top of page

What I Have Learned: A Journey Through Gender Transitioning

Gender transitioning rainbow

I want to share what I have learned in my research about gender and gender creative children, in the hopes that it will help parents understand the importance of supporting our children for who they are.

"Basic ground rule for raising children: If we recognize the child we have, rather than the one we wished we had, and if we help our children build resilience to face the challenges before them, we put them in a good stead to live a healthy and productive life." (Ehrensaft, 2016, pg. 119)

This can be said for raising neurodiverse children as well as gender creative children. When we are able to see our children for who they are, we are able to support them. So simple, yet so hard to do. There can be a grief element in this for many parents, and if we get stuck in what we had wished for, we miss the beauty in what we have.

The biggest message I got from my research, was that if we choose not to support our children, or ask them to wait til they are older to be who they want to be, we are doing more harm than allowing them to transition and be gender creative. The risks associated with not allowing our kids to be their true selves can be worse than the associated risks of dealing with a society that doesn't accept them.

"...If you support your children's gender creativity, your children will do better, both psychologically and physically; if you fail to support their gender creativity, they will not do so well, both psychologically and physically." (Ehrensaft, 2016, pg. 119)

So, why am I sharing all of this with you? Honestly, I had no intentions of sharing this part of my families story. I assumed that since I haven't read a lot about raising transgender children in the blogs and posts that I follow, that it was something that we weren't supposed to talk about openly. But with that came a feeling of shame, as if it was something that I was meant to be quiet about, because I had a reason to be embarrased. This didn't sit well with me, as I have always been open to sharing my story, and have even written it in a book. As I was wrapping up the book, I came across this message:

"We who are writers have an obligation to advocate for gender health in written words - in the books and articles we write; the blog entries we post; the stories we document about gender creative children's lifes; the research we conduct about gender creative children, their needs, and the methods for meeting their needs. We who are not writers but have a story to tell, like so many parents of transgender and gender creative children, can also make use of the written word to get out the message - the children are all right, even though the journey may be challenging" (Ehrensaft, 2016, pg. 241).

Writing about gender and parenting

As soon as I read those words, I knew that I needed to start talking about this openly. I knew that there had to be other parents and families out there walking along similar paths that needed to know that they are not alone.

And for all of you that have reached out, sent messages, and let me know that you are supporting me in this journey, it means the world to me. I have lost countless hours of sleep worrying that I shouldn't have shared this story. But then, the messages started coming in, and parents started sharing their story about being on a similar journey. And in those moments I knew that we need to start talking about this.


Ehrensaft, D. The Gender Creative Child: Pathways for Nurturing and Supporting Children Who Live Outside Gender Boxes. New York, NY. The Experiment. 2016.


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page