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Trans parenting: the sensitive experiences of parents and children (France, Quebec)

Corinne Fortier

Trans parenting is a challenge both socially and intimately for trans parents themselves, but also for their partners and children. There are few studies on this sensitive subject, and even fewer children’s accounts. In this study, which incorporates aspects of both anthropology and psychology, I strive to report, as accurately as possible and without value judgments, the words of the people I met by presenting their feelings, experiences, difficulties, doubts, and victories. Within the limited scope of this article, I present the case of trans women—people born as men and who have become female—who were already married or in a relationship before their transition and who had children in this relationship. Their life stories relate how they adjusted to their transitions to their role as parents, even in the face of much incomprehension and even exclusion. I also examine how the children react to their parents’ change in sexual identity, a reaction that can change over time and that is linked intrinsically to how they were given the news, their age, the attitudes of their mother and of their immediate family, and society’s view of trans parenting.