Articles & Information
By Professionals & From
Organisations

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CANADIAN RESOURCES FOR PARENTS

5 Things to know about your queer child
By Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife. (poster)
Good poster on the basics to consider about your queer child whether trans, non-binary or other identities.

 

Census data gives clearer picture of Alberta's transgender, non-binary community.

By Nicholas Frew. CBC News. Apr 27, 2022.

"Numbers of transgender and non-binary people aged 15 and older by province and territory. The number of transgender and non-binary people in Canada was 100,815.

For the first time, Alberta has a clearer picture of its gender diversity.  Data from the 2021 census released by Statistics Canada on Wednesday morning contained details relating to age, sex at birth and gender and types of dwellings. It's the first time the census posed a question that differentiated between a person's sex at birth versus their gender.

    'It is super, super exciting,' said Lindsay Peace, executive director of Skipping Stone, a Calgary-based organization that supports transgender people. 'It's a really good first step in that there's some visibility now. Tangible numbers can be referenced when lobbying for resources, such as doctors and surgeons,' Peace added. 'It's hard for trans folks to be the ones advocating and fighting,' Peace said. 'This just enables organizations like us to advocate at a higher level, [it] isn't putting the burden on trans individuals.' "

For parents
Gender Creative Kids, Quebec.

 

“This space is dedicated to parents and guardians.”

Gender identity

Canadian Paediatric Society. "Caring for Kids: Information for parents from Canada's paediatricians", Last updated Mar 2021.

Additional resources are included at end of article.  “Gender identity refers to the deep and intimate feeling a person has of themselves. Children begin to understand and express their gender identity early in life. This article discusses how gender identity typically develops and how parents and caregivers can promote healthy development of gender identity and expression in children. It's important to remember that each child is unique and may develop at a different pace.“

​Gender identity and diversity: Information for parents and caregivers
eMentalHealth.ca (Canada/Ottawa-based referral e-service)
A resource for educators, parents/caregivers, service providers, trans youth.
“Summary: Transgender people are those who may act, feel, or view their gender identity differently than the way society expects males and females to be. It is a neurodevelopmental condition that is “hard-wired” into the brain which means that they do not choose to be this way. And as one would support anyone else with a brain condition, transgender individuals need and deserve the same thing — the support and acceptance of family and friends.”

 

Gender identity and transgender issues
By HealthLink BC.
BC specific info, but general info applies to Albertans.

Impacts of strong parental support for trans youth

TransPulse. 2012.   (Ontario)

A report prepared for Children’s Aid Society of Toronto and Delisle Youth Services. Ontario-based but information may be helpful.

Skipping Stone Foundation supports transgender youth in Alberta

by Devon Banfield. CityNews. Posted Apr 11, 2021. Last Updated Apr 12, 2021.
“Based in Calgary, Skipping Stone is a foundation that works to provide transgender and gender-diverse Albertans with resources to support them. In the past year, the foundation estimates they have supported more than 1,000 families in 17 Alberta communities. 
The organization provides a variety of services to the community. These services include gender-affirming clothing such as binders, recreation activities, food, counselling, legal aid, mentoring and employment opportunities. Robinson says that these services are needs-based, and always will be.”
“According to Statistics Canada, in 2018, more than 75,000 Canadians over the age of 15-years-old identified as gender diverse or transgender. They also report that transgender people were three times more likely to experience sexual and physical violence than their cisgender peers.”

 

The (trans) kids are all right: What gender-affirming health care really means
by Kai Cheng Thom. Special to The Globe and Mail, October 26, 2018
Kai Cheng Thom is an award-winning author and social worker with dual masters degrees in social work and couple and family therapy from McGill University. She is currently a youth and family therapist at Central Toronto Youth Services specializing in work with transgender young people and their parents.”

 

Transgender youth health study reveals ‘alarming’ statistics on mental health

​CBC News. Oct 11, 2017.
“These youth are here and they’re no longer going to be silent and invisible,”says lead researcher.

 

Unconditional love

By Get REAL Movement. Includes PDF and videos. London, Ontario. 

"An online educational resource to help families better navigate the coming out process by providing information, tips, and additional resources.

  Studies show that family support can make a critical difference in the well-being of 2SLGBTQ+ youth. That is why we made Unconditional Love.

  On this page, you will find videos containing stories, tips, and resources, shared with us by five diverse families. We've put the stories section first, so you can get to know each family's journey, followed by videos of our 5 key tips: prepare, listen, affirm, educate, and support. The last section of this page contains additional resources, for continued learning and support."

What to do when your child comes out to you: Tips for parents/guardians. Dos and don’ts.
By Egale. (Canada / Toronto)

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US & INTERNATIONAL SOURCES

 

5 Questions: Tandy Aye on what transgender teens need from their parents

A recent Stanford study showed that, for teens exploring their gender identity, simple acts of caring from their parents were what they valued most.

By Erin Digitale. Stanford Medicine News, Mar 8, 2021.

"The teenagers usually rated their parents as more supportive than the parents rated themselves, said Tandy Aye, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at Stanford Medicine and a pediatric endocrinologist at the 'Stanford Children’s Health Pediatric and Adolescent Gender Clinic'. Aye is the senior author of the study."

   "Our new research adds to the evidence that transgender adolescents’ perception of their parents’ support may be the key protective factor in the teens’ mental health. It’s that perception of support that parents want to nurture. What can you do? It’s things like offering a hug, being there to listen. These are things anyone can do. They are free and fully reversible, whatever path the teen takes in their gender journey. There are no medical side effects to listening and giving hugs, or trying your child’s preferred name and pronoun. It’s all about helping the teen fully explore who they are."

10 Things you can do to be an ally to people who are trans
By Straight for Equality, a program of Pflag National. Washington, DC.
“Looking for simple ways to start being a more engaged and active ally? Try using a few of these suggestions to build your ally skills and start creating change”. One-page PDF to guide allies of the trans community.

 

12 Ways parents can show support for their nonbinary kids
As told by a nonbinary kid
theoaknotes (written by a non-binary "kid"). Published on Medium, May 2021.
"Advice to parents of nonbinary youth from someone who has been there."

Advice to parents of nonbinary youth from someone who has been there.

By Samantha Smithstein, Psy.D. and guest writer Oakley Phoenix (they/them). Posted June 3, 2021

“When I finally officially came out to my mom over the 2019–20 winter break, she had questions, but she didn’t boot me out of the house—which is a low bar, I’ll admit. Now that my mom and I have each had months of conversations, heart-to-hearts, individual therapy, and support group sessions, I feel prepared to provide advice to parents of newly out nonbinary youth and young adults.”


Accepting adults reduce suicide attempts among LGBTQ youth: Research brief
The Trevor Project. 2019.

 

Children and gender identity: Supporting your child
By Mayo Clinic Staff. (US)
“Understand the importance of talking with your child about gender identity and expression — and how to get the conversation started”

 

Communicating with family and friends
Gender Spectrum website. “Parenting Resources”.
“It can be nerve-wracking and scary to bring up the topic of our child’s gender with family and friends. But we have tips and guidance to help make it easier.”

Gender and young people: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Gender Spectrum website.
“Check out our collection of your most commonly asked questions” e.g. “What is gender and how do I figure mine out? / Are gender and sexual orientation the same thing? / What is gender dysphoria? / What does gender dysphoria feel like? How do I describe it to other people? / How do I talk to my family about my gender? I’m afraid — what will they say? / Do other pieces of who I am such as my race, faith, class and culture impact my gender? / How does mental health related to my gender? / Who do I share with about my gender? / I think I identify as transgender and/or non-binary but I’m not 100% sure. Is that OK?”

Gender, children and teens
Gender Spectrum website.
“Gender is more complex than most of us have been taught. But it doesn’t have to be complicated.” Topics: Understanding Gender. supportive parenting.

Gender, children and youth
Gender Spectrum website. Groups and Resources. (US)
Numerous articles regarding parenting children and youth.

 

Gender expansive youth
Gender Spectrum website. “Groups and Resources”. (US)
Numerous articles and sources

Gender neutral terms to address a group
A poster that @sara_levine created for her grade 4 students went viral after she posted it on Facebook.

Gender nonconformity in children and adolescents
Endocrine Society / Hormone Health Network.  (US)
Discusses terminology, hormones, gender dysphoria, etc.

 

Gender Spectrum

On-line resources for parents of trans or gender variant children.
"We provide a wealth of online programs, resources and information that young people, parents and families can use to further their understanding of gender and learn the value of parental and adult support. "

 

Guide to being a trans ally

By Straight for Equality, a program of Pflag National.  2020.  (US)
A PDF booklet with information to guide allies of the trans community.


A guide to being an ally to transgender and nonbinary youth
By The Trevor Project. (US)
“Our Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Nonbinary Youth is an introductory educational resource that covers a wide range of topics and best practices on how to support transgender and nonbinary people.”

 

Healthline
“…. Healthline covers all facets of physical and mental health openly and objectively because we’re here for the whole person — for your whole life. And because people come to us with unique challenges we listen closely and put empathy first across our organization. In everything from our personal perspectives to our commitment to inclusivity, you’ll see that we feel with you. We hope you tap into all of Healthline’s resources — from our health and wellness library and newsletters to our apps, podcasts, and communities.”

How parents can support a child who comes out as trans – by conquering their own fears, following their child’s lead and tolerating ambiguity

Interview with Em Matsuno. April 2021. (US)

“Young transgender, or trans, people face high rates of anxiety, depression and suicide.These elevated mental health risks largely stem from external factors such as discrimination, victimization and – most especially – family rejection rather than from being trans. Em Matsuno, a research fellow at Palo Alto University, is currently developing and testing an online training program called the Parent Support Program to help parents better understand and support trans youth. They talked with The Conversation U.S. about their findings and how parents can be better advocates – and avoid common missteps – when a child identifies as trans or nonbinary.”

How to be human: Talking to people who are transgender or nonbinary
"Their gender isn’t your call to make"
Written by Healthline Editorial Team.  (US)


If you are concerned about your child’s gender behaviors

Children's National Medical Center in Washington DC

On-line resource manual for parents of gender variant children.

Is there a difference between being transgender and transsexual?
Written by Mere Abrams, LCSW on Nov 21, 2019. Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST.  (US)

Jamie Lee Curtis will cosplay to officiate her trans daughter’s wedding

by Mollie Sprayregen, LGBTQ Nation. Mar 24, 2022.

"Jamie Lee Curtis is such a supportive mother that when her trans daughter asked her to dress up as a World of Warcraft character to officiate her wedding, she started looking for costumes online.

    Since publicly announcing she had a trans daughter, actress Jamie Lee Curtis has been modeling what supportive parenting looks like. This year, she will not only be officiating her daughter, Ruby’s wedding, but it has recently come to light that she’ll be doing so in cosplay – as the sorceress Jaina Proudmoore from World of Warcraft. "

 

Kids in the House - Parenting advice from Johanna Olson, M.D., Medical Director, Center for Transyouth Health and Development, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Below are her videos and transcripts on topics relating to transgender children.

Videos (with transcripts):

Defining transgender and gender non-conforming

Help for accepting a gender non-conforming child

Social transitioning for gender non-conforming children

Assessing readiness for medical puberty suppressants

Deciding when to treat a youth for gender re-assignment

Early vs. later intervention for gender non-conforming children

Efficacy, safety & side effects cross-sex hormone therapy

Financial and cultural challenges of getting care for transgender issues

Issues facing a gender non-conforming child

Issues facing the vulnerable population of gender non-conforming youth

Meet Johanna Olson, MD

Online support for gender non-conforming children

Pediatrician vs. specialist for treating gender non-conforming children

Selecting the right mental health professional for gender non-conforming children

Statistics & solutions for regretting gender treatment

Statistics for transgender children

Steps for treating a boy who feels he is a girl

Steps for treating a girl that feels she is a boy

The evaluation for gender re-assignment

The spectrum of gender non-conforming people

Understanding cross-sex hormone therapy

Understanding gender confirmation surgery

When parents disagree about gender non-conforming child

When parents don't support their transgendered child

Johanna Olson, MD is a pediatrician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Medical Director of the hospital’s Center for Transyouth Health and Development.  She specializes in the care of transgender youth, gender variant children, youth with HIV, and chronic pain. Board certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.


My adolescent teen came out as transgender. What’s next?
“Parental support for transgender teens truly matters”
By Rachel Lynn Golden, Ph.D. Psychology Today, posted Dec 2017.

Parent, family, community
Gender Spectrum website. (US)
“Parents need to look within, support siblings, and navigate the wider community in your journey with your gender expansive child”

Parenting teens
Gender Spectrum website. Groups and Resources.
Numerous articles regarding parenting teens.

Parenting young children
Gender Spectrum website. Groups and Resources.
Numerous articles regarding parenting young children.

Parents and family. Learn and connect.
Gender Spectrum website. (US)
“Parenthood is about raising and celebrating the child you have, not the child you thought you would have. It’s about understanding that they are exactly the person they are supposed to be. And that, if you’re lucky,
they just might be the teacher who turns you into the person you are supposed to be.” — Quote from the book “The Water Giver” by Joan Ryan.
“As this… hints, parents can make a tremendous difference in how children experience their gender. Recognizing that every family is unique, with different family dynamics, as well as cultural, social, and religious influences, we can help you navigate the gender journey of the children in your life. When we talk about “family,” we are not referring only to people related by genetics. Families can come in all configurations, including adoptive or foster parents, grandparents, extended family, mentors, or one’s chosen family made up of close friends. Similarly, “parenting” can be done by a variety of adults in a child’s life, not just by legal parents or guardians. Our work is for all types of “family” and all adults who “parent” a child.”

 

Sample letters for family and friends

Gender Spectrum website. “Parenting Resources”. (US)
“Sharing a child gender journey with families and friends can be challenging, but we have some guidance. Four sample letters.”

Supportive parenting
Gender Spectrum website. “Parenting Your Gender Expansive Child”. (US)
Great advice for how to talk to friends and family about your child’s gender.
“Supportive parenting can have a significant, positive effect on your child’s outlook, mental health and self-esteem.”

Supporting trans & nonbinary loved ones: What would you do? Recording & training toolkit

By Pflag National.  (US)

"As people who are transgender and nonbinary become more visible, the need to have educated and engaged allies to support them becomes greater. In this session, we’ll review the core learnings for people who want to be allies to their trans and nonbinary friends and family and then put what they’ve learned to work, navigating real-world interactions. Here’s your chance to strengthen and demonstrate your skills as an ally!"

Tips for parents of LGBTQ youth
John Hopkins Medicine. (US)
“All parents want what’s best for their kids. But providing support isn’t always easy — especially if you are the parent of a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) child. In many ways no different from their peers, LGBTQ youth face some unique challenges that parents often feel unprepared to tackle. To help, Johns Hopkins pediatricians and adolescent medicine specialists Renata Arrington Sanders and Errol Fields share steps you can take to keep your kid happy and healthy.”


Transgender children & youth: Understanding the basics
By The Human Rights Campaign. (US)

 

TransYouth Family Allies: Frequently asked questions for supportive adults
TransYouth Family Allies (TYFA).  (not updated)

TransYouth Family Allies
TransYouth Family Allies (TYFA).  (not updated)

“TYFA empowers children and families by partnering with educators, service providers and communities, to develop supportive environments in which gender may be expressed and respected.” 

Understanding gender
By Gender Spectrum. (US)
“Understandings of gender continually evolve. In the course of a person’s life, the interests, activities, clothing and professions that are considered the domain of one gender or another evolve in ways both small and large.”

Understanding transgender people: The basics
National Center for Transgender Equality 2016. (US)

What does it mean to identify as nonbinary?
Written by Mere Abrams, LCSW. Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST. Updated Dec 2019.

“The term “nonbinary” can mean different things to different people. At its core, it’s used to describe someone whose gender identity isn’t exclusively male or female.  If someone tells you they’re nonbinary, it’s always important to ask what being nonbinary means to them. Some people who are nonbinary experience their gender as both male and female, and others experience their gender as neither male nor female.  Nonbinary can also be used as an umbrella term, encompassing many gender identities that don’t fit into the male-female binary.”

What does it mean to misgender someone?
Written by KC Clements. Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST. Updated Sep 2018

What does the word transgender mean?
By Angelica Ross of the TV show Pose. (US)

What is deadnaming?
Written by KC Clements. Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, PhD, LCSW, CST October 2017 (US)

What is gender dysphoria?
Written by Kimberly Holland. Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., CRNP. Updated on March 20, 2018.  (US)

What’s the difference between sex and gender?
Written by KC Clements. Medically reviewed by Alana Biggers, M.D., MPH. Updated January 23, 2019. US

When someone comes out: a PFLAGer’s guide to demonstrating support and acceptance
By Pflag National. Washington, DC
Previously recorded online meeting video.

You are not alone: Advice for parents of transgender children

By Amber Briggle. HRC Foundation’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council. Oct 2019.  (US)

“… for transgender and non-binary youth, coming out can often feel scary, especially when they fear they won’t be supported by their family members.

     64% of gender expansive youth of report that their families make them feel bad about their identities, and only 22% are out to their parents at all. Yet medical and psychological organizations across the country state definitively that loving, supporting and affirming trans and non-binary kids in their identities is the very best thing that any person can do. And we believe that parents want what is best for their children.

     HRC Foundation’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council is here to offer some advice that can make the transition a little easier for everyone.“

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