Talking to Your Kids About Chaz Bono

Sep 3, 2011 9:00am

Long before Chaz Bono joined the cast of “Dancing With the Stars,” his headline-grabbing female-to-male gender transition prompted parents to ask, “What do we say to our kids?” I reached out to gender expert Michelle Angello, who has a doctorate in human sexuality, and here was her advice.


Gender identity issues, she said, can actually be less confusing for kids than for adults.

abc chaz bono interview jef 110509 ml Talking to Your Kids About Chaz Bono

Chaz Bono (Rick Rowell/ABC News)


“Because we have this societal taboo of gender, if you’re born this way, you should be happy this way, and children don’t necessarily understand that,” she said.


“Children, in their concrete minds, can say, ‘So you have a girl inside, so I guess you should have a girl outside or vice versa.’ ”


For instance, when a man is transitioning  to become a woman — as was the case with transgender mom Chloe Prince, whom I once profiled for “Primetime” — Angello recommended telling an 8-year-old that Prince “used to be a man on the outside and she had a woman on the inside and she needed to let the woman on the inside out.”


Most kids that age, she said, will say, “OK, that makes sense.”


Watch the original interview below.



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