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Parenting Transgender Children

A Mom's Letter Introducing Her Transgender Daughter

Liz Hanssen | Posted 11.15.2014 | Gay Voices
Liz Hanssen

I am the fortunate parent who lives in awe of her 15-year-old child, whose courage and conviction to live authentically in a largely unfamiliar and often less-than-friendly world is humbling. And as she has grown into herself, so too have those around her.

Transgender Children Today: Shifting the Responsibility for Change Away From Children and Onto Society

Aidan Key | Posted 09.20.2014 | Gay Voices
Aidan Key

How do we change society? We start by listening to the truths of these children and believing, rather than dismissing, them. If we can start by believing the child's clearly stated truth, we are well on our way.

My Trans Son: Standing Tall

Todd Greenwood | Posted 09.12.2014 | Gay Voices
Todd Greenwood

As a society, we have just begun to talk about what it means to be transgender, and I, like most men of my generation, knew almost nothing. If there is anything that I've learned, it's that the subject is deeply complex. I think I understand something fundamental, but I really don't.

The Day I Took a Knife to School, and How It Changed Me

Mary J. Moss | Posted 09.04.2014 | Gay Voices
Mary J. Moss

"I might as well be invisible," I thought. I was sitting in my wheelchair in the locker room while the other kids played a sport in gym class. I could hear them and wondered how long it would take for anyone to find me. I felt so alone. I thought I was a burden to my family, and I felt hopeless.

Dispelling Myths, Misconceptions and Lies About Gender-Nonconforming Children

Brynn Tannehill | Posted 08.10.2014 | Gay Voices
Brynn Tannehill

Recently, a video about a transgender child in California went viral. Sadly, like every other conversation about transgender children, the comments section was often unkind. Scanning the comments, I saw the same poorly thought-out ideas keep popping up. I think it's time to put these misconceptions to bed.

Grieving a Child Who Is Still Alive

Mary J. Moss | Posted 08.08.2014 | Gay Voices
Mary J. Moss

My daughter Grace passed away in September 2010. There wasn't an obituary. There wasn't a funeral. There wasn't a casket or even a body to put in it. No one sent me sympathy cards. No one brought me casseroles. This wasn't because no one cared yet. It was because my child was still alive.

Allies and Angels

Jorge R. Petit, MD | Posted 07.02.2014 | Gay Voices
Jorge R. Petit, MD

In their book Allies and Angels: A Memoir of Our Family's Transition, Terri and Vince Cook lay bare their experience and journey of parenting a transgender child. They show us that resolve and steadfast love are what truly define the parental instinct.

Can You Hear Me Now?

Leslie Lagerstrom | Posted 10.21.2013 | Gay Voices
Leslie Lagerstrom

We didn't just drag our feet. Instead we got fitted for cement shoes that kept us firmly planted in the middle of this state of denial, because quite frankly, we were too scared to admit out loud what we already knew in our hearts to be true.

A Simple Valentine's Day Dance

Wayne Maines | Posted 04.09.2013 | Gay Voices
Wayne Maines

Nicole was 10 years old, openly attending school as a transgender girl, and Valentine's Day was right around the corner. One evening Nicole came home, and while we were preparing dinner, she announced that there was going to be a father-daughter dance at the town recreation building.

Pride And Prejudice

Leslie Lagerstrom | Posted 12.19.2012 | Gay Voices
Leslie Lagerstrom

I'm sure you can imagine how my prejudices were perpetuated once we realized our child was transgender. I was certain that all Republicans would deny my child his rights, that religious friends would shun us and that seniors would never be able to understand. Tsk, tsk.

The DMV Test

Leslie Lagerstrom | Posted 11.20.2012 | Gay Voices
Leslie Lagerstrom

For most people, getting your driver's license in the mail is a non-event. But for Sam, we were anxious, for a reason 99 percent of the population would never consider. For Sam (and therefore for me, because I love him so much), we were eager to see if the gender marker actually read "M."

XX vs. XY

Leslie Lagerstrom | Posted 10.01.2012 | Gay Voices
Leslie Lagerstrom

"When did you know for sure?" Everyone we meet wants to know the answer to that question when they hear we have a transgender child, most because they are genuinely interested in a subject that is still a mystery for so many.

A Happy Camper

Leslie Lagerstrom | Posted 09.08.2012 | Gay Voices
Leslie Lagerstrom

When your child is transgender, do you err on the side of full disclosure, thereby risking rejection, or do you proceed without exposing your child's biology, because it really shouldn't matter, right? Such was the case when Sam went to camp for the first time as a boy.

Facing Fear... And Having Dinner With Him

Leslie Lagerstrom | Posted 09.01.2012 | Gay Voices
Leslie Lagerstrom

Sam was 10 years old, and deep down we knew what we were dealing with; we just hadn't said it out loud that often, and when we did, it was only between my husband and me. That was the same year Oprah aired her first show on transgender children.

It's A Boy!

Leslie Lagerstrom | Posted 07.14.2012 | Gay Voices
Leslie Lagerstrom

Society had graciously given us the "tomboy" label to justify our child's behavior, which we gladly used as a wishful excuse. But all too soon it became hard to ignore the earnest pleas for the McDonald's Happy Meal that included the boy's toy, or the innocent requests to wear male clothes.

What Does Transgender Mean? One Semi-Conservative Dad's Perspective

Wayne Maines | Posted 06.11.2012 | Gay Voices
Wayne Maines

My transgender daughter Nicole is my mentor. It's tough to put into words what a profound impact this small person has had in changing my core values, but since the young age of 5, she has unknowingly encouraged me to open my eyes and heart to new ideas.

A Mother's Love for a Daughter Who Is a Son

Amelia | Posted 01.03.2012 | Gay Voices
Amelia

As everyone was getting settled into their separate conversations, I turned to Monica and asked about her kids, a daughter and a son. And that's when she told me her 18-year-old daughter was now her son, Dominic.