The first trans child we know of to self-identify and receive affirmative medical care was Ewan Forbes, whose mother accessed early testosterone treatments for him in the 1920s. A hundred years later, when I’m asked by parents for one book to understand the how’s and why’s of trans kids, Diane’s is my go-to recommendation. Based on her own real-life clinical experience, she sets out a spectrum of gender diversity, and shows how parents can support their children’s explorations and decisions.
Key to this is letting children define their own social presentation and activity, for as she puts it, ‘if we want to know a child’s gender, it is not for us to say but for the child to tell’. Diane demonstrates that this approach allows both child and parent to identify whether their gender expression is ‘insistent, consistent, and persistent’, in other words, the direction in which the child’s exploration will take them. Compassionate, wise, and accessible, this is high-priority reading for parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, teachers, doctors, legislators, and everyone associated with the care of children and adolescents – including the children themselves.