Hard Questions at the Holidays – transgender vs. gender non-conforming

This December, we’re talking about #HardQuestionsAtTheHolidays. The holidays can be hard for LGBTQ+ folks and their families since extended family might be confused or unsupportive. We’re looking at questions folks might ask and how you can answer them.

Today’s question: “I don’t understand how these young kids can say they’re transgender – can’t they just be boys who like makeup or girls who like trucks?”

Your answer: there are definitely gender-nonconforming kids, and that’s different from being trans.

Nobody is forcing kids who aren’t gender-conforming (such as girls who like trucks) to transition. If anything, kids who express a gender other than what they were assigned at birth are being pressured not to transition.

For kids who are trans and/or nonbinary, their outward appearance and how people perceive them doesn’t necessarily match their inner sense of themselves – that’s a very different feeling from having non-stereotypical interests 

Ultimately, though, you don’t need to understand why kids are transitioning to a different gender or how that’s different from being gender-nonconforming. It’s enough just to accept that these kids know what they’re talking about.