Trans, Gender Diverse & Intersex Children Under 12

Parents and guardians of trans, gender diverse and intersex children often have many questions and concerns about their children’s lives and identities. You aren’t alone, there are many other parents and whānau out there who are navigating this journey too.

If you, a friend or a whānau member need support with anything related to gender diversity, please visit our Transgender Peer Support Service page to find out more about the support we can offer. 

The Journey

As a parent, care giver or guardian of a trans, gender diverse or intersex child, it’s natural for you and your whānau to go on a journey to understanding. This journey could mean working through feelings of grief and loss as well as inter-family tensions. 

Throughout this journey, it’s important to make sure you have the right support systems around you so that you can still provide the best care and love to your child, and that your process doesn’t negatively impact them. We will cover some ways to get support further on. 

There’s lots of information out there, and it can be a little overwhelming. If there’s one thing that we can tell you, it’s that you just need to listen to your child, and follow their lead as much as you can.

Information, Groups & Resources

Information about gender diversity and intersex diagnoses can be hard to find if you’re not looking for it, and many mainstream whānau or child focused organisations are not equipped to provide the correct information for parents, caregivers or whānau. 

Below are some common questions you may find yourself asking, as well as some further resources. Trans and gender diverse resources are listed first; scroll past them for intersex resources.


Trans and Gender Diverse Children

Questions that whānau may have:

Resources & Groups

Book list

The Parents of Gender Diverse Children website has a great list of reference, personal (for parents and whānau) and young adult books to help support you and your child. (AUS)

Resources

Below are some great resources which offer practical, expert advice about supporting your trans and gender diverse children, as well as supporting your whānau and yourself.

Growing Up Takatāpui: Whānau Journeys - Interviews with seven takatāpui rangatahi and their whānau inform this resource about the journey to and the importance of whānau support in a takatāpui young person's life. (NZ)

YGender videos - This is a great selection of videos made by and for transgender and gender diverse youth as well as their families (AUS)

The Rainbow Owl - a website that documents the growing international body of literature and resources that focus on trans and gender diverse young people, their families, and those who support them. (International)

healthychildren.org - This is a succinct and informative page about gender diverse and trans children which provides some practical advice and help for whānau

Support Groups

Holding Our Own - A group for parents and whānau of LGBTIQ+ children. The group brings parents together to create a space supporting open dialogue, that builds healthy, respectful relationships with their children

People Supporting Transgender and Gender Diverse Children in New Zealand- - A page for people and organisations who support transgender and gender diverse children in New Zealand, their parents and caregivers.

Portal Group: FreedHearts Aotearoa New Zealand - Parents of LGBT Children - This portal group is so you can find the secret group for parents of LGBTQI children in Aotearoa New Zealand.  The group is for those parents who have lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or questioning children of any age and would like to find information and support in order to affirm and support their children.

Drum Beat - for caregivers of young people who are gender questioning... dancing to their own beat - This is an Auckland based family support group for parents and caregivers of young people who are questioning their gender, transitioning, or exploring gender identity. The group meets on the first Tuesday evening of every month, from July 2019. For more information contact the group facilitator Adam on 027 700 6080 or adam.bouman@kahuitukaha.co.nz


Intersex Children

Questions that whānau may have:

Resources & Groups

Below are some great resources which offer practical, expert advice about supporting your intersex children, as well as supporting your whānau and yourself.

Intersex 101 - visit our page full of helpful tips and resources related to intersex identities. (NZ)

All About Intersex - this short video uses cartoons to explain what intersex is and how you can be a great intersex ally. (NZ)

Intersex for Parents - a page with helpful advice for parents who have discovered that their child has an intersex variation + further links to resources

Supporting your intersex child - this guide aims to introduce what intersex is and give advice about how best to support your intersex child and where to get further information. (Europe)

What We Wish Our Parents Knew - intersex youth explain the things that they wish their parents and whānau knew about being intersex and how to support them. (U.S.)

Tips for Parents - This page lists some questions and explanations that parents can ask their doctors or health practitioners. (U.S.)

Support Groups

ITANZ (Intersex Awareness New Zealand) - An organisation that provides information, education and training for organisations and professionals who provide services to intersex people and their families.

Intersex Youth Aotearoa - A place to share information, find support and network, we aim to improve the visibility of intersex young people, to create community and support.

Portal Group: FreedHearts Aotearoa New Zealand - Parents of LGBT Children - This portal group is so you can find the secret group for parents of LGBTQI children in Aotearoa New Zealand.  The group is for those parents who have lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or questioning children of any age and would like to find information and support in order to affirm and support their children.