Resources for grandparents, on trans/non-binary teen identity
November 20, 2020 7:25 AM   Subscribe

A teen in my family is slowly and tentatively coming out as trans or non-binary. They are nervous about other family members' reactions. I'd like to help by educating of teen's grandparents, who are open-minded but not very well informed. I'm looking for resources (videos, short articles, podcasts) I can send the grandparents, to help them understand what their much loved grandchild is going through.

The teen's parents are not supportive, but in our family the grandparents* have a lot of influence. Getting the grandparents on board would make the teen's life a lot easier over the next few years.

The grandparents are aware that the teen is questioning their gender identity, and have expressed some confusion. They are not at all hostile, but just don't really know what it all means. Grandparents are long-time supports of gay rights, but don't know why someone would question their gender. At the moment they think the teen is "just a bit mixed up" as a result of lots of other (very crappy) stuff in their life. But they are very likely to be actively supportive, if they had more knowledge.

All the grandparents are good, moral people. In the past, they've been very willing to change their opinions or outlook on sensitive topics when presented with new info, even when it's a topic they had strong opinions on.

I'd like to help them learn more, in order to be better allies of a teen they love and want to help. Can you help me find a few resources to share and talk about with them? Ideally:

- Dyslexia friendly, so audio or video. [This is the most important part.]
- They are able to use the internet, but to varying skill levels. Simple websites would be fine. Twitter threads... not so much.
- English language. Content from anywhere in the UK is preferable over the US. But it's not a dealbreaker if there is something really good from elsewhere.
- I'd really like to find at least one UK-based organization that can give a break down of UK specific resources, education issues, etc. for teens and family members.

Thanks in advance!

*to clarify: on our side of the family the teen has more than 2 grandparents.
posted by EllaEm to Human Relations (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The BBC podcast NB sounds like it fits a lot of your criteria (and it can be streamed from the web to avoid the tech complexity of podcasts). It’s hosted by two non-binary people in different phases of coming out and covers a lot of the basics in an empathy-building way.
posted by firefleet at 7:43 AM on November 20 [4 favorites]

PFLAG pdf: For films, see pages 86-89.
posted by aniola at 7:53 AM on November 20 [1 favorite]

PFLAG video: Becoming a trans ally 101, (looks like they don't have any UK chapters yet).
posted by aniola at 7:59 AM on November 20

A recent and very sweet video short: Coming Out by Cressa Beer, where Godzilla's kid comes out as trans. Not explicitly educational, except insofar as it models a positive response to the kid's news.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 9:29 AM on November 20 [1 favorite]

Mermaids and Gendered Intelligence are the 2 biggest UK trans youth charities I know of.

Mermaids has a number of videos on their Resources for parents page.

(Gendered Intelligence also has a Resources for Families page but it's text-based, so probably less helpful for dyslexia)

A couple of my friends run QAF Space, a Zoom channel for queer & trans folk. There's also a private Facebook group. If the teen is feeling isolated and might like the company of other trans folk, they would be welcome to pop by.
posted by Pallas Athena at 9:37 AM on November 20 [3 favorites]

I found the book Behave: the biology of humans at our best and our worst to be very informative when taking to people who just don't get it. It breaks down some of the the hormonal biology from before birth that can impact gender expression.
posted by aetg at 2:55 PM on November 20

I should say that it is just one chapter of the book not the whole thing.
posted by aetg at 2:56 PM on November 20

I don't have hbo, so haven't watched it, but transhood was just released and is getting some positive press. Though USA based, it might be good.
posted by lab.beetle at 5:36 PM on November 20

I’m a trans man who has been doing advocacy and education work for about a decade. For the last few years if I’m working with a group that are fairly new to the topic I start out with the video Raising Ryland. Then terminology, statistics on how societies’s reaction to gender diversity can put us at risk, and finally best practices. In my experience this trajectory allows people to buy in, learn what the words mean, learn why this matters, and then what they can do to change the outcomes within their sphere of influence. Feel free to PM me, I want to support this kid’s support network.

Raising Ryland: digital-shorts-parenting-transgender-child-orig.cnn
posted by rip at 8:10 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]

The Gender Reveal podcast is very good!
posted by Gymnopedist at 9:42 PM on November 20

I hate to anti-rec without something good to rec additionally, but I'd say that both NB and Gender Reveal are way too advanced for someone needing Trans/NB 101, and if the grandparents are conservative at all, they are likely to be offended or very confused by some of Tuck's stances in Gender Reveal. (I think Tuck is great! But they want to dismantle capitalism and that's a whole other thing on top of gender!)

You might be able to get away with Gender 101 or Gender 201 episodes on Gender Reveal since they are Q&A types but I wouldn't say they are good from someone starting from nowhere.

The Netflix documentary Disclosure miiiight be helpful but it's very focused on binary trans identity from what I remember, so if that would cause confusion, it might not be worth it.

Good luck to you and yours!
posted by possibilityleft at 7:31 AM on November 21

Thanks everyone! These are really helpful resources. If anyone thinks of any others, I'll check back again later.

I had the first conversation with one set today, and they are definitely open to the idea of learning more. We had a good conversation, and I found out a bit more about where the gaps or blindspots in their thinking is, so I can aim at those.

And to clarify, these grandparents are more likely to be offended by something too pro-capitalism...! Their issue is not that they are conservative, but rather that they just don't know anything about it, and wouldn't otherwise stumble across any information on their own. (I should perhaps have been clear when I said they were 'moral' people. I meant that in the truest sense, rather than a narrow conservative religious sense: that their core values are those of fairness, honesty, looking out for others, extending any help you can offer to those in need, and that they actually live these values every day. That's why I feel sure that once they have more knowledge about how and why they should help, they will step up to do so. )
posted by EllaEm at 7:37 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]

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