Monday, May 21 , 2018, 11:10 pm | Fair 59º


Louise Palanker: Secret Boyfriend and Parental Abuse, Coming Out Trans, Feeling Left Out

Question from Amanda

So my parents don’t know about my boyfriend. We’ve been together for a year now, and he wants me to tell them about him and he wants to meet them, but if I do, I lose their trust.

Last time I told my parents about a guy, I was screamed at until I cried. My own mother called me a slut.

I will be 17 in September. My parents kill me mentally. My father gets drunk and is physically abusive every day. My mother encourages it. The other day she yelled, “No wonder your father beats you.”

So what can I do to complete my boyfriend’s wish? I would like if he can just come to my house whenever and we can hang out. Also, he wants me to go on a 30-minute ride with his family. I have a story to tell my parents so that I can go, but I don’t know how I feel about going.

My boyfriend’s mom is nice and his niece loves me, but his brother and I aren’t all that friendly. But I don’t know if I’m ready for a 30-minute car ride to and back, and maybe even a trip to the mall with all of them.

Isn’t that weird? Nobody wants someone just joining along, even just to go get passport pictures taken. I don’t know what should I do.


There is a lot going on here. I will start by saying that I am not usually a fan of secret boyfriends, but your situation is different. Your home life is abusive. This is affecting you and your perception of the world.

Does your boyfriend understand what goes on in your home? Make it very clear. You are being physically and emotionally abused. You can not, and should not, tell your parents about your relationship with this boy. It would not improve one aspect of your life. I know you just want normal. You will have that one day. But you don’t have it now.

It is not OK for your mother to call you names. It is not OK for your father to hit you. It is not OK for your mother to justify your father hitting you. None of that is OK. All of that is in the forefront of your life, clouding your view of everything else.

Is there a counselor at school that you can speak to about your situation? You may also want to contact a helpline; click here for Teen Line.

OK, now the road trip. Trust your gut. I don’t think that you should go. There is just too much going on.

» Your parents don’t know that you have a boyfriend.

» Your relationship with this boy is already a lie of omission. Your story to justify this trip will compound that lie. Secrets and lies are corrosive. Don’t create any more than are absolutely necessary for you to survive your childhood.

» You are instinctively feeling uncomfortable about this trip because you and your boyfriend come from different realities. His family seems healthy. That would understandably make you feel out of place and possibly judged. You are overthinking this; They won’t be. But still, you are not ready for the experience. Soon you will be. But not yet.

You are too close to your own reality to know that kids from healthy homes take road trips with other families all the time. It is not a big thing for a kid to have a friend along for all kinds of adventures. That’s what happy families do.

I am not trying to make you feel left out. I am trying to help you understand that you have no frame of reference other than your own. Out there in the bigger world, things are brighter.

YOU are not your circumstances. You will have a great life with love and inclusion and acceptance and friendship and kindness. These will be your choices.

However, right now it’s too soon for you to let your parents know how much this boy means to you. (They will take it wrong and take it out on you.)

AND, it is too soon for you to take a ride with his family. With your parents unaware of this relationship, too much could go wrong and make your life more difficult.

Get help. Speak to someone.

Your adult life and your freedom are right around the corner. Hang on. Continue making great connections with wonderful people. You are the architect of your future.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Theo

I am a trans girl, hitting puberty and I need to look like a guy, HELP!


You need to be talking to an expert who can help you face to face. Hormone blockers will arrest the onset of puberty and secondary sexual characteristics. Yes, you can be anyone you wish to be. But if you feel like a boy inside, you will need adult helping becoming a boy on the outside.

Speak to your parents if they are open. Speak to a therapist. Dress the way you want to dress. Wear your hair in a style that makes you feel like you.
It sounds like you really do not want to develop curves and breasts so you do need to speak to a counselor who can help you.

Try showing this website to your parents, and then you can watch this video together:

(My Genderation video)

You are not alone and help is out there.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Cammie

I have friends who leave me out. What should I do??


That’s so hard, I know. But you can’t force yourself into a situation. You can gently let your friends know that you miss them and, if that fails to work, make other plans. Get good at something. Work on a project. Call another friend. Talk to a family member about something that matters. Volunteer. Be of service. Learn a new skill. Create something that makes you feel proud.

The older you grow, the more access you will have to better and closer friends. In the meantime, make the most of every situation. Invite people to be a part of your plan.

                                                                 •        •        •

Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals Network, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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