Parents of trans kids candidly speak to Brynn Tannehill about their experiences

Brynn Tannehill proved she's amazing again. She interviewed parents of transgender children for a piece in The Huffington Post. She had previously written an article addressing myths and misperceptions about transgender children. She said she was inundated with positive comments from parents after writing that article. So, she thought she'd hear the perspectives of the parents.

What she found was heartbreaking and amazing. She grouped her interviews into the parents' eight common struggles. Here's a sample of what she heard from the parents' common struggles:

  1. Parents realized nothing was wrong with their child:

"We needed a therapist to help empower us to advocate for our child. Our child did not need a therapist. We did... Transgender kids have a great sense of self. They know who they are and the type of person they want to be. If only we all could be so lucky."

  1. Younger kids don't have an issue with their siblings who are transgender:

"We thought that there might have been lots of child asking questions he couldn't handle (he was only 6), or lots of people making life difficult for him but it wasn't like that. He left to all the children shouting out 'Bye, Ben' just as though he'd always been known as Ben to them."

  1. Parents say adults don't react well:

"Processing the amount of hate and negativity from other people (has been the hardest part). She's a child yet so many adults talk about her like she is a monster or an animal... She's seen the way adults look at her when they know she's transgender. She has experienced more pain and has had to struggle more in her 7 years than many adults do in a lifetime. Be kind. She is just a child."

  1. Access to care experienced with transgender youth is limited but accepted:

"The best gender identity support at present would be about 4 hours away in a metro area... It's frustrating there isn't a large enough community of out transgender children and adults in my area and that to find knowledgeable support we have to travel that far for it. As for general healthcare here I've been impressed with the how they have honored my daughter's gender identity as well as her preferred name."

  1. Schools are accepting (usually):

"The assistant superintendent called me yesterday to tell me his name change will be ready by registration day. She also told me he has their full support... Last year when my child told some of his teachers they actually hugged him and said congratulations!"

  1. Having a transgender child isn't even the biggest problem for the family:

"Keeping our marriage has been harder than we expected. The strain of family objections continues to test our strengths."

  1. It's harder for trans-feminine women:

"…Watching my daughter feel so isolated has been the hardest part. She has few friends. She is one of the funniest, most talented people I know, but people can't see past the whole transgender thing."

  1. Parents experience judgment:

"It is not your job to approve or disapprove of my parenting choices. There isn't a single thought or question that anyone can pose to us, that we have not already mulled over day and night before deciding to fully recognize and support our child's true identity."

Read the entire article on The Huffington Post.

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