The Day My Daughter Came Out As A Transwoman

I’m Sushma Dhankar, a proud parent of a transwoman. My daughter, Versha Dhankar, means the world to me. I remember, with crystal clarity, both the proceedings of the entire day and also the very moment she came out. It was the 25th of April, 2018, sometime around noon. My husband called me up and asked whether I had seen the recent messages in the family group.

“I haven’t,” I said. His voice, I realized, was choking and was barely audible, which sent chills down my spine. I felt pangs of anxiety rush through my system because our daughter back then was already undergoing treatment for clinical depression. I opened the chat and saw three or four long paragraphs sent by our elder child (known then as our son). I began reading.

“Mom, dad, and sister, I have to tell you something very important about me; I am not your son. I’m born in a male body, but I am your daughter.

I wanted to tell you about this earlier but couldn’t gather the courage to do so. I love you and my little sister very much and cannot live without you. If you don’t accept me, I am going to jump out of my room’s window.”

Reading this, I was in a state of shock. I couldn’t understand anything but the fact that my child’s life is in danger. I then told her that she is our child and nothing else matters more to us than our children’s lives. I told her that we love her a lot. And then, I somehow managed to calm her down. After a while when she had somewhat recomposed herself, she finally decided to pick up my call. When she did, I heard her crying incessantly. She said she is having a panic attack and that she’ll not be able to talk much but is very happy to know that we love her and accept her for who she is.

From that moment onwards, we began our journey as allies of the LGBTQ community and proud parents of a transwoman. It has certainly been difficult. There is no denying the fact that we went through a lot of turmoil. But this time has also taught us a lot. We had to unlearn our earlier ways of thinking, and learn newer ways of perceiving the world. All of a sudden, we were exposed to a myriad of new things, ways of life, cultures, people, and a whole new way to love one another. Our love for our daughter fueled our drive to give her a better life.

One fine day I saw an article about Sweekar Group of Rainbow Parents in the newspaper. I was able to finally relate and identify with these amazing people who love and support their LGBTQ children just as much as we do.
We decided to approach them right away.

It fills me with a lot of pride and joy to say that we have been a part of this incredibly empowering community of fiercely loving, accepting, kind, compassionate and above all, inspiring parents for more than a year.

I am so grateful to know these people who have helped us so tremendously. We hope to give the same amount of strength and exude the same amount of confidence, love, and acceptance for one and all as our journey continues.

– Sushma Dhankar