I'm a 26-year-old transgender man in the middle of my transition while going to college. I'm torn over maintaining a relationship with most of my family. The last time we all got together, they said some hurtful things behind my back and it's gotten to me since then. My grades aren't as high as they should be and I'm talking myself down a lot more. I love them and I've only wanted to make them proud, but I wish they would accept that I'm doing what is truly making me happy. Should I try to reach out to them (again) in hopes they'll change one day or should I move on with my life? Thank you, Mother Minerva.
—Sincerely, Family Man
DEAR FAMILY MAN,
Congratulations on transitioning. Authenticity takes a lot of strength! Unfortunately, families sometimes don't understand trans issues. I feel for you. I'm not close to much of my family. I have relatives who I couldn't pick out of a lineup if my life depended on it who judge me behind my back. That's why you should know that it doesn't matter how much you want their approval, you cannot control what they say. Becoming the best version of yourself is the most important thing. Keep the doors to communication open, but realize that as much as you want to make them proud, pride is a two-way street, and they aren't cutting it! Perhaps they'll come around. Until then, keep working on you and good things will happen.
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