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Trans-Affirmative ParentingRaising Kids Across the Gender Spectrum$
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Elizabeth Rahilly

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479820559

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479820559.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022

“Our World Has Been Rocked”

“Our World Has Been Rocked”

Gender and Sexuality

(p.69) 2 “Our World Has Been Rocked”
Trans-Affirmative Parenting

Elizabeth Rahilly

NYU Press

This chapter turns to the area of gender and sexuality, and examines parents’ contrasts between “just gay” and “truly trans” explanations for childhood gender nonconformity. Given age-old statistics that link childhood gender nonconformity with adult homosexuality, these deliberations are no small part of parents’ journeys. Modern-day LGBT rights discourses assert a firm distinction between “gender” and “sexuality”—gender identity is one thing, sexual orientation is another. However, parents’ deliberations signaled something more fluid and potentially permeable between these two realms of self, across a morphing “spectrum” of possibilities. This conceptual work, the chapter argues, gives increasing intelligibility to (trans)gendered understandings, versus ones formerly understood within a grid of (homo)sexuality. In social-constructionist terms, this is not merely descriptive labor, but productive labor, helping to bring broadening transgender possibilities into being. This work also prioritizes child-rooted shifts in a way that further troubles firm distinctions between these categories of the self.

Keywords:   LGBT rights, gay, transgender, gender identity, sexual orientation, social-constructionist, childhood gender nonconformity

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