Practical ideas for parents of gender-questioning teenagers

Teenagers and gender identity: the evidence base. Part 3: How parents can support their children

Sex Matters is publishing the final part in a series on gender identity in teenagers today. Aimed at parents, the series sets out reasons teenagers might start to question their gender, treatment and outcomes, and practical ideas for parents and carers of gender-questioning teenagers.

Writing in The Critic today, series author Matilda Gosling says: “As the shockwaves of gender ideology continue to reverberate throughout society, parents are the first line of defence for those children who have felt the impact.”

Her latest publication, the final part of this series, includes interviews with a range of specialist psychotherapists: Lisa Marchiano, Marcus Evans, Sasha Ayad, Stella O’Malley and Susan Evans. Gosling also interviewed representatives of support groups Our Duty and the Gender Dysphoria Support Network, as well as a parent member of Bayswater Support Group. Finally, she interviewed social theorist Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans and Transgender Trend’s Stephanie Davies-Arai. 

The paper is full of ideas drawn from their deep experience working with children and young people suffering from gender-related distress. It is based on the model of supportive waiting, as outlined in Part 2, and takes the position that there is no single route through this. Instead, there are helpful general principles and more specific ideas from which parents can choose, based on their knowledge of what is likely to work best for their children. 

There are three parts to the series Teenagers and gender identity: the evidence base: