New Democracy Maps

Family Support: Resources for Families of Transgender & Gender Diverse Children

Many people don’t understand what it means to be transgender or gender diverse, so some parents or family members struggle when their child comes out as transgender or gender diverse. It is natural for parents to have questions, and this document, jointly created by the Biden Foundation, Gender Spectrum, and the Movement Advancement Project, highlights resources geared toward answering those questions. These resources* also help parents gain deeper understanding and learn how to best support their child in ways that can help them succeed and thrive. Parents and family members will learn why family rejection is so devastating and find practical steps for advancing acceptance. Learn more at

* NOTE: This page and the following links were last updated in May 2024. 

Who are transgender youth, and what challenges do they face?

Why is family acceptance so important?

Your child’s well-being depends on it. Extensive research shows that transgender youth with supportive parents “report higher life satisfaction, higher self-esteem, [and] better mental health including less depression and fewer suicide attempts” than those without strong parental support:

What are practical ways for families to support transgender youth?

Resources for specific audiences:

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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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