For this episode of GET REAL, we are joined by Ray Blessing who shares his experience of parenting his transgender son Oisin. It’s an honest and touching conversation about the journey Ray and his family have travelled as they supported Oisin through his transition, and the additional aspects of mental health and addiction that have been part of this journey.
Ray speaks compassionately and candidly about the struggles, the joys and the ongoing learnings the family has experienced. He also acknowledges that while the Blessing family received support from their network when they told them about Oisin’s transition, he knows this isn’t the case for all families.
Ray also talks about the need for more holistic support from schools for children and their families who are experiencing challenges, not only academically but socially and emotionally.
And he asks an important question: “How do you wrap support around a family when there’s a struggling child?”.
It’s a question that’s not only applicable for people with a transgender child, but for all families who have a child who is struggling in areas of their lives.
For another perspective on this important topic, and if you missed it, check out last fortnight’s episode with Lauren McGovern talking about growing up trans in Tasmania in the 1980s and ‘90s; the trauma imposed by decades of being someone other than who she really was inside; and her joy at coming out as trans at the age of 45.
Content note: If you have been affected by anything discussed in this podcast you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
For mental health support, go to https://www.ermha.org/mental-health-services/