Tuesday, May 24, 2016

New Library Resources

A Book List for Parents of
Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Children

Issues concerning those who are transgender have been in the news a lot lately. Several new state laws have been the object of organized boycotts and fodder for the national political debate. The character of the public discussion suggests that this is a subject still generally shrouded in misunderstanding and lack of knowledge, one that needs broader public understanding.

We hope, therefore, that the book list we have created will help anyone who wants to learn more about this subject. We are especially interested, however, in helping parents of transgender children to understand what their transgender child is experiencing. One of our staff members recently attended a local meeting of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and noted that almost all the parents in the room were there seeking support because they have a transgender child. They were bewildered, desperately needing an understanding of what their child was going through, and wanted to know what they should be doing as parents.

Gender identification issues seem to manifest early in a child’s life. One of the remarkable things in talking to transgender children is at what a young age they are absolutely certain that they are the other sex, and that they have somehow wound up in the wrong body. It is especially important, then, that parents grasp these issues at the point in time when their children are dealing with them, while facing important developmental stages, a time when self-knowledge and self-worth are being formed. We hope this list, available at all three branches of Burbank Public Library (look for them in the children's room, located with the Parenting Collection), will help parents understand their transgender and gender-nonconforming children. and aid them to be supportive parents and effective public advocates for the needs of their children.

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