A groundbreaking guide to caring for children who live outside binary gender boxes
We are only beginning to understand gender. Is it inborn or learned? Can it be chosen—or even changed? Does it have to be one or the other? These questions may seem abstract—but for parents whose children live outside of gender “norms,” they are very real.
No two children who bend the “rules” of gender do so in quite the same way. Felicia threw away her frilly dresses at age three. Sam hid his interest in dolls and “girl things” until high school—when he finally confided his desire to become Sammi. And seven-year-old Maggie, who sports a boys’ basketball uniform and a long blond braid, identifies as “a boy in the front, and a girl in the back.” But all gender-nonconforming children have one thing in common—they need support to thrive in a society that still subscribes to a binary system of gender.
This comprehensive first of its kind guidebook explores the unique challenges that thousands of families face every day raising their children in every city and state. Through extensive research and interviews, as well as years of experience working in the field, the authors cover gender variance from birth through college. What do you do when your toddler daughter’s first sentence is that she’s a boy? What will happen when your preschool son insists on wearing a dress to school? Is this ever just a phase? How can you explain this to your neighbors and family? How can parents advocate for their children in elementary schools? What are the current laws on the rights of transgender children? What do doctors specializing in gender variant children recommend? What do the therapists say? What advice do other families who have trans kids have? What about hormone blockers and surgery? What issues should your college-bound trans child be thinking about when selecting a school? How can I best raise my gender variant or transgender child with love and compassion, even when I barely understand the issues ahead of us? And what is gender, anyway? These questions and more are answered in this book offering a deeper understanding of gender variant and transgender children and teens.
The Gender Fairy
‘The Gender Fairy’, written by Jo Hirst, and illustrated by Libby Wirt, is now available for order online, and in selected bookstores such as the Royal Children’s Hospital bookshop in Melbourne, direct from www.genderfairy.com website, and now on Amazon.
The Gender Fairy is a simple story about two children feeling the relief of being heard: Of two children who are taking their first joyful steps toward living as their true selves.
It is an educational resource for all children and adults to understand what it might feel like to be a transgender child.
For children aged four and up, The Gender Fairy is designed to be read aloud in the classroom, or at home. It includes notes for parents and teachers to aid discussion and learning, completed in collaboration with Roz Ward (La Trobe University).
Raising My Rainbow “is Lori Duron’s frank, heartfelt, and brutally funny account of her and her family’s adventures of distress and happiness raising a gender-creative son. Whereas her older son, Chase, is a Lego-loving, sports-playing boy’s boy, her younger son, C.J., would much rather twirl around in a pink sparkly tutu, with a Disney Princess in each hand while singing Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi.” C.J. is gender variant or gender nonconforming, whichever you prefer. Whatever the term, Lori has a boy who likes girl stuff really likes girl stuff. He floats on the gender-variation spectrum from super-macho-masculine on the left all the way to super-girly-feminine on the right. He’s not all pink and not all blue. He’s a muddled mess or a rainbow creation. Lori and her family choose to see the rainbow. Written in Lori’s uniquely witty and warm voice and launched by her incredibly popular blog of the same name, “Raising My” “Rainbow “is the unforgettable story of her wonderful family as they navigate the often challenging but never dull privilege of raising a slightly effeminate, possibly gay, totally fabulous son. Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader s guide and bonus content”
The story of a child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere
‘A guide that helps parents focus on their children’s unique strengths and inclinations rather than on gendered stereotypes to more effectively bring out the best in their individual children, for parents of infants to middle schoolers. Studies on gender and child development show that, on average, parents talk less to baby boys and are less likely to use numbers when speaking to little girls. Without meaning to, we constantly color-code children, segregating them by gender based on their presumed interests. Our social dependence on these norms has far-reaching effects, such as leading girls to dislike math or increasing aggression in boys. In this practical guide, developmental psychologist (and mother of two) Christia Spears Brown uses science-based research to show how over-dependence on gender can limit kids, making it harder for them to develop into unique individuals. With a humorous, fresh, and accessible perspective, “Parenting Beyond Pink & Blue” addresses all the issues that contemporary parents should consider from gender-segregated birthday parties and schools to sports, sexualization, and emotional intelligence. This guide empowers parents to help kids break out of pink and blue boxes to become their authentic selves.” Author: Christia Spears Brown
With unflinching honesty and moving prose, Janet Mock relays her experiences of growing up young, multiracial, poor, and trans in America, offering readers accessible language while imparting vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of a marginalized and misunderstood population. Though undoubtedly an account of one woman’s quest for self at all costs, Redefining Realness is a powerful vision of possibility and self-realization, pushing us all toward greater acceptance of one another—and of ourselves—showing as never before how to be unapologetic and real.
‘Transitions of the Heart is the first collection to ever invite mothers of transgender and gender variant children of all ages to tell their own stories about their child’s gender transition. Often “transitioning” socially and emotionally alongside their child but rarely given a voice in the experience, mothers hold the key to familial and societal understanding of gender difference. Sharing stories of love, struggle, and acceptance, this collection of mother’s voices, representing a diversity of backgrounds and sexual orientations, affirms the experience of those who have raised and are currently raising transgender and gender variant children between the ages of 5-50. Edited by Rachel Pepper, a gender specialist and co-author of the acclaimed book The Transgender Child, Transitions of the Heart will prove an invaluable resource for parents coming to terms with a child’s gender variance or transition.’ Edited by Rachel Pepper.
Supporting Transgender and Gender Creative Youth: Schools, Families, and Communities in Action
Elizabeth J. Meyer and Annie Puller Sanfacon (2014)
Supporting Transgender and Gender Creative Youth brings together cuttingedge research, social action methods, and theory on the topic of transgender youth and gender creative children. Organized in three sections covering theoretical and clinical, educational, and community perspectives, the chapters specifically address issues and challenges in education, social work, medicine, and counseling as well as recommendations that are relevant for parents, families, practitioners, and educators alike. The result is a well-researched and accessible book that will provide support and knowledge to a broad audience of individuals invested in improving the social worlds of gender diverse children and youth.