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The More You Know! 15 Ways to Support Your Trans Kid

Being a trans/gender diverse kid navigating a cisnormative/binary world can be extremely difficult. Creating a safe space at home, allowing them to freely explore their gender identity, is therefore especially important. In fact, familial support has been shown to contribute to positive mental health outcomes among trans/gender diverse youth.

Let's Talk About Gender & Gender Development

Here are 15 ways you can support your trans kid:

  1. Educate yourself on gender, gender identity, and gender expression.

  2. Talk with your child about gender, gender identity and gender expression - give them the language to understand gender outside of the binary and help communicate their concerns/questions if they have any. Read books with them that talk about different gender identities/expression.

  3. Listen to your child’s feelings about gender identity and talk to them/ask questions without judgement. Take them seriously and treat them as an individual.

  4. Allow your child to express gender in public or at family activities.

  5. Give your child access to gender-diverse friends, activities or resources (e.g. connect your child with LGBTIQA+ organisations/events).

  6. Be your child’s advocate. Connect with other families who have gender-diverse children - it can help reduce the level of isolation you and your child might be going through. Work with your child’s school and teachers.Reach out within your community: consider supporting or volunteering for gender diversity groups to learn more and help others.

  7. Celebrate diversity in all forms.

  8. Don’t assume your child’s gender expression is a form of rebellion or defiance.

  9. Don’t try to shame or punish your child for their gender expression.

  10. Don’t allow others in your family or community to belittle or ridicule your child’s gender expression.

  11. Understand that experiencing discrimination isn’t your child’s fault.

  12. Speak positively about your child, both to your child and to others, so you can foster a positive sense of self in your child.

  13. Try and let go of expectations you might have had about your child’s future - focus on what brings your child joy and security instead.

  14. It is normal for children to explore who they are. Their gender identity/expression might even change overtime. They just need to know that you will love and accept them as they figure out their place in the world.

  15. You might consider seeking out health care providers, such as a therapist or a specialist, for your child to ensure sufficient support is in place.

Gender Affirming Care Options

Before puberty:

i. For those who have not yet reached puberty, gender affirming care focuses on talking to the child and the family, providing support for home and schooling environments.

1. It is important that families and schools are supported in maintaining a gender-affirming approach.

During/after puberty:

i. Stage 1: puberty blockers are used mostly in early puberty - it is reversible.

ii. Stage 2: gender-affirming hormones (i.e. oestrogen or testosterone) can usually be started around the age of 16, depending on the circumstances.

iii. Stage 3: gender-affirming surgeries are not commonly undertaken before adulthood.

Other than medical and surgical affirmation, social affirmation can also be an important aspect when it comes to gender affirming care - help them express their gender identity by adapting hairstyle, clothing, pronouns, and names etc.

It is important to keep an eye out for other medical and mental health difficulties that may occur during gender affirming treatment(s).

Some parents have a hard time accepting that their child might be trans - if you are having difficulties, please seek additional help through websites, printed resources, support groups or mental health providers.

For further resources please check out our downloadable PDF on LGBTQIA+ and Diversity Further Resources.

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