Worries about transgender

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Worries about transgender

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A lot of parents get very worried if their child shows signs of being either Gender Non-Conforming or Transgender. They can worry for a lot of reasons. One reason is that they worry that their child will not be safe in a world where it's not very accepting of Transgender or Gender Non-Conforming children. They want their child to be safe. But another reason they worry, is because everybody has been blaming them and saying, "You must have done something wrong to have a child who is like this." The assumption underneath is that it's not okay to be a child like that. I would say that in my profession, the mental health profession, is really guilty of charges of making parents feel this way through outmoded theories that basically said there is a disease called Gender Identity Disorder, rather than a healthy gender variance which is called Gender Non-Conforming. And that disease comes from parents not doing their job in teaching gender to their children and communicating to their children that they should abide by the gender on their birth certificates. So as long as we can remedy that and have a new mental health perception of gender and gender affirmation; hopefully, parents will worry less.

View Diane Ehrensaft, PhD's video on Worries about transgender...

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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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