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How to Discuss Lost In Transition With Loved Ones

posted: 06/08/18
by: Marina Luciano-Carson


Download the discussion guide here.

On Lost in Transition, we meet four couples whose marriages evolve as the husband comes out as transgender. This series takes a candid look at the challenges that transgender people face, and how their families adapt to the change.

If you haven't already, download the TLC GO app to watch full episodes of Lost in Transition and use this discussion guide to spark meaningful conversation about the show.

Get to know the families here.

Discussion Topics:

What do you know about the transgender community?

  • Do you know anyone who is transgender?
  • What are some common misconceptions about being transgender or the community?
  • If you are transgender, what would you like for people to know?
  • If you are cis-gender, imagine what would your life be like if you were transgender. How would it be different, if at all?
  • Misgendering, referring to a transgender person as the wrong gender, is a common occurrence, even by friends and family. What can you do to ensure you do not misgender people? Family Equality Council provides some useful strategies that you can use to avoid misgendering people in the LGBQT+ community here.

Takeaway: If you are not familiar with the community, find resources, and educate yourself on how to be an ally. And if you are transgender, feel empowered to start the conversation about your transition journey with your loved ones wherever and whenever you feel comfortable.

What are your thoughts on the families featured on the show?

  • What is your take on the cast?
    • What do you think about the way that Lawren, Lucy, Karen, or Leslie came out to their families?
    • What do you think about their wives' reactions? Do you agree with how Jennifer, Beverly, Cindy or Stacy responded? Why or why not?
    • How do you think the children are handling the transitions?
  • What do you think about the way the people transitioning and their families are treated by their neighbors and friends?
  • What about the people in their community - their friends, coworkers, neighbors, or strangers?

Takeaway: A transition is a huge shift in any relationship, and how to approach it can differ from person to person and even from day to day. Listening to how the person feels and what they want is the best way to work through the complicated emotions that can accompany a transition. If you know someone who wants to come out as transgender and needs help starting the conversation, share this resource with them.

How would you feel if a significant other revealed they are transgender?

    • Would you stay in a relationship if your spouse/partner revealed they are transgender? What would be the biggest challenge?
    • What are some of the feelings that the wives have expressed about their partners coming out? Anger, fear, frustration, empathy, love...what else? How do you think this makes their transgender spouses feel?
  • Do you think the spouses transitioning should have come out earlier to their partners? What do you think the person transitioning could do better to let their spouse understand why this is a critical step for well-being?
    • Which couple do you relate to the most? Why? What do you think will happen to their relationships?
  • How has the series changed, if at all, how you view transgender people and their relationships?

Takeaway: There is no "right" way for couples in this situation to feel, and their emotions can vary. One day, they might feel angry, upset, or scared and the next they might feel hopeful, relieved, or empowered. Leading with empathy and being patient will allow couples to work through their emotions surrounding a transition.

Use this discussion guide while watching Lost in Transition on TLC on Sundays at 10/9c to open up a dialogue about the topic. Find additional resources at TLC.com/TransitionResources. Or, visit the Family Equality Council website to learn more.