Transgender Children: Frequently Asked Questions

More important, it is the belief of this author that the best way to protect our children is by educating the public. With increased awareness, society will soon begin to understand that transness is not about a person's genitalia; it is a condition of the brain. Because science is many years away from affecting brain development, our only choice as parents of trans children is to help them accommodate their bodies to live as normal a life as possible.

8. Do you tell the parents of your child's friends?

Whether or not you reveal that your child is trans depends on the route you took during and after transition. Parents most commonly choose one of two options after allowing their child full-identity expression; they either remain in the same location with the same friends and schoolmates, or they move the family to a place where they are unknown and can start fresh.

If you choose to do this publicly, then it is important to continue to inform the families of new playmates that your child is transgendered. In this way, you will avoid them learning about your child improperly. Most people cannot explain the path that led you to allow open expression. They tend to spew out something like "that kid's really a boy in a skirt" or "that's really a girl under those clothes." Again, you may spend a lot of time discussing what should be a very private issue, but the purpose is to educate and thus, protect. New parents in your child's life can become important members of your child's team if the situation is handled properly.

On the other hand, if your family transitioned privately, then you must attempt to keep it that way. Your child and your family may become unprepared to explain this condition if "the word gets out." Private transition avoids the ridicule and taunting that both you and your child may face; but it is the belief of this author that secrets have a way of coming out, usually when least expected. It is highly advisable to build a team for your child even in a private transition, in the event that one day it will be needed.

9. Whom do they marry?

It's hoped that your child will marry the person with whom he or she wants to spend the rest of his or her life. If your child is comfortable with "who" they are, your child will be able to build long-lasting, honest relationships; any relationship is only as strong as the people involved. If they chose to have children, they will seek out options available to other infertile couples. With your support and your child's team, the answer to this question will be in the hands of your child.

10. Where do I go for more information?

There are many great resources for information and support, but the best place to start as a parent is with other parents. The feeling of loneliness can be overwhelming.

The TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation funds research and educates the public about transgender issues. Please CLICK HERE to visit their Web site for resources, links and more.

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