References for allies (and would be allies) of transgender people

Oct 04 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

The child of a friend has come out as transgender. The letter that the parents wrote brought tears to my eyes. I do not have permission to post it here, but to paraphrase: we love our child. Our child's choice of gender does not limit or change that love.

What the letter did contain, that I can repost here, is a set of links for people who want help with accepting and supporting transgender people of all ages: Trans 101 from GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Tips for Allies of Transgender People, also from GLAAD an article from Time Magazine explaining how to talk to and about someone who is transgender   A Guide to Gender and Identity

Finally, I again recommend Deirdre McCluskey's memoir:

The parents end the letter with a reminder that a question that would make you uncomfortable, will likely make a transgender person uncomfortable. That holds for questions you would ask of anyone.

2 responses so far

  • Ola says:

    Some friends of ours recently went through a similar situation, with an odd twist that some members of our community (including myself) are having trouble with - the child in queston is very very young - not yet in Pre-K. I think this is too early. There would seem to be be very little down-side, to allowing the child a few more years of language/emotional/expressive development, including interactions with different groups of peers, before proceeding with such a life-changing decision.

    So, what in your opinion is the correct age at which a child should rightfully be allowed to self-identify in this manner? What level of emotional competence and understanding are necessary for such a decision to be supported? Clearly, someone of middle-school age or entering puberty is qualified (most states use 10-12 years as a reaonable age of self-determination for things such as being left alone in the house, babysitting, etc.), and of course everyone develops at a different rate, but what about a kid who's barely out of diapers?

    • potnia theron says:

      I think it is on an individual basis. I have known children who from first language were "wrong gendered" and others who felt that way pre-K only to change as they moved through school. I think some parents are concerned that socialization (in school), outside their control will hurt the child's identity. It is a tough one.

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