fbpx
TRANSCEND

TRANSCEND: BRIDGET SAMPSON

Bridget Sampson, founder of the Transgender School speaks with Gracie.

the following is a transcript of Gracie’s conversation with Bridget Sampson.

GRACIE

Parenting 101 for the Dolls next. Class is in session, as my guest today is the co-founder of the Transgender School, which she launched in 2020 to promote LGBTQ plus education and advocacy with her daughter, Jackie, who identifies as trans. She is a CEO, author, professor of communications and certified coach. The mother-daughter duo also host the transgender podcast. Please welcome to Transcend, Bridget Sampson.

BRIDGE

Thank you so much. I’m thrilled to be with you, Gracie and I thank you so much for the important work that you do in the world. Thank you.

GRACIE

Thank you for being here. Thank you for the work that you’re doing. This is like so powerful, so transformative, and so needed, especially in today’s climate with everything that’s going on in the world. I’m just so happy to have you here and to have this conversation with you. As I know the importance of unconditional love and support from my parents and the development of who we are transitioning and becoming as human beings all around, period. And oftentimes, it may not always start out that way. So you and your husband gave your daughter, Jackie, a lot of pushback about transitioning. When and what was the turning point for you two, to better assist her in her process?

BRIDGET

Yes, that’s true. We were not educated. We did not understand what it means to be transgender. Even though we were, we had a lot of education in other areas and knew a lot and saw ourselves as LGBTQ advocates, LGBTQ plus advocates. We really didn’t understand what it means to be transgender. So the turning point for us was really after Jackie, being relentlessly consistent with asserting her identity with us and saying you and are, you know, you are just going to have to get on board with this. You’re gonna have to learn and understand. And we did, we read, we joined a support group. We learned as much as we possibly could. We met other parents of transgender kids. And so it took a few months. And really because Jackie is so, you know, Jackie is just so confident and so articulate and she really showed us and taught us. And now I feel guilty about that because people shouldn’t have to do that. Now I educate parents to not force their kids, right, to have to prove that they are transgender. And to inundate us with all this material, we should just understand our kids and honor our kids and listen to what they’re telling us. But for us, the turning point came at about two or three months in and Jackie was just had made herself perfectly clear and we couldn’t deny it anymore.

GRACIE

I love Jackie’s confidence. Just hearing that just made my spirit like so excited because I do, I think oftentimes as children, we wait and we want that acceptance. And we want that love from our parents for it, to give us the permission to be who we are. I love that Jackie said, no, you’re all going to get aboard on my train. I’m not waiting for you guys to pull up. You’re all going to pull up for me. So kudos to you, Jackie, and also for you guys for educating yourself. What was that process like for you guys researching and trying to figure out how to help her?

BRIDGET

Well, you know, it’s a lot better now than it has been in the past. I think there’s so much information out there. I started with the book, The Transgender Teen. I started just researching online and found P flag. I found our local support group is called Transforming Family. They’re amazing. I found so many resources when I actually started looking, but there was really a lack of information really for parents new in the process. And that’s why Jackie and I decided to start Transgender School because we realized that the exact information that I needed, that we needed, wasn’t exactly out there. And we thought, you know, we have got to take people on this journey that we’ve been on for four years. By the time we started Transgender School, it was four years after Jackie came out and looking back, I was like, oh, it would have been great to have this kind of a video. So we made a video. It would have been great to have a podcast. So we made the Transgender School podcast, you know? And so, you know, the journey was tough because I had to kind of sift through a lot of information that was out there, but that wasn’t necessarily really geared toward me as the parent of someone, especially as the parent of an adult coming out. Jackie was 19 when she came out and I didn’t feel like I had any signs. Now I know, of course, there were tons of signs, but so yeah, there was information, but I’m glad that we’ve been able to cater much more specifically to parents.

GRACIE

I’m glad that you guys have also, and I know as parents, ’cause I know, my mother, her thing, once she got on board, she felt so bad. She felt so guilty. She said the same thing. Like I wish I would have been more supportive from the beginning. I wish that I would have listened to you. And you know, sometimes all of our journeys are different and they happen in all the different, unique timelines that they are. But I’m just so happy that you guys are on board. What has the response been like from other families?

BRIDGET

It has been amazing. We have connected with so many people all over the world. We have, we’re on all the social media. Of course the, we have so much engagement with people who are finding their way to us and just telling us that we’re helping their families and that so many parents who said, I didn’t understand, and somebody sent me to Transgender School and you had all these resources where I could learn and it was all for parents and it helped me to understand. So we are just inundated with messages from families and from trans people, especially trans young people who are saying, thank you for helping my parents understand. We’ve connected with so many people and we’re so grateful for the feedback that we’re getting. It’s been incredible.

GRACIE

This is so powerful. It really is. And I think that, I hope that this is the start of many more schools for transgenders, like many more opportunities, many more platforms that we can combine, not only the child who’s going through it, but the parent.

BRIDGET

Yes, yes.

GRACIE

If you can travel back in time, what’s the one thing you would change about your relationship with Jackie?

BRIDGET

Oh gosh, if I could go all the way back, you know, I would not have assumed that she was male, knowing everything I know now, I would have started conversations very, very young and early to let her know that, you know, there are many different gender identities and some people know that they’re transgender and know that the sex assigned to them by a doctor is not accurate for them. And if you ever feel that way, you can talk to us about it and we love you and we would want to provide support. And we know about this, you know, I would have started really, really early saying those kinds of things. We had friends, we had a number of gay and lesbian friends. So my kids were always exposed to that part of the community, but we never talked about being transgender. So if I could go back, that’s the biggest thing I would do. And then when Jackie came out, the biggest thing I would do going back is just shut my mouth, to be honest with you. Is not say a freaking word and just listen to her. Just have her tell me, what is your truth? Okay, this is your truth. I’m your mother, I love you, I hear you, I’m here. What can I do? That’s it.

GRACIE

The power of just creating that space and like you said, just shutting your mouth. And I think sometimes us as individuals, period, if we can just shut our mouths and let people express their truths and let people allow people to express their ideas. What much more awakening would we all have, a greater understanding that we will all have. What message would you like to leave with parents who are coming to terms with their child’s transition?

BRIDGET

Please love your child. Your child is the same person. Their gender identity may be different than what you thought it was, but they are the same person you love. Love them, support them, seek information, go to transgenderschool.org. We have tons and tons and tons of resources, including a free 15 page resource handout for you to learn and understand that this is not a choice. This is not, there’s nothing wrong with your child. They’re amazing. They’re a gift to you. And you’re gonna have this incredible journey of learning. And this is a calling in your life that you need to rise to the occasion and realize that your child is amazing and beautiful and courageous for coming out to you. And please, please, please love them and support them with all your heart and find us if you need support. Transgender School, we’re everywhere. We are here to help you.

GRACIE

Beautifully put, this is no choice. This is a calling. I love that. Bridget, thank you so much for joining us today and for all the work that you’re doing and just give an extra shout out to my girl, Jackie. Hi honey!

BRIDGET

I will, I promise. She’ll be so happy that you and I had this conversation and to hear about it. She sends her best too.

GRACIE

To watch this episode again, or for more stories like these, check out our website at pluslifemedia.com and make sure to follow us at Plus Life Media. Until next time, be the love, be the support, and be the parent you may have needed when dealing with adversity.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: