Bruce Parker

Know or Love a Gender Variant Kid?

Filed By Bruce Parker | May 16, 2007 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: LGBT youth, transgender

The Transgender Youth Family Advocate (TYFA) website includes a list of top ten tips for dealing with gender variant kids. Folks should check out all ten and the other neat resources available on the TYFA website. I am including below some of the ten tips that I believe are particularly pertinent for understanding/relating to gender variant folks regardless of their age. I would suggest replacing child with whatever appropriate noun fits your situation.

Your child does not experience their gender as others may see them.

This is significant and your child takes it very seriously

This doesn't mean your child is gay or lesbian. They may or may not be...sexual orientation is different from gender identity.

The most current research indicates that in most children, gender identity variance is neither an illness nor a psychiatric disorder.

It's not important right now where your child is going to "end up" related to gender.

Respect your child's feelings about their gender identity above all else.

What do people think about the suggestions that I have highlighted above and the others that are included on the TYFA website?


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Wilson46201 | May 16, 2007 10:08 AM

I was the Elections Inspector at School 101 and observed an unusual phenomenon there: a bathroom marked "UNISEX" in between the BOYS and GIRLS bathrooms. I peeked in: it looked like a converted janitors closet.

It sounds like a good idea for a middle school. Young folk have gender identity issues to deal with.

I've been planning to talk to the Principal there about the reasons for IPS instituting such an unusual UNISEX bathroom...

Also, there is a very sweet video of trans children on youtube called Out of the Shadows...

and I often feel that if society would make the connection between these younsters and and their adult peers there would be a greater level of understanding.

Because many transgendered adults started out as these children, it brings back the innocence of gender rather than that which the media has focused on for so long.