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Supporting Transgender Kids

10 Tips for Supporting Transgender Kids

Transgender children are the fastest-growing segment of the LGBTQ community. They make up about 20% of all gender-nonconforming youth. But while they’ve made great strides in recent years, many transgender kids still face bullying, harassment, and violence. This can be due to both an actual or perceived lack of acceptance from friends, family members, or society at large.

Supporting Transgender Kids

To help families better understand how to support transgender children, here are 10 tips for supporting transgender kids that will help you navigate this process together.

What is transgender?

 Supporting Transgender Kids

Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity (their internal sense of who they are) or gender expression (the way that they show the world who they are) does not correspond with their assigned sex at birth. This can include people whose gender expression is different from what society expects for their assigned sex, as well as people who identify outside of the male-female binary.

Support your child

If you have a transgender child, your job as a parent is to support your child and let them know that they will always be loved. Even if you don’t understand what it means to be transgender, you can still show your child that they are loved and accepted by unconditionally accepting them as their true selves. You can also educate yourself about the issues transgender children face by reading books or articles on the subject and attending local LGBTQ community events together.

Know the facts

One of the best things you can do for your transgender child is to educate yourself. Become familiar with what it means to be transgender, and learn about the challenges they face in their day-to-day life. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to help your child navigate their transition.

Once you’ve learned the facts, start talking about them in a positive way. They might or might not want to talk about what it means to be transgender, but keep the discussion going in a respectful and engaging way. Your participation can have a huge impact on how they view themselves and how they feel about their future.

Find out if your school has any policies in place for transgender kids (transgender bathrooms, locker rooms, etc.). If there’s nothing in place yet, consider talking with administration members about what could make these spaces safer for all students.

Educate yourself on gender identity and sexual orientation so you can use accurate language when talking with people who don’t understand LGBTQ issues. Start by reading up on GLAAD’s tips for allies and see if the library has any books or online resources that may be useful to you and your family.

Get educated

It’s important that families educate themselves on transgender issues. Education can play a vital role in helping you understand your child and the challenges they face every day, as well as how to best support them.

 Supporting Transgender Kids

Learn about gender identity and expression, as well as what it means to be transgender. Understand the different gender identities, such as those who identify with the binary genders of male and female and those who identify with a third gender category. Learn about how one can express their identity through dress or behaviors, and find out what terms like cisgender and heterosexual mean. Educating yourself will not only help you better understand your child, but others in their life too.

Introduce their gender to others

Introducing their gender to others is one of the first steps for supporting transgender kids. It’s important that they have the opportunity to express themselves or they will feel like they can’t be themselves. It is also important that all people, including children, are able to be who they are without shame or judgment.

When you introduce your child’s chosen name and pronoun, you are taking ownership of your child’s identity. If you are worried about how other people might react, it is best not to share this information with them until your child tells you they are ready for them to know.

Educate yourself about gender identity

The first step to supporting transgender kids is educating yourself about gender identity. You’ll want to find out what the child’s preferred pronoun is and what they identify as, whether this identifies as male, female, or another gender entirely.

Take some time to explore the topic of gender identity on your own and with the child. Learn about their feelings and needs. It will help you better understand what they’re going through and how you can help them feel more secure and confident.

Check out these resources on supporting transgender kids

  1. The Human Rights Campaign offers a variety of resources for learning about and supporting transgender youth.
  2. PFLAG has a list of books and movies to help parents learn more about transgender youth.
  3. The National Center for Transgender Equality has a wealth of information on their website to help you learn more about the transgender community.
  4. Gender Spectrum is an excellent resource for educators, caregivers, family members, or anyone who wants to learn more about transgender youth.
  5. The Trevor Project provides resources on how to speak out against anti-transgender violence and abuse.

Get Support from Other Parents of Transgender Kids

One of the best ways for a family to learn about supporting transgender children is through talking with other parents of transgender kids. These parents can share their experiences, answer any questions you have, and provide a much-needed sense of validation. Parents of transgender children are often a good resource for other parents as they know what it’s like to raise a child who is different from most children their age.

There are also many support groups and organizations out there that focus on the needs of families with transgender children. Visit The Transgender Child, Trans Youth Equality Foundation, or PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) to find your local support group.

Don’t panic

The first thing you should know about supporting transgender kids is that they are not in any way contagious. This means you don’t need to worry about being transgender just by being around them.

 Supporting Transgender Kids

Despite this fact, many children become more anxious and distressed if they do not have a safe space to express their gender identity. Finding someone they can trust to talk to is a major step forward for any child going through a transition.

It’s important for parents and guardians of transgender youth to be open-minded and accepting from the very beginning of the process. What this means varies depending on what the child tells them, but it’s important to remember that their needs are different from those of cisgender children – meaning those whose gender aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth.


Supporting transgender kids can be scary and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many resources available to help you understand what it means to be transgender and to guide you in supporting your child. Start by educating yourself about what it means to be transgender, and then by educating others who are important in your child’s life. Once you’ve gained the courage to talk about the subject, you can help your child lead an authentic life by being an advocate for them.#

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