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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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Chapter Eleven: Transforming Challenges into Action: Researching the Experience of Parents of Gender-Creative Children through Social Action and Self-Directed Groupwork

← 158 | 159 →CHAPTERELEVEN

Extract

INTRODUCTION

The level of support given to gender-creative children by their parents or caregivers is strongly linked to these children’s overall health outcomes (Travers, Bauer, Pyne, & Bradley, 2012). However, little is known about the experience of parents and caregivers who are supporting their children throughout the process of growing up as a gender-creative / gender-independent / gender-nonconforming / transgender child.1 This chapter discusses a project geared toward gaining a better understanding of this experience, including the challenges these parents and caregivers face while negotiating the social environments in which their children grow. This chapter also addresses the issues of working directly with parents in order to facilitate mutual support, collective mobilization and action on the challenges identified in the research. In what follows, we describe the research process, briefly summarize the research findings and explore the outcomes of the project in terms of action and mobilization. This chapter is divided into four sections. The first section briefly summarizes the background literature on the topic as well as describes the project context. The second section describes the methodology used to gain insight into the parenting experience. The third section discusses the data emerging from the group meetings. In the final section, we summarize the research by highlighting the main outcomes. Recommendations for future practice and research conclude this chapter.

← 159 | 160 →What Do We Know about Parenting a Gender-Creative Child?

While research remains scarce on this topic, it tends to illustrate that the support...

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