Let's Start at the Beginning! You are not alone.

Watch a few videos that offer a range of experiences from other families like yours.

Understanding Your Child and Their Needs

The Human Rights Campaign and several other amazing organizations have created a wonderful array of resources alongside experts and parents with lived experience to help new families better understand the needs of their transgender, gender-expansive, or non-binary child.  At first, you may find yourself making mistakes with pronoun use, questions, and navigating feelings of confusion.  These resources will hopefully help you better understand your child’s gender identity while helping you work through your own gender biases, misunderstandings and fears.  These resources will give you tips and information to help you center your child’s needs, find support for yourself, and ultimately lead you to a place of affirming your child through love and empathy. 

Video Resource

Transgender people are increasingly visible in the United States. Yet as more children identify and live openly as transgender, considerable concerns remain. In "How Does She Know She’s a Girl? Understanding Early Transgender Development," University of Washington Professor Kristina Olson discusses findings from the first large-scale, national, longitudinal study of these children. She discusses transgender children's identity development as well as how this work informs our understanding of gender development more broadly. 

-Dr. Kristina Olson, professor at the University of Washington Department of Psychology

“Our journey with our trans daughter has taught us a great deal about what it looks like when you have support and access to basic human rights versus when you don't. We've existed on either side of these two realities. And it's truly been a lifesaver for our whole family to witness the positive impact affirming medical practitioners make when they educate us and care for our children. The support of our school community has made all the difference as well by providing safe classroom space and respecting and protecting our child's private medical information. And most of all the profound impact we've felt from our LGBTQIA community of friends has given us a place to belong. 
It's not rocket science. When you believe, affirm and support your trans child you give them permission to exist. And when you have certain systems in places like access to affirming health care and school resources you set your child up to thrive. Actually, the whole community benefits because you send the message to everyone that it's okay to speak and live out your truth and truly come as you are.”
- Katie

Breaking the Binary

Not all gender journeys are the same, especially those of gender-expansive and non-binary youth.  It is important when supporting your child to allow them the opportunity to explore their gender and what feels best to them when it comes to gender expression and pronouns.  Trust that they have a good internal understanding of who they are, and your unconditional support will provide a safe environment where they can grow into themselves and thrive.

“It's okay to always feel like you have a million questions. It's also okay to feel like you're in a good space and don't need support at the moment.  Know there is always a community of families of non-binary children and youth ready to meet your needs - whatever they may be.”  
- Megan

Support Groups Online or In Your Area

It is so important for parents to find a place where they can share their feelings and reactions as they learn to navigate their gender journey with their children.  Parent support groups are a wonderful place to learn and work through any biases and fears one might have. Connecting to the community (whether that be with transgender adults, mentors, and other families) can be a healing and transformative experience.  It is so important for your transgender, gender expansive, or non-binary child to see themselves in your friendships, amongst their peers, and in their community.  It allows for growth and heightens self-esteem.  Visibility matters, and having an inclusive and supportive community fosters these positive effects in your child. 

Parents are often nervous about terms when they first join a support group. This is a common experience for most parents because you are still learning about your child’s gender identity.  Linked below are terms for review that help parents gain language and understanding about their child’s new gender journey.

"Be gentle. Be gentle with yourself and with your child. Leave your expectations and your pace at the door.  Ask more open-ended questions when you are confused. Be kind to yourself even when you fail them because you will. Our job is not to be perfect our job is to be a stable source of validation, love and vision for their highest potential." - Elizabeth

Matters of Faith

Many families face the challenge of reconciling their religious beliefs with supporting their child’s gender identity.  Many times supporting your child can result in a loss of community and religious institution.  The resources below help families reconnected with their faith while offering affirming support and understanding.