do the, you just do the worried parent bit. It's got nothing to do with the transmit, it's just the parent reflex just kicks in and you're away into catastrophizing that it's the end of everything. When of course it's, you know, quite clearly not. I mean quite clearly it's the best thing that's happened for both of them.

Because both of them we see now, through the journey, and the journey's not, you know, entirely entirely smooth, or pretty smooth for our two, I would say, certainly from the outside, from, from our perspective. You know, you see them just grow into delightful young adults. Well, proper adult. I mean, they're full adults now. We can't call them young adults anymore because they're just adults.

You know, the people that they're meant to be. And they're, you know, they're really, really happy, well adjusted. You know, just doing their stuff and, and having a you know, living a good life. And, and what more, what more can you ask? What more can you ask?


Tim: 00:07:33 The first and foremost, and again, I think that probably comes from the popular media, sort of, emphasis, you immediately go to the medical implications, you know, you immediately go to medical transition and, you know, what that means for them changing their bodies, you know, indulging in things which are going to radically change their bodies. You know, I'm, I'm not a scientist, I'm a computer programmer, but I have a bit of a scientific mind. So you worry about sort of fairly heavy duty intervention. The, you know, the side effects, you know, coercing your body into something, which it's not really. You worry about that, but in actual fact, having said that, again, it's all part of the journey. When you start to look at the science and the, and the medicine and, and respect to the medical professionals who've done all the work on this, you look at it and think this is way safer than a lot of stuff we just, we just accept as normal.

So anyway, we were talking about what, what, what things you're worried about. So yeah, the medical side I think was, was, was one. I think you, you worry about, um, how they'll fit into society. You know, it's, you know, society is not safe for some folks who are different and that, and that, I think that goes right across the rainbow spectrum.

So you worry, are they going to be safe? Are they going to be all right? Are they going to be preyed upon by, you know, are they, are they just putting themselves in a vulnerable situation? Again that, up until now, that hasn't been our experience. So again, a sort of slightly unjustified fear. And I suppose you worry, I mean our youngest wasn't that young when they came out, they weren't a child.

Yeah, they were really just right on the cusp of, you know, of being a full adult. So you do also, again, and this is a, you know, trope that's still being preyed upon in the media at the moment, you do worry about regret. You're going to do this, you're going to make irreversible changes to yourself and you're like what happens if? You just get into the what if you change your mind and you've made these changes and um, uh, you, you realise that perhaps you shouldn't have. Again, it's just, it's just ignorance. The regret, rate for transition is really, really low.


00:10:20 Tim: Yeah. Yeah. If you're going to base that, if you're going to base your resistance to acceptance of trans people on the regret rate that then, you know, you're going to have to give up a load of other medical procedures that you, you know, if you're going to ban medical procedures on the basis of regret rate, you know, trans transitioning for trans people is way, way down there.

There's, there's loads more stuff you're going to have to stop doing. So, if that's going to be your criteria. So


Tim: 00:11:05 No, I, I, no, I don't, I don't, I don't think so. I mean, you can see the stages of, you know, being married to a counsellor. You know what the stages of grief are. You've seen the charts and you see the diagram. And I'm certain that we went through some, both of us, you know, on reflection went through some of that, the denial and you know, through eventual acceptance.

No, it wasn't, it wasn't grief in, in the sense of a huge loss, because I would say my relationship with our kids is not based on the fact that we're blokes. It's based on the fact that we're nerds. And we're, a, and that hasn't changed. So, so I haven't lost, I haven't, I haven't lost that part of our relationship because it's still, you know, we, you know what it's like.

We can still have conversations that are completely incomprehensible to you. And we haven't, and we haven't lost that. So you know, yeah, we've never been a, you know, a sort of football, going out, drinking, you know, we've never had a very masculine relationship and therefore that's completely unaffected by how they present themselves.

Completely unaffected.


Tim: 00:12:48 oh, you think it's been that, that all along?


And do you think that's partly because they aren't really masculine ?


You think that that's a quite masculine, that's probably how we bond. You know, playing the running, gunning, shooting online games and that sort of stuff and, you know, some of the wargaming type stuff, perhaps is, but that's, we still do that.


Tim 00:13:32 Uh, yes.


Tim: 00:13:45: Yeah, absolutely. You know, you, you would have to say now those things, certainly our relationships are, that, that, that is independent of gender.


Tim: 00:14:03 What in, you stayed at home looking after the kids and I computed up to London for 30 years.


Tim: 00:14:10 And I played computer games and football on the three, three, three occasions I actually managed to get them out in the garden to kick a football around.


Tim: 00:14:21 No, no, no.


Tim: 00:14:36 Yeah, again, when we've talked about this, I think both, both of us wouldn't have been surprised if one or other of them had come out and said, I'm gay. That wouldn't have been a complete surprise.


Tim: 00:14:58 Well, that's, well, you know, the particular circumstances and you know, the differences in the relationship between the youngest and the oldest and their partners and the sorts of partners they choose. And in fact, it's, it's completely the other way around. Yeah. That's it. Yeah. It's completely the other way around.

You know, the one who I would've said, you know, they'll probably come out as gay and that would be fine, I wouldn't be surprised, in actual fact, would have, well, would now have what would be termed as a gay relationship because they present as a woman and they're attracted to women.


Tim: 00:15:38 and they're a woman, yeah, and they're, yeah, they are a woman and they're attracted to women.

And then the other one is, is a woman married to a bloke.


Tim: 00:15:47 And it's the other way around to perhaps you, perhaps you would have expected, so, yeah.


I mean, do you think that there's a difference in how you relate to them because they're women? I think. For me, there probably is, it's particularly with our youngest in terms of, you know, she's so interested in fashion and that's, that means that I relate to her much more in terms of talking about what I'm wearing and clothing and that sort of stuff.

I mean, do you think there's been any... So that's changed for me because I wouldn't have done that before and she didn't actually show any interest in clothes before she transitioned and then suddenly this whole side of her has come out that says really interested in fashion. Do you think there's any change in the way you've related to them as women?


Because they're far more interested in clothes than they ever were.


So when we tend to choose a bit more.


Josephine: 00:17:20 I think you're still their dad, really, aren't you?


The things we had in common before, we still have in common. The new things that they might be, you know, more interested in, don't get in the way, or... Yeah, how we relate, I wouldn't say has changed significantly, from my, from my perspective.


You know, really, it's very sort of important in my heart is families falling out with each other over the children being transgender. And I wonder if you could say something a bit more about, sort of how you feel that as parents we can respond to, I'm going to say young adults, not children. Because I think it's important to make the distinction there, but, you know, how as parents, you know, we can relate to our kids coming out and the sort of response we should have in thinking about, it can be really, really difficult for families to readjust to this.

So what would you, your sort of advice be really about this?


And again with, you know, with, with all the stuff that your, that your kids do, well they're not kids, you know, at that point they're adults. And so it's their choice to make. And as a parent, you know, it's, it's your job to be there to support them. To, yeah, to, to let them know that they've got that love and support behind them and that they can make those choices with confidence and knowing that you'll be there. You know, because if you think about it, you know, even if your worst fears come true, suppose they do make a terrible mistake.

The thing they are really going to need at that point is the love, care, and support of their family. You know, they're going to need you more than ever. If your worst fears come true, at that point they are going to really need you. So it's better not to have fallen out in the early days, so that if it does go terribly wrong, which it probably won't, but if it does, they will know that you are there, that you've got their back, you'll catch them if they fall.

So don't lose that in the initial shock and just make sure that you're still there and you're their safety net to back them up. And, yeah, and the advice is, you know, go along for the journey. It'll be great. You'll learn things you never, you never even imagined were things. Yeah. And as long as you, you know, as long as you go along for the ride, I think you'll probably quite enjoy it.


Tim: 00:21:06 I mean, we, we certainly have. We, we certainly have. I mean first and foremost, the, just the beautiful experience of seeing your kids sort of unfold and, you know, blossom and grow into the people they're supposed, they are is, is fantastic. And don't miss out on that. Don't miss out on that.

But then, you know, the, I mean the, the people we've met along the way because, because of this, great people who we wouldn't have met otherwise. The folks we met the other day, the LGBT crew, what a great group, what a great group of lovely people. We'd have never met them.

Yeah, it's opened up a whole new world to us.


Tim: 00:21:54 Yeah, these straight, white, middle class, suburban, stay at homes. There's a whole other world of amazing, interesting...


Tim: 00:22:08 Fantastic people out there which would have been completely hidden from us.

Yeah, we would have missed out. And our lives would have been so much duller without it.


And I remember you just being your normal pillar of strength. We have a, we have a saying, don't we, that you're a super tanker on the ocean of life.


Josephine: 00:22:52 So you, you continued your super tanker way of being, but I was wondering how, how did you manage that?

Because I think, you know, from a counseling perspective, you know, one of the things we talk about is how very difficult it is for men, because men are expected to be strong. And how it, how hard it is for men to be able to talk about what they're going through. And you know, everybody else is sort of like relying on them.

And often your own emotional needs aren't cared for in that. And I just wondered, I don't know if you can talk about that side of things and, and how you coped.


So that to start with, I mean, I have to say, I don't really have, apart from you, I don't really have anybody I could turn to. And so it wasn't something, you know, when I left the house, it wasn't something I would be discussing with anybody. So you know, in some ways that makes it easy. In some ways that makes it hard. In some ways it's easy as you don't have to think about it because nobody's, nobody's going to ask you about it and you won't have to discuss it, you know, at work and the likes.


Tim: 00:24:29 Oh, it's an escape. Yeah. You can throw yourself into your work. Flush everything else out of your head. You know, because my work is something that, you know, when you're in it, it completely fills your head. And so I probably, as you may have noticed don't try and get any sense out of me when I'm debugging some horrible problem.


Tim: 00:24:58 So yeah, but so I would say I had to carry that. But I'm a, you know, person who, I think I've always, always done that. And so that was something that I could do. But it was tough. It was tough no doubt about it, but I had you. And gradually more, you know, you are the librarian, you did the research, and as you know, more, more resources, you know, more just information came, came into our lives. You know, you and I were able to talk about it and how we felt about it. And, you know, and I think the, you know, our relationship and the fact that it didn't push us apart in that we leaned on each other. I think that was very important. That was very important.

Cause like I said, you were probably the only person I was really talking to about it. I mean, I have to say in and this has increasingly been true, and I find this very helpful at the moment. The companies that I work for and the environment in which I work is pretty militantly inclusive.

You know, they, they are very, very vocally inclusive. And so there were resources there, groups there. I mean, only more recently have I actually sort of joined and engaged with some of those groups going along to some of those network events. You know, as the parent of a trans person going along, being perhaps being a bit more, um, of a visible ally.

Cause it's just, again, you know, it's just meeting great people. It's good to go along to another, you know, somewhere else. Cause I think that's the... I mean, it's just, it's a slight tangent, but I think one, one of the things that they're sort of, as, as we've grown into it, talking about the work environment and the work environment being more inclusive, that has been helpful to me, knowing that work, all the places I've worked, because I've worked at about three different places since we've, since the kids have been out, and in all of them, I knew that if I told people or talked about it, then, then it was safe.

And that's really important. And it's, you know, it's really important for anybody who's running a company who's quite senior to know that I also, to some extent, it's not the same. I you know, respect folks who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, you know, whatever, at work, them coming out to work is a big deal.

But also, coming out as the parent of trans adults is a sort of coming out. And it takes, I tell you now, it takes some courage to speak up. And I can see how when people say it's exhausting, it is. It is. You know, when people ask you, how's it with the kids? And people who've known you for some time, how are the boys?

You have to think, is now the time I say, actually, there's two girls and a boy? I can see how people who are, you know, out, not out in the workplace, just find that constant stream of stuff exhausting.


Tim: 00:28:25 But, but, but it's been really good to know that when you do say that this is my situation too, I've got two trans daughters that, that it is safe.


Tim: 00:28:47 Yes. Oh, absolutely.


Tim: 00:28:52 Absolutely. So yes, I worked with somebody a very long time ago. So, seeing folks like that and increasingly seeing folks, you know, at very senior levels who are out and who are advocates, I think, I think is quite important. And, and being able to go and chat to them, you know, and seeing that, that they're living their life that they're happy with who they are, they're getting on with it.

It's fine.


Tim: 00:29:44 Well, yeah, because again, it just overcomes the, you know, it overcomes the ignorance.

Yeah. You know, when you start out, you know nothing. We certainly didn't, you know, I mean, you know, I say, but you know nothing. Well, in fact, you don't know nothing. And particularly in the current environment, you know, the worst made up bits from the popular media. And that's all the FUD, you know, the fear, uncertainty, doubt that they peddle just makes you scared.

And just twaddle.


It, you know, that, that is the background with which our understanding of transgender issues was formed and it's just there and you don't really realize it until you start digging it up, do you? It's that unconscious bias, isn't it? Yeah, and it's not that, you know, you want to be a good person, but you've just got these unconscious biases that you're not aware of, yeah.

So the other thing that I think people are sort of quite interested to find out about is what it was like telling people. So we've sort of talked about coming out at work, but what about like coming out to your parents and to your friends?


And I think our youngest has talked about this, about how, how scary it is. How scary it is because you, you don't know what reaction you're going to get. And, you know, with parents and friends and others, you worry because you don't want to lose your relationship with them.

And you think, you know, cause you know, you're on side, you know, you're not going to abandon your kids.

And you think if this person cuts up rough and doesn't accept it, or has got a big problem with it. I, that, how is that going to affect my relationship with them? I mean, it's, it's selfish, but that's what you, that's what you're worried. That is what you're worried about. You know, if, if I go to, you know, we had lots of worries about how my parents might react and as you know, they were fantastic.

Yeah. Still fantastic. Yeah. And still are. You know, you know, my mum said. I don't care what they look like. They still come around here. I'm still their granny. And she was absolutely right to the, you know, she would have accepted them however, and just, just what a relief. What a relief. But it doesn't take away from the fact that before that's afterwards, you can look back and think what, well, what, you know, of course, it was a breeze.

Of course they would. Well, you know, you sort of like to think that people, but you don't know. You know, and I think our youngest has said the same, you know, I think I, I thought I knew you and I thought you'd be okay, but I didn't know until I'd actually, until the words were out and it was out there, I didn't know.

I mean the other, the other thing, and we haven't talked about this yet at all, is that of course we're churchgoers. Yeah. And so, that was. That was the thing for us, we were thinking, how has, how are people going to react to this? Because, you know, that can be, that can be a really big issue, is a really big issue.

Depending on what sort of church you go to it can be, it can be the end of your relationship with the church, with the church. If you know, if you're going to, if you're going to choose to stick with your kids, then you might have to choose that you don't, you're not part of that church anymore because they won't have it.

Now we are blessed in that our church was, well I suppose we've, we, we've probably, you know, I think it probably, if we look back, honestly, we are probably part of the catalyst of the journey that our church has been on because our church is now fully inclusive and has a fully full inclusivity statement, you know, in its constitution saying we accept everybody, you know, if you love God, you wanna follow God, get closer to, we don't care who you are what your circumstances are, just come and be part of the church.

And so, you know we have a small group of folks who, who meet fairly regularly and what a diverse and interesting bunch we are as parents of, you know,




Josephine: 00:34:41 But yeah, I don't know if you remember what they, what they said when we actually told them. Yeah. Yeah, go on, do you want to tell the story?


You know, we had a meal, possibly a, some wine, and we were sharing about what was going on in people's lives and their families. You know and Jo and I, or Jo probably, plucked up the courage to, to say. I've got something to tell you, the two kids have come out and they're trans, and one of our good friends said, "well that's just trumped everything!"


Tim: 00:35:19 It was brilliant, because again, it was a scary moment for us, because at that stage I don't think we were, I don't think the church was explicitly fully inclusive.


Tim: 00:35:28 It wasn't at that particular point, because it's quite, you know, seven or eight years ago. I lose track.

How long ago was it?


Tim: 00:35:35 Nine years, yeah, nine years. So we didn't know exactly what relation, what reaction, we were going to get. And so there was some tension, certainly on our side. There was, there was some tension there when we said it.

And that just, that remark and the reaction it got from the folks around the table just diffused. And we, it was just the relief, we just knew, uh, we're, we're going to be okay. We're accepted. They're, they're with us on the journey. They may not know what it means, but they've got, you know, we've got our kids back and they've got our back.

And we're all in it together.


Tim: 00:36:56 Church turned out to be an excellent supportive resource in the end. And our pastor was just, because we went round to see David together, didn't we? And he just said, you know, and he was the same, I suppose, because it comes from the top, doesn't it, basically. He said, you know, how are you? What do you need? We're here for you. Don't worry.

Which was which is absolutely


Tim: 00:37:41 I'm trying to think I can't think of any specific instances other than just all the friends that I could think of were just. They're friends. They're our friends and they're our friends for a reason. And, uh, and, and they had much the same reaction as us. And certainly all your friends who you're quite close to were all on board and very supportive. And, and because we did need it. I mean, you know, we shouldn't gloss over it.

I mean, we've talked a little bit about it. How did you cope and so on and so forth. You know, it, it has been tough at times. It has been really tough and we have needed those people, you know, as we worked through. Our fears and uncertainties and, um, perhaps the shock, it, there have been, you know, quite serious ups and downs and, you know, there's been times when we've sort of railed against it.


Tim: 00:38:35 Oh yeah. At the start when it's all fear and doubt and, you know, uncertainty we needed to lean on those relationships and know that people were there supporting us. And that was very, very important. Yeah, and reflecting on that, thinking about it, it does, yeah, it does make you think, you know, gosh, we were...


Tim: 00:38:57 We were very lucky with the, with the group, groups of people we had around us. And that's made it so much easier. I mean, if the, you know, if the church had rejected us... Or any of our, you know, good friends and it would have been really hard, really hard because you know how, how involved we are and how much we get out of it.

I mean, another part I didn't say at the start, another part of me is, is I play guitar. I love playing the guitar and I play guitar in church quite a lot. And to, and to have lost that would have been a real, real blow.


Tim: 00:39:34 Well, I mean, it's, I suppose it's, it's about many situations you're in.

I mean, it's not, I'd handle differently, I just, you know, I just wish we, we'd known more at the start. Would have made it a lot easier if we hadn't, if, you know, if we hadn't just had all the misinformation and the sort of rather phobic nature. Of sort of popular media and popular coverage, which is just getting worse.

My hope is that that is just the play of the minority. Because, you know, as we have said, perhaps people should take that. If I would want people to take anything away, in terms of encouragement, that is our... experience has been that the vast majority of people, the vast, vast majority of people that we have come across, are very supportive and think that's, you know, if they, if that's who they are, that's fine.

It's, it's, there's nothing wrong with that, that's, you know, if that's who they are, then they should get on and just live their lives the way they are and we'll all just get along. We'll all just be fine. It's only the people who are driven by fear and the people who peddle fear that are the problem.

And it really is a sort of phobic ideology, you know, this ideology that's driven on fear of the unknown, fear of different, and so on and so forth. And it's doing terrible damage and they should stop it, and be ashamed that they've even started it, because that is not what most people, that's not most people's experience.

And increasingly, as the, you know, it's only a small number, it's not a small number, it's lots of people, but it's a small proportion of the population. Even though it is a small number of the population, the number of people it affects, the brothers, the sisters, the mothers, the fathers, the grannies, the grandpas, the aunts, the uncles, the friends, the colleagues, you know, once you multiply that up, you think, no.

Probably a significant proportion of the population have got somebody trans in or around them. And they're okay with that, because they, like you say, the more we got to know trans people, the more we read about, you know, some of the excellent, you should probably post some of the, and probably do, you know, some of the resources that you've leaned on, some of the excellent trans advocates, trans people who are advocating in the public arena, you know, well informed, well educated, you know.

Very articulate folks, you know, so you should listen to them because that's, you know, they're, they're the people who are living it. And they're the friends and allies of the people who are living it. And there's an awful lot of them be because...


Tim: 00:43:03 Just made up, made up nonsense.


Well absolutely. Which is, which is one of the things. And also you don't know who might be related to a transgender person who is not talking about it because that transgender person is not out publicly. And I know in talking to other transgender parents that it's actually very difficult for them because they can't say anything because their child isn't prepared to come out because they don't feel safe to do so, and therefore the parents find it very difficult to speak out as well


Josephine: 00:44:02 or you have to connect in secret. I think I mean for me this is a plea to people who can speak out to speak out.

And that's part of the reason why we're doing this, because we feel okay to speak out.


Josephine: 00:44:30 Yeah, well it's 0. 5 percent of the population are trans.


In the UK, that's a lot of people. And, you know, that, that is not a small minority. And, and, and in fact, when you think about it. You could probably use a bigger multiplier than that. You could probably use 20, and not be exaggerating, and before you know it, that, you know, before you know it, it's 10 million people.

So, you know, we should lean into that and sort out our relationship with trans people, you know, and make it a much more... welcoming environment. I mean, it's odd, isn't it? It's that, and that's the, that's the frustrating thing about the, that horrible world, that word, the trans issue. You know, that, that's a miscasting of what we're talking about.

The trans people are okay. The relatives and friends and family of trans people, they're okay as well. The issue is the phobes. Just at the core of the issue is that some people are just phobic, you know, they've got deep seated reasons why they are anti. And they're generating the problem. That's the problem.

And there are other people that profit from that because they see it as an easy win and you can kick somebody when they're down. For which they should be ashamed. But the issue is the phobes, not the trans people. And so the sooner we move on to the phobe issue, and what we're going to do about that, the better.


Tim: 00:46:33 Yeah, the problem is prejudice, in the same way that, you know, if you look at race relations in this country, you wouldn't say it's a people of colour issue. It's not, it's a racist issue. The racists are the problem, so let's call it what it is. The phobes are the problem, not the trans people.

So let's move on and talk about the real thing, and that is how do we deal, how do we deal with the phobes and the people who peddle phobia?


And also because... We know our kids and we know they're not predators despite the fact that that's the way they're painted in social media. And like most trans people will tell you, All they want to do is to be able to live their lives in peace and to live their lives happily and fulfilled. They don't want their whole life to be about transgender issues, they want to be getting on with their lives.

And I personally believe, and I'm sure you agree with me, that, you know, our kids coming out, you've said this throughout, is that they're happier and more fulfilled in being their true selves. And that enables them to concentrate on other aspects of their lives. They don't have to fight this all the time.

But the situation where there's such a hostile environment means that it becomes frightening. It takes up all of our time, doesn't it? It, you know, like you were saying about people coming out at work and that sort of emotional weight that they have to carry. And that's what's going on for transgender people at the moment.

You know, often it's really difficult for them to be getting on with their lives and to be happy and fulfilled because they're living in fear. And that's sort of part of our passion really, isn't it? Is to try and make the world a better place for them. And that's, that's why we're doing.


And you know, the sooner we get over it, the better. It's better for everybody if we just learn to get on with people living their lives, the way they're going to live it, it'll just be better. Just nicer. You know, it's our phrase, isn't it? In the end we will outnice people because that's a better way to live.

It's a better way to live than the fear and hate.


Tim: 00:50:29 You too. And thank you.

Thank you for, uh, yeah, thank you for having me on. It's been great.

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About the Podcast

Gloriously Unready
It’s said that the only constant in life is change. But humans like routine, it helps them to feel safe and in control. Change can be difficult to navigate – whether it’s welcome or not.

So Gloriously Unready is all about change: how to make the most of life and the surprises it deals to us.

In Series 1 Josephine shared her story of becoming a mum to two transgender daughters.
In Series 2 she's finding out more about transgender people's experiences because as she adapted to having transgender daughters it helped her to get to know transgender people.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Everybody mentioned in this podcast series has agreed for their story to be told. We are keeping the names of Josephine's children private.

About your hosts

Josephine Hughes

Profile picture for Josephine Hughes
Josephine is a BACP Accredited Counsellor and Mentor who helps other counsellors find clients. With a deep ineptitude for anything technical, Josephine is testament to the power of marketing being first and foremost about relationships - having built an active and engaged Facebook group of over 10,000 counsellors. In her Facebook group and podcast, Good Enough Counsellors is a phrase that resonates with many therapists and Josephine is on a mission to help therapists overcome their self-doubt and make a difference to their clients' lives.

Josephine's other passion is in advocating for transgender people and their families. Initially thinking she had a family of 3 boys, she lost two sons and gained two daughters when they came out as transgender in their teens and early 20's. Her podcast Gloriously Unready was named a "Best Podcast of the Week" in the Guardian who said:

"Hughes is brutally honest and endlessly wise as she tells their story, outlining the moments that many parents face with so much love and support she can't fail to help others".

Josephine lives in Essex with her husband Tim, a programmer who despite having a brain the size of a planet, still has to issue instructions like "Alt-Tab" at regular intervals.