Support for Parents & Relatives
When gender issues impact a family, it can be deeply distressing time for all involved – not just parents, but siblings and extended family, too.
But you don’t have to go through this alone. Our comprehensive support package gives you the tools to get through these trying times.
You’ll be able to sign up to our semi-vetted Community Forum, where you can meet other parents and relatives in similar situations. For some, this may result in new initiatives: for example, you might find other parents locally, and work together on a letter-writing campaign. For others, it’s simply a matter of having someone else to talk to.
Our Community Forum is a growing space – and it’s not just for parents. We hope more and more professionals will continue to join, such as journalists and concerned clinicians. With your help, we can build a vibrant space where stories can be shared, helping the wider world understand what is going on in families like yours.
You’ll also receive email updates with our latest news, as well as advance notification of upcoming events.
Get some guidance.
Our Genspect Brief Guidance is designed with you in mind, whether you are a parent of a gender-questioning kid, a sibling, an extended family member, or a friend. You may also find it useful to give copies of our Brief Guidance to those around you, to help them understand how they can best support you and your family.
We also make Brief Guidance for professionals, such as therapists, teachers, doctors and mental health workers. Many family members of gender-questioning kids have found these resources to be a useful way of reaching out to those in the educational and medical professions.
Find a support group.
As an international alliance of organisations, we represent a number of different parents support groups which have been formed precisely to help people in your circumstances. These groups are mainly online: some are geographically specific, while others provide tailored assistance for particular cases, such as parenting gender-questioning boys and young men.
There is often a process of vetting you will have to go through before you can join a group, to make sure that your identity remains private. We strongly suggest that parents and family members avail themselves of this kind of support: for many, it has proven to be a lifeline.
We also have guidance available on starting your own group, whether you intend to provide in-person support, or a start and online support group.
Get the facts.
Knowledge is power – particularly when you are confronted with a situation which seems to come from out of the blue. The resources below will enable you to speak with confidence on the issues that really matter.
Genspect created Stats for Gender to counter the misinformation which abounds when it comes to gender issues. Even on issues as critical as suicide, statistics get weaponised, making it hard to tell fact from fiction. Stats for Gender draws on quality, peer-reviewed data, helping you see the bigger picture.
Genspect has an ongoing project to map the laws which apply in your country or state. From state-funded gender healthcare to laws banning “conversion therapy”, our Local Laws Project spells out the key pieces of legislation which could affect you and your family.
Millions of words have been written on the topic of transgenderism: it can be hard to know where to start. We’ve picked the best written materials to guide parents and loved ones through turbulent times.
From Abigail Shrier and Debra Soh to Kathleen Stock and Helen Joyce, we’ve curated a small library of recommended books which we believe can elucidate this complex topic. We also recommend a couple of kids’ books, bringing a positive message about bodily self-acceptance.
Our list of written resources ranges from key peer-reviewed papers to media articles and self-help sections – plus a couple of our own resources, too. These publicly accessible materials are great for sharing with those around you, helping them understand your perspective that little bit better.
The ever-shifting language of gender identity can be hard to keep up with. In many cases, words and phrases can seem like “poison pills”, deliberately engineered to favour a highly ideological view of gender and identity. Our Glossary lists the terms you need to know, so you don’t get caught off-guard.
Watch and listen.
The documentaries and interviews below offer helpful insights into the phenomenon of transgender identities. No person is an island: we all exist within a wider culture. These resources will help you understand that culture, how it developed, and how we can seek to change it.
As the world around us shifts, content-makers are noticing – and responding. Each of the documentaries we recommend provides its own unique view of what is happening to today’s adolescents.
Co-hosted by Genspect Director Stella O’Malley and Genspect Advisor Sasha Ayad, Gender: A Wider Lens provides a series of thoughtful interviews which will add depth to your perspective on transgender identities. With many dozens of different voices, the Wider Lens podcast offers new ways of thinking about gender issues, and new means of supporting people in your situation.
Find out about our events.
Genspect has successfully hosted a number of online events, all viewable via our YouTube channel. These webinars aren’t just about sharing information: they’re a means of communicating to the wider world that we represent a large, and growing, community of diverse individuals who share the same concerns.
And we have more in the works. Visit our events page via the link below to watch our past conferences and find out what’s coming next. You’ll be the first to know.
Let us advocate for you.
Sometimes, parents need more direct assistance. A school may be undertaking the social transition of your child without your consent, changing names and pronouns behind your back. A therapist may be inadvertently pushing your child further towards medicalisation.
We have worked with many families to advocate for their point of view. Our dedicated team can provide you with specific, tailored advocacy, making sure your voice doesn’t get lost.
Follow the link below to find out more about our Advocacy Programme. You can read testimonials of the work we’ve undertaken, and take the first steps to having us fight your corner.
Share your story.
Genspect parents have spoken on mainstream outlets in the UK and in Australia, as well as appearing on dozens of podcasts and on radio. Here’s one Genspect parent, Jessica Fishburn, bravely telling her own story on the UK’s GB News:
If you’re willing to speak up publicly, we can help. We can put you in contact with journalists who can bring your voice to a wider public. Write to us via the link below to get started:
If you’re looking to safeguard your anonymity, you can still tell the world what’s happening in your family. Our sister website, Genspect Unheard, offers parents and relatives the chance to speak in their own voices, and using their own words. Check it out via the link below – and consider adding your own story.
Grow our community.
By following us on social media, you’ll help us build the profile of families like yours. We want to dispel the myth that parents who are concerned about their kids’ transgender identities are few and far between – but we can only do that if you get engaged. We’re available on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.