PARENTS
25/06/2018 12:09 BST | Updated 26/06/2018 10:32 BST

Here's How To Support Your Child If They Are Transgender

As Cynthia Nixon announces her child is transgender.

Cynthia Nixon has proudly announced in an Instagram post that her child is transgender. The former ‘Sex And The City’ star, who is campaigning in this year’s election for New York governor, shared the news with her followers on 22 June to mark the Trans Day Of Action in America.

Her 21-year-old son, Samuel Joseph Mozes, was originally named Samantha. “I’m so proud of my son Samuel Joseph Mozes (called Seph) who graduated college this month,” the mum wrote on Instagram. “I salute him and everyone else marking today’s #TransDayofAction.”

Nixon is also mum to Charles Ezekiel, 15, with her former husband Danny Mozes. She has a seven-year-old son, Max, with her wife Christine Marinoni. 

If your child is transgender or has recently revealed that they are, here are some ways for you to make them feel supported.

Family support is vital for transgender children and teenagers, so it’s important to ensure you know as a parent how best you can support your child during this time.  

Remind them that you love them and accept them.

Children who are non-binary or transgender sometimes worry that if they express how they feel, they won’t be loved anymore. The NHS advises: “It’s important to accept your child and let them know you love and support them, whatever their preferences are.”

Dr. Bernadette Wren, from the Tavistock Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), said to remind your child how unique every individual is: “It is important to see diversity as something which is positive and for adults to reinforce the idea that it is okay to be different,” she said. “Highlight the idea that there are lots of different ways to be male and female.” 

Learn more about what being transgender means. 

Local transgender support group Transfigurations advise parents to learn more about the condition so they can best support their child. “This will open your mind about any concerns you have for your child,” they state. This way, you will be more comfortable having open conversations with your child about it. You can find information out through charities and organisations such as Mermaids and Gendered Intelligence.  

It is important to see diversity as something which is positive and for adults to reinforce the idea that it is okay to be different." Dr. Bernadette Wren, from the Tavistock Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS)

Make sure your child knows they can talk to you.

Being able to talk about how they feel is hugely important in transitioning. Some children or teens will actively try to hide the way they feel as they are aware that it is not widely accepted. “The pressure to conform in society is immense,” the Mermaids charity states. “Teenagers are often afraid that divulging information about their gender variance will result in their parents disowning them.” Make sure you remind them that you are always there if they need to talk, and if they find it hard to talk out loud, they could write it down in a letter for you. 

Remember there is help available to support you and your child.

Make use of support available for both your child and yourself. There are support groups for parents to speak to other parents whose children are transgender. “Discovering that you are not alone may be a great comfort to you, and sharing experiences with other families in the same position as you will help your own understanding,” said Mermaids. “It’s important to remember that you, as a parent, need support too.”

:: Gender Intelligence has resources for young people and families.

:: Mermaids charity has online support for young people and parents. 

:: Transwiki is a resource provided by GIRES in finding local groups who offer support for parents and their child. For example, Transfigurations is a support group for families with transgender children, based in Devon. 

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