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CNN Gives Advice to Parents Whose 4-Year-Olds Come Out as Trans

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

CNN's getting right into the spirit of Pride Month with an advice column: "When your kid comes out as trans, here's what to do." CNN profiles children who came out as nonbinary or transgender at ages 4, 8, and 10. CNN interviews Nova Bright-Williams, a trans woman who is head of internal training at the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis organization for LGBTQ+ youth. Bright-Williams also has the annoying habit of referring to children as "kiddos."

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Kristen Rogers reports:

Maryhope Howland gave birth to a baby she thought was a boy. But at 6 years old, the child asked her questions such as “Mom, am I a boy? How do you know I’m a boy?”  

“Once I clued in, I said, ‘The doctors make a best guess based on your body … but only you can know, and we love you no matter what,’” said Howland, now co-lead for the Families United for Trans Rights, an organization of transgender kids and their loved ones.

Her child’s questioning didn’t stop there. It marked the beginning of a yearslong evolution not just for her daughter, who came out as nonbinary at age 8 and transgender at 10. It was also a journey for Howland and her husband as they navigated what it means to be trans, ways of affirming their daughter’s gender identity, their responsibilities as parents, and the grief associated with “letting go of one idea of what our life is going to be,” Howland said.

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There's that "doctors make a guess, but sometimes they're wrong" talking point that's the center of children's books.

"… when your child tells you they’re trans, your first response should be to thank them for sharing and learning about their experience, Bright-Williams said," Rogers reports.

If your four-year-old daughter says she's a boy, then she's a boy, and you should start transitioning right away. Encourage it as much as you can.

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No, you must affirm their new gender identity immediately. Any effort to "detransition" them will only lead to resentment. "Rejecting them could not only cause hurt and anger but also could ruin chances of a long-term relationship," Rogers reports. That's OK. We've heard plenty of teachers on TikTok say that they'll be your family if your own family doesn't affirm you.

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