A Review: "Talking About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity With Our Kids".

Recently our esteemed moderator, Michele, introduced a booklet to the Gender Evolve arena. This is a review of the booklet by one GE member. As they say on television, "The opinions expressed herein may not necessarily reflect the views of the staff and management of the television station!"

I have listed the link below to the booklet:

http://www.aml-lma.org/docs/an_homoparentalite.pdf

This booklet was a creation of the Lesbian Mothers Association of Quebec. This booklet, because of its' breavity, is not intended to be a complete and in depth study of talking to your children about gender identity. It does, I believe, provide a useful guide to start on the road to full disclosure to your offspring on what it means for a parent to be transgendered. For those who have not been around children in quite awhile it begins the journey of "telling it like it is" to your children in a meaningful and compassionate manner.

The childrens' drawings of parents, interspersed throughout the booklet, provides the right "mind set" for parents reading the booklet. I believe the drab colors of the booklet , mostly olive green and grey, miss the mark however. Children like an array of colors. When talking about mommy or daddy they generally use bright vivid colors (reds, yellows, oranges, etc) to show their happiness with their parents. The use of duller colors generally portrays a sadder emotion from kids. While discussing parental gender identity with our children might provoke such worries from children I think the authors would have been better to have been more positive in their color array choices.

The booklet is well designed in a logical, sequential order. I especially like the feature of the authors putting the main points in larger, bold print. This reinforces the main points for the reader and allows them to be quickly reviewed at a latter time.

The writers do not pretend to have all the answers. On the subject being writtten about there are no definitive answers, no "One Size Fits All". This is a strong point of the booklet.

"Our children are watching and listening to our every move." This is a constant refrain in the article. I commend the authors for reinforcing this point time and time again. Parents can try to "cover and pretend" but, in the end, kids will infer what is going on at home with mommy and daddy. It's not really a question of whether to tell our children or not, but when to tell them about being transgendered.

As the article states, deception will undermind the parental bonds with children. This bond must be preserved at all costs.

While the article is long on philisophical ideas it does not short change the practical. One major point made is to look for support groups and to introduce children to other trans parents. They do not pretend this is easy however. Reality is a strong suit of the booklet.

Some of the major themes of the article are for parents to be positive role models 24/7 and to reinforce the ideals of love, acceptance, diversity, tolerance, respect, and honesty. Being a parent is an extremely difficult job. Being a transgendered parent is even more difficult. The minority in any human society always has it more difficult. The authors do not state this factor overtly but it is a subliminal theme running through out the readings.

Perhaps the most useful part of the booklet is the "Resources For Parents" in the back of the booklet. Here you can find support groups to help you in your parenting role. There are links to other informational sources to expand your knowledge base. This might be a real "eye opener" for those who feel rather limited in finding resource materials.

For myself I come away from this booklet with the conclusion that being a transgendered parent is much more difficult than being a non-transgendered parent due to societial pressures, ignorance, and bigotry. One comes away from this booklet with a sense of inspiration however ! Transgendered parents can inspire their children to understand the true nature of love, acceptance, and respect.

Having seen many transgendered parents raising their children it inspires me, and fills me with hope, that the future shall be much better for our children than the past. I can sleep better at night knowing this fact. In a real sense you are not just your own children's parents but parents to all of societies children !

I have saved this booklet for future use and I am sure I will return to read it many times. Thank you Michele for bringing this article to my attention.

With Love and Respect,

~KAREN~

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