Safe school environment for transgender kids

Diane Ehrensaft, PhD, shares advice for parents on how to help create a safe school environment for your transgender child
How to Create a Safe School Environment for Transgender Kids
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Safe school environment for transgender kids

Any parent of a Gender Non-Conforming or a Transgender child is faced with a dilemma. How to help my child feel proud and free about who my child is, how to keep my child safe at school; and I might add, out in the community. Children spend a lot of time at school, so let's talk about school. Some people think that the best way to keep them safe is, don't let them go out expressing their true gender selves. Keep it home, where it is safe. That is one strategy. It is certainly a strategy that works in a community where there is not tolerance, where a child might be physically hurt if you did anything else. But is that really safe to tell a child that they are not okay about who they are and you can't go to school being that person? I would say, no. I think the way to keep your child safe at school is going to take a lot of work on your part, as a parent. You must become your child's advocate. You must go to the school. You must work with the school and find support from other parents, so you can all go to the school together to open up an inviting, safe curriculum, so that your child is safe at school.

Diane Ehrensaft, PhD, shares advice for parents on how to help create a safe school environment for your transgender child


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Diane Ehrensaft, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Diane Ehrensaft, PhD is a developmental and clinical psychologist in Oakland, California. She is a parenting expert and also specializes in gender studies and psychotherapy and consultation with gender nonconforming children and their families. She is the author of Gender Born, Gender Made:  Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children; Mommies Daddies, Donors, Surrogates, Building a Home Within (co-edited with Toni Heineman), Spoiling Childhood, and Parenting Together. Dr. Ehrensaft has made many media appearances, most recently the Anderson Cooper Day show, and has presented and published both nationally and internationally on the subjects of parenting, child development, assisted reproductive technology, and children’s gender development and gender nonconformity.

Dr. Ehrensaft is the Director of Mental Health of the Child and Adolescent Gender Center, a University of California San Francisco-community partnership offering interdisciplinary services to gender conforming children and youth and their families, as well as the psychologist at the UCSF Gender Clinic.

She serves on the faculty of The University of California and is a founding member of A Home Within, a national non-profit organization serving the mental health needs of children and youth in foster care.

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