Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Neary A.
Journal Of Family Studies
Complicating constructions: middle-class parents of transgender and gender-diverse children
Optional Fields
child-led parenting children gender non-conforming gender-diverse parents schools social class transgender
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Recent years have seen an increase in the visibility of transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) children in the public sphere. Jack Halberstam [(2018). Trans: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability (Vol. 3). University of California Press] is very critical of middle-class parents of TGD children, arguing that much of their activism is based on a normalizing model of individual rights as opposed to a more transformative activism that might de-stabilize gender-power systems that are restrictive for everyone. Following this pronouncement, this paper takes up the opportunity to inquire further into the everyday negotiations of middle-class parents of TGD children. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with twelve middle-class parents of TGD children aged 5¿13 in Ireland, this paper provides in-depth insight into the classed, precarious, gendered, disruptive and arduous nature of parents¿ work as they negotiated schools and laboured to follow a child-led parenting philosophy amidst the judgement of others and rigidly gendered worlds. Ultimately, this paper¿s argument is two-fold¿it alerts us to social class inequality in parenting TGD children but it also complicates the figure of the middle-class parent of a TGD child, offering in-depth insight into the shape and effects of child-led parenting with TGD children.
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