“In the hardest of times, there is still love.” A letter from a father of a trans teen.

May 18, 2024

By Howard D.

Howard D., a father of a trans teen who is a member of the Keshet youth community shared this letter with our team. As he saw anti-trans legislation spreading in our country, he felt compelled to share this message of love and support to all trans youth facing these cruel and terrifying laws.

I am the father of an Illinois trans teen. While always supportive of LGBTQ issues before my teen came out, I never had to stand up for those issues due to a personal connection. Now I do. Now we all do.  

The torrent of anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ legislation in the past few years is born out of hate and fear. There is much hate in the world. Hate and jealousy have been a part of human experience since the dawn of time, and will continue to exist until the end of time – no matter how “enlightened” we think humanity or society is becoming, if we are to be intellectually honest. However, also since the dawn of time there has been much love. Love is nourishment for the soul; warm, uplifting, and will always prevail over hate (it might just take a while). Focus on the rays of “love” in your life, no matter how small – whether love by family, friends, support networks, or even a pet.

In the hardest of times, there is still love. There will always be love to be found if you search for it.

As my Polish-born, Holocaust-surviving grandfather used to say to me and my sister when we were kids (before he passed away decades ago), “Nuttin’ to say but I love you.”

Stay strong. Just know that there are people you do not know – and will never meet – who love and support you. Stay educated on the societal challenges of being trans, fight for trans rights to the extent you are comfortable, but for each piece of legislation, article, or comment on TikTok you read opposed to trans rights, surf the web for the next 3 minutes thereafter to search for people and comments that show you the love and support that exists.  It is there if you look for it.

A middle-aged man with short hair with his arm around the shoulder of a teenage boy in a black hat, on a snowy beach