Start My Wellness Blog

Explore success stories and information related to mental health, holistic wellness and self-improvement.

Have a question about a post? Need to schedule an appointment?

Call 248-514-4955

Navigating the Journey of Supporting a Transgender Child

May 8, 2024 | Family Therapy

Discovering that your child identifies as transgender can profoundly shift a family’s dynamics. This discovery may raise complex questions and emotions for parents, who often feel unprepared to navigate the process of understanding their child’s gender identity.

Supporting a transgender child through their journey to gender identity is a critical component of their emotional and psychological health. It requires a balance of education, empathy, and advocacy from the parent. By learning about gender identity, listening actively, and respecting their child’s experiences, parents can create a nurturing environment that fosters their child’s true self-expression and well-being.

Understanding Gender Identity

Understanding gender identity begins with recognizing the difference between biological sex and gender. Biological sex is typically assigned at birth based on physical attributes and genetic characteristics. It’s a common misconception that biological sex is strictly binary–male or female–as there are many cases of intersex individuals expressing both male and female characteristics at birth.

Gender, on the other hand, is a social construct that refers to the roles, behaviors, activities, expectations, and societal norms associated with being male, female, or other gender identities.

Unlike biological sex, which is genetically based on chromosomal type, gender is a spectrum that includes masculinity, femininity, a blend of both, or neither. It embraces a range of identities that do not necessarily align with one’s sex assigned at birth. This spectrum allows for a more inclusive understanding of identity, acknowledging those who don’t exclusively see themselves as male or female.

In summary, while biological sex pertains to the physical and genetic characteristics we are born with, gender identity is how individuals perceive themselves based on a deeper understanding of their personal experiences.

Gender Dysphoria in Children

Gender dysphoria is a condition where there is a distinct difference between a child’s assigned sex at birth and their gender identity–how they feel internally about who they are. This mismatch in identity can cause significant distress or impairment in social settings, school, or other areas of life.

Children with gender dysphoria may express a strong desire to be of a different gender or insist they are a different gender than the one assigned at birth. They may also strongly prefer dressing, choosing toys, or participating in activities typical of the opposite gender.

The Role of Emotional Support for Transgender Children

According to the Trevor Project’s 2023 National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ+ Young People, which looked at over 28,000 LGBTQ+ youth:

  • 41% of LGBTQ+ young people considered suicide in the past year.
  • Fewer than 40% of LGBTQ+ young people found their home to be LGBTQ+-affirming.
  • A majority of LGBTQ+ young people reported being verbally harassed at school due to their identity.
  • One in three LGBTQ+ young people feel their mental health is almost always poor due to anti-LGBTQ+ policies and laws.
  • Nearly half of LGBTQ+ young people go to schools that are not gender-affirming, and these schools reported higher rates of suicide for LGBTQ+ young people.

However, research consistently shows that transgender children who receive strong emotional and affirming support from their families experience better mental health outcomes. A family’s acceptance and validation of their child’s gender identity is crucial.

Ways Parents Can Support Transgender Children

Here are several strategies parents can use to support their transgender children:

  • Use Affirmed Names and Pronouns: Consistently using the name and pronouns that your child identifies with is a fundamental way to show respect and gender acceptance.
  • Educate Yourself and Your Family: Learn about transgender issues, terms, and challenges. Education is a powerful tool that can help you understand what your child is experiencing and how best to support them.
  • Encourage Open Communication: Create a safe space at home where your child can express their feelings and concerns without fear of judgment or punishment.
  • Advocate for Your Child: Stand up for your child’s rights in school, hospitals, and social situations. Advocacy also involves educating others about transgender issues and encouraging support for your child.
  • Seek Professional Guidance: Engage with counselors or therapists who specialize in gender identity to provide professional support for your child and your family as you navigate this journey.

Get the Support For Your Family’s Journey With Start My Wellness

Start My Wellness is equipped to assist families in navigating the complexities of supporting a transgender child. With a team of experienced professionals who specialize in gender identity issues, Start My Wellness provides counseling, educational resources, and advocacy support tailored to meet each family’s unique needs.

If you are seeking guidance and support through this transformative phase of your family’s life, reach out to Start My Wellness today. Let us help you ensure that your child feels valued, understood, and supported every step of the way. Call us at (248)-514-4955 and meet our therapists to begin your journey to wellness.


  1. Medscape: Gender Identity
  2. StatPearls: Gender Dysphoria
  3. The Trevor Project: 2023 National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ+ Young People
  4. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing: Family Acceptance in Adolescence and the Health of LGBTQ+ Young Adults
  5. Start My Wellness: Acceptance and Support Improves Mental Health for LBGTQ+ Individuals
Dr. Anton Babushkin

Author: Anton Babushkin, PhD

Looking for a Therapist? Start My Wellness has highly experienced Licensed Therapists that are currently accepting new patients.


Blog Posts Tags: LGBTQ+
woman sending a message on her phone

Request an Appointment

To get started with Start My Wellness, request an appointment with the provided form or call 248-514-4955. During the scheduling process, we will ask questions to match you with the therapist who will best meet your needs including service type, emotional symptoms and availability.

(248) 514-4955