Making trans parents visible: Intersectionality of trans and parenting identities

From Feminism & Psychology

Although the literature on gay and lesbian parents is growing, the body of work on trans parents is virtually non-existent. This article explores the self-reported parenting challenges of 50 transgender parents based on an online survey of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans parents in the United States. The study focuses on the challenges that trans parents faced at the intersection of their parenting and trans identities. It suggests ways to alleviate stressors experienced as trans parents negotiate transition and identity in conjunction with parenting. Participants recounted the countless challenges they faced as they reared their children while exploring and resolving gender identity issues. Three central themes are identified in the analysis of parenting challenges, including, (1) the implications of trans identity for children’s well-being, (2) conflict with co-parent or partner, and (3) transition with parenting and changes to family structure.

 

Abstract

This article explores the self-reported parenting challenges of 50 transgender parents based on an online survey of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans parents in the United States. Many trans parents transitioned after forming a family, whereas others had children after or even during transition. They coordinated their transition with parenting responsibilities, and carefully managed their visibility in parenting settings to protect their children. This analysis focuses on the challenges that trans parents faced at the intersection of their parenting and trans identities. Although trans parents share many of the concerns of cisgender parents, they also face unique challenges that must often be navigated without extensive support. Revealing these challenges increases trans parents’ visibility in society, and could help therapists and school administrators become more sensitive to the intersectional identities of trans people and the stressors unique to trans parenting.

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Article details
Parenting and friendship: Trans Lives in Context:
Beth A Haines, Alex A Ajayi, and Helen Boyd
Making trans parents visible: Intersectionality of trans and parenting identities
Feminism & Psychology May 2014 24: 238-247, first published on March 14, 2014 doi:10.1177/0959353514526219

 

 

 

     
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