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Supporting Transgender and Gender Creative Youth

Schools, Families, and Communities in Action

Series:

Elizabeth J. Meyer and Annie Pullen Sansfaçon

Supporting Transgender and Gender Creative Youth brings together cuttingedge research, social action methods, and theory on the topic of transgender youth and gender creative children. Organized in three sections covering theoretical and clinical, educational, and community perspectives, the chapters specifically address issues and challenges in education, social work, medicine, and counseling as well as recommendations that are relevant for parents, families, practitioners, and educators alike. The result is a well-researched and accessible book that will provide support and knowledge to a broad audience of individuals invested in improving the social worlds of gender diverse children and youth.
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Introduction

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Although transgender people have long attested to having been conscious of their gender identities from early childhood, the idea of the “transgender child” has only recently entered the consciousness of the North American public. Since 2007, when mainstream media began to air and publish stories about gender-creative children, Americans and Canadians have gradually become aware of childhood gender-nonconformity, including transgender kids.1 It would seem that anywhere from 2.3% to 8.3% of children engage in varying degrees of cross-gender dress and behavior (Moller, Schreier, Li, & Romer, 2009, pp. 118–119), many of whom will later self-identify somewhere along the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) spectrum (see, for example, Green 1987; Knafo, Iervolino, & Plomin, 2005; Wallien & Cohen-Kettenis, 2008). Tragically these same young people are also among the most vulnerable to “gendered harassment” (Meyer, 2006, 2008b) and suicide (Cole, O’Boyle, Emory, & Meyer, 1997; Klomek, Marrocco, Kleinman, Schonfeld, & Gould, 2008; Savin-Williams, 2001).

This edited book, and the conference that gave rise to it, was born out of a desire to begin a national conversation in Canada about childhood gender-creativity. Unlike the United States, which has seen the rise of a number of new nongovernmental organizations actively working to address the needs of gender-creative ← 1 | 2 →children and their families, Canada currently lacks a national forum for discussing and realizing social transformation on behalf of children and families. Indeed, as we began to research the social lives of gender-nonconforming children in late 2010, we were dismayed to...

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