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The Birth of Transfamily

in AUSTRALIA, 08/12/2013

Activism led by transgender people has meant there is a growing awareness around the issues they face in the broader community, but what about their families? Stephen A Russell talks to a mother about her journey with her trans daughter.

When Lyn McDonald took a phone call from her then married with kids son back in 1997, she was unprepared for a dramatic change to family life as she knew it.

“She rang me and said, mum, I want to be a woman; in fact, I am a woman,” McDonald says. “I had absolutely no idea that there were any gender issues for her, it was out of left field. I was absolutely shattered. I didn’t understand it, and I didn’t know how to cope with it.”

McDonald describes her upbringing in “way, way outer suburbia,” as a “typical okka family.” She didn’t have the framework to begin grappling with the concept of a transgender daughter.

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