It is the people that are supposed to love us that hurt us the most when they cannot or will not accept us for who we are. Gay and trans people need to be very strong as people to be able to cope with the rejection they often experience from family.
Every trans person knows that if you are young then it is really the best time to start transitioning because the results are so much better. The body simply is more receptive to hormonal treatments if you start off when you are in your teens or early twenties. There is simply so much less cross-gender damage to undo. The downside of this of course, is that when you are young and still living with your parents, you cannot suport yourself - and your wellfare is in someone elses hands. If parents are loving and understanding enough to accept the truth about their children, and to help them instead of standing in their way - or worse, rejecting them and subjecting them to emotional abuse and blackmail, then these are very lucky people indeed.
Not every family is financially blessed enough to fund the cost of the entire transition, but at the very least they can provide an atmosphere of love, tolerance and acceptance - what they need most - far more than the medication and medical treatments and procedures that will follow. If parents embarrass, isolate, threaten, abuse and intimidate gay or trans children, they are for all intents and purposes priming a tragedy waiting to happen.
This is what makes our youth so vulnerable, and why in some places there are so many transgender and gay youth forced to turn to prostitution to support themselves - or suicide - after being deserted by their "moral" families.
Man, I surely do love irony in that!
There are groups out there, even here in quiet, boring little South Africa claiming "give us your gay and trans - and we will bend them straight again". They are a part of what is called the "ex-gay" movement, started originally in the USA by a group called "Exodus International". They use disproven and heavilly criticized ideas and techniques which every respected medical associasion around the world (including South Africa's Psychiatric Association) has warned against. "reparitive therapy" as it is called, causes feelings of shame and guilt so profound that it very often leads to depression, suicide and other self-destructiove behavior in its victims. In short, these groups have no authority, no credibility - and no conscience.
Recently a cornerstone of the ex-gay movement crumbled when it was uncovered that the "studies" conducted and used in a book "proving" that two sexologists in the US successfully used therapy to make gay people straight was a fraud. Approximately 300 case studies used in the book, in fact never took place and stats and figures used in the book were in fact fabricated. In fact, even one of the authors of this book published in 1979 further admitted that "the book should never have been published in the first place". So much for the "feasibility" of ex-gay therapy. Now the charlatans are right back to claiming "faith healing" and snake charms.
Despite having no credibility and no proven success rate (unless you count the suicide statistics they love to refer to as proof of their claims that homosexuality is "a suicidal lifestyle"), and no reason to "make people stright" other than their own abundantly clear religious fundamentalist bigotry - they are nevertheless going ahead anyway. Some churches and even some schools will even refer fresh meat to these grinders, all to satisfy religious bigotry. They claim that parents and the "afflicted" children can "pray away the gay".
The hands of anti-GLBTI groups are drenched in the blood of innocent people. Just because they do not squeeze a trigger or swing an axe does not make them innocent of the deaths resulting from the persecution they commit or incite others to commit. They are as bad as racists, and they are no better than the Nazi butchers of old.
This is the kind of lie that costs lives.