But not all cases are as clear-cut. Even for professionals, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between a child who has interests typical of the other gender, and a child who thinks she was born into the wrong body. In either case, experts agree, the most important thing for a parent to do is to continue to nurture and love the child.
Renee Jennings, mother of a 6-year-old transgender daughter, offered this advice to parents wondering whether their child is transgender or just masculine, feminine or gay: "You have to look at your child, and look into their heart, and support them. And just follow their lead."
She added: "I feel bad for parents who can't give that to their children. Some of them just can't put aside their own bigotry enough to say, 'It doesn't matter. I love you if you're gay, lesbian, transgender. Why should it matter? This is your child."