ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Supporting Your Child Through Gender Identification Issues

Updated on December 31, 2014

One of the first things we teach children is if they are a girl or a boy. For most children it is a simple question. Their gender was assigned at birth, and they are comfortable with it. Things can become more difficult for transgender children. What is the best way to react as a parent to a child who is having gender identification issues?

I believe that the best thing a parent can do for most issues is support their child. That means supporting the person who that child is, not the person who the parent imagined that they would be.

I have a friend who came out as transgender last year. I'm not going to lie. I already knew. I knew since we were in grade school and some mean boys asked if he was a boy or a girl. He said, "Boy." I knew in that instant that it was true, even though I was seven and didn't have a word for what that meant. The way he said it was an absolute statement of fact, the same way I would have confirmed that I was female if someone were rude enough to ask.

When he came out to his mother she was surprised. It threw her world for a loop, but she also loved her child enough to accept that she needed to let go of her vision of her baby girl, and acknowledge that it was never a title that worked for her actual child. They are doing fine now, and with the help of modern medicine my friend's wife just had a baby.

So, what should you do if your child tells you that they are not the gender of the body they were born with? I think the answer is pretty simple. You should love them. Allow them to try to figure out who they are. You should support them. You should be their parent. You should recognize that while you are entitled to the feelings that their revelation awoke in you, the way you respond may change your relationship with them forever.


Does that mean you should let your four-year-old boy wear a dress to the grocery store? Maybe. In all probability he's probably drawn to the dress for the same reason a little girl would be, because it's pretty. A little girl who likes digging for worms, or a little boy who likes to play dolls probably aren't having gender identification issues. Those are our issues about what we believe gender roles should be, not issues of their sexuality.

However, if you have a child who is insistent that they are not a girl forcing them to wear a dress to school may alter your relationship with them in a negative way. Instead of an ally you become the enemy. Instead of the one that they can hide behind when the world gets too tough, you become the one they are hiding from.

Children love to imagine. It's how they grow. They play firefighters, or movie stars. The play knights and princesses. They take on different roles and see what fits. There is no reason that gender should be any different. If your little girl insists she's the prince or your little boy wants to be a mermaid, let them. Who they are is for them to figure out, not for you to choose.

When it comes down to it supporting your child through gender identification issues is the same as supporting them through anything else. All you need to do is make sure that they understand that you love them, whoever they are.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)