18-18 Segment 1: Parenting A Transgender Child

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As a parent, how do you come to terms with your child telling you they were born as the wrong gender? Is it your job to counsel them to meet traditional gender norms?

Dr. Michele Angello, a gender specialist, and Alisa Bowman are coauthors of Raising A Transgender Child: A Complete Guide for Parents, Families, and Caregivers. The book was the result of a call for help to the doctor by Bowman, a mother whose own child was constantly struggling to identify with the female gender. Angello explained to Bowman the science behind transgender children.

Contrary to what some believe, there is evidence that gender identity issues are based in biology. While in utero, the fetus is flooded with different amounts of two hormones that impact gender identity. Typically, male children are born with more androgen and female children more estrogen. Although the anatomical gender of a child is determined by the number of chromosomes present, their brains can contain an imbalance of these two hormones.

Therefore, a child can be born anatomically female but identify as male due to an increase in androgen during development. According to Angello, how parents raise their children has no impact on whether or not they identify as a different gender. In fact, the scientific evidence clearly shows a biological explanation for the behavior. Apart from the science, Angello says we need to have open minds instead of basing our views on prejudice and conventional gender roles.

To learn more about transgender children visit the links below or buy a copy of Raising A Transgender Child: A Complete Guide for Parents, Families, and Caregivers at bookstores across the country.


  • Dr. Michele Angello, therapist and gender specialist
  • Alisa Bowman, journalist, author, mother

Links for more information:

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