In the past few weeks, we’ve fielded some amazing phone calls about transgender children and their families. A school nurse called the other day about a trans child who will be starting 5th grade in the fall. She was looking ahead to ways they could work over the summer to prepare so that the child will have a positive experience. A woman called a couple of weeks ago because her church had refused to allow a 2nd grader to return to their parochial school next year, unless the child was dressed according to her birth gender, not her gender identity. She was outraged that this little girl had been excluded from school activities simply because she had been identified male at birth. She said, “this just isn’t right.” What is right is that she reached out in caring for a child.
We told them both, and the others who have called, is that it matters immensely that these children know they have caring adults in their lives—their parents, educators, fellow church members, cousins, and so on—who will stand up for them. These children are listened to when they say who they are. Their safety and happiness are valued. Things aren’t going to be perfect (but what life is?) but it is going to be better because of caring people around them. What has made the last few weeks interesting to me is that these are people beyond the immediate family—they are getting involved because the lives of children, of transgender children, matters to them. And while it may be cliché to say it takes a village to raise a child, it really is true. We need to care and take action for these kids.
One of the places we refer callers to is the Trans Youth Family Allies (TYFA). If you’d like more information about practical ways to support transgender children, please visit their website. They are doing important work.
Today is Blogging for LGBT Families Day; here are few are just a few blogs that wrote about trans families or gender today: