When my kid Aris was 10 years old, they came out as transgender. I was surprised and taken aback, then I was glad that my kid told me, and then I was confused because I didn’t know how to support them. Since then, I have reached out to numerous supportive and wise folks, read a ton of books and articles, and have had a lot–and continue to have—conversations with Aris about their gender identity. I also began to see the world with different eyes, becoming more sensitive to our largely gender binary world, the lack of gender-neutral bathrooms, and the awkwardness many people feel when using they/them pronouns. As a result, I collaborated with my friend Katy Perry and we wrote an article to highlight best practices for those unfamiliar with this territory and how we can best support gender diverse youth.
I am still approached by parents whose children have come out, so I compiled a list of resources I found helpful for me (as a parent) and for my transgender nonbinary kid, especially the books. I added some music-related resources because listening to music can be uplifting and affirming.
- This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids by Danielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo
- A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni
- How to They/Them: A Visual Guide to Nonbinary Pronouns and the World of Gender Fluidity by Stuart Getty
- The ABC’s of LGBT+ by Ashley Mardell
- How to Understand Your Gender by Alex Iantaffi and Meg-John Barker
- Gender Spectrum: www.GenderSpectrum.org
- PFLAG: The United States’ largest organization for LGBTQ+ people, their families, and allies. (www.PFLAG.org)
- Trans Student Educational Resource: www.TransStudent.org
- The Trevor Project: www.TheTrevorProject.org
- MyPronouns.org: https://www.mypronouns.org/
- Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric, documentary movie from National Geographic, 2017.
- Disclosure, directed by Sam Feder, documentary movie from Netflix, 2020.
Music Sampler (because music makes the world go around)
- “Chosen Family” by Elton John and Rina Sawayama
- “We Royal” and “Just Be” from the album The Love by the Alphabet Rockers (AlphabetRockers.com)
- “Same Love” by Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and Mary Lambert
- “Crossing” by Mari Ésabel Valverde
Gender Diverse Musicians (There are many more!)
- Wendy Carlos, composer
- Billy Tipton, jazz musician and bandleader
- Beverly Glenn-Copeland, singer and songwriter
- Dee Palmer, composer
- Angela Morley, composer
- Sara Davis Buechner, concert pianist
- Mari Ésabel Valverde, composer
- Laura Jane Grace, singer
- Florence Anna Maunders, composer
- Kaumakaiwa Kanaka’ole, singer