John IrelandTransforming Family
Workshop Session #1
9AM - 10AM -
When children share their gender identity, a parent's first responsibility is to affirm and support. The next step is to anticipate and mitigate the barriers and roadblocks to acceptance within family, school, and community. It is essential that parents and their children work together to navigate: 1. Medical options & legal protections; 2. Family communication & education; 3. School support; and 4. Extracurricular & social environments. While parents of young children often focus on maintaining a protective "bubble" that will ensure an enjoyable childhood, it's important to recognize a youth's need for agency and autonomy. As much as parents may wish to protect their children from adversity, transgender and gender nonconforming children often develop atypical resilience and teach their parents how to be brave in moments of struggle. Through anecdote and practical pointers, the panel will illustrate the joys and challenges of transforming family through the process of embracing our uniqueness and commitment to each other.
Parents of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Children & Youth came together in Los Angeles in 2009 to form Transforming Family, which offers peer support for parents & caregivers, adolescents, pre-adolescents, and siblings in monthly in-person meetings, as well as within an online community of support. This panel will include parents and youth describing how they help each other to navigate the gender maze in family, school, and community.