The Gender Creative Child
Pathways for Nurturing and Supporting Children Who Live Outside Gender Boxes
The Experiment 2016
The gender binary is recently giving way to gender infinity, and our youngest members of society are both driving and benefiting from this evolution. They’re finding novel ways of expressing their true gender identities, whether or not those match what’s on their birth certificates. But the journeys of these gender creative children are often bumpy, as they encounter psychological, physical, and even legal challenges. This all raises important question for these children’s parents, teachers, doctors, and therapists, such as: What are the best ways to support these children’s gender paths? How do we help them face the challenges ahead with courage and authenticity? And, perhaps most importantly, how do we deal with our own fear, ignorance, or resistance to currents of change that we don’t always understand?
Dr. Diane Ehrensaft tackles these issues in her prescient and essential new book, The Gender Creative Child: Pathways for Nurturing and Supporting Children Who Live Outside Gender Boxes (TheExperiment, 2016). She is a developmental and clinical psychologist with over 30 years of experience working with gender-nonconforming children and their families. She joined me on New Books in Psychology to discuss her book and topics such as the difference between gender-dysphoric “persisters”versus “desisters,” the dangers of making children wait and see before undergoing gender transition, and the cutting-edge gender-affirmative treatment model used by doctors and therapists working with these children.
Eugenio Duarte, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and psychoanalyst practicing in New York City. He treats individuals and couples, with specialties in LGBTQ issues, eating and body image problems, and working with cultural minorities.