Article: Parenting transgender children in PFLAG

Published with Taylor L. Field in The Journal of GLBT Family Studies.

Parents of transgender children (N=14) recounted four ways in which their parenting experiences were more difficult and isolating than those of other parents of a national GLBT support organization: the physical changes their children undergo, the lack of media representations of transgender lives, the effect of their child’s gender transition on their identity as a parent, and the tensions involved in their child’s successful transition in public settings. Parental isolation may be alleviated, however, by recognizing four unrecognized similarities shared among parents of GLBT children: adjusting to changes in their child’s appearance, the process of grief and mourning, the tendency to hierarchically rank parental difficulties, and fears of being a bad parent. The isolation faced by parents of transgender children is imposed not only by anti trans prejudice and lack of information, but also by the unacknowledged and undiscussed ways in which a child’s gender transition affects parental gender identities.

Pink, blue, white and lavender billboard reading "someone you know is transgender" with the PF?LAG logo of an entwined heart and triangle in front of a yellow sun
PFLAG billboard in Colorado Springs

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