Trapped in the Wrong Body: Growing Up Transgender

What do you do if your child feels like he or she was born in the wrong body?

Hear the deeply personal stories of three transgender children and their parents, and their journeys to understand the psychological, physical, and social process to become their authentic selves.

Transgender. The word alone can be so hard for many of us to understand. Not just dressing like the opposite sex, but truly feeling you were born the wrong sex. Chaz Bono once said that gender is between the ears and not between the legs. Coy Mathis from Fountain, Colorado knows what Chaz means. Biologically born a boy, six-year-old Coy felt from the very beginning she was a girl.

“She started saying things like, ‘When are we going to go to the doctor to get me fixed?’” -Kathryn Mathis

What should you do if your son only wants to wear dresses, or if your daughter insists she’s a boy? Parents of transgender children have to make a difficult decision: face potential criticism if they allow their child to transition or face the unhappiness of their child if they don’t. Andrew Solomon writes about this complicated issue in his recent book Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity.

“Gender is who you believe yourself to be and your sexuality is who you want to bounce it off of.” -Andrew Solomon

Most of us remember being envious of those pretty, popular girls in high school who seemed like they had it all. 19-year-old Devon was that pretty girl. But what no one knew was that she was hiding a huge secret.

“There was never a question in my mind. This is who I am.” -Devon

Raising a transgender child comes with its own unique challenges and decisions. Dr. Michelle Forcier specializes in adolescent medicine at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and helps us understand the complicated issue of gender identity.

“Loving your kid and letting your kid be themselves is the best answer.”-Dr. Michelle Forcier

Puberty is a tough time for just about every adolescent. For a transgender kid like Chris, it can be more than difficult, it can be downright dangerous.

“My true choice was between a live son and a dead daughter…” -Mary

In the 1970s, tennis player Renee Richards became famous when she revealed that she was once man. The United States Tennis Association tried to prevent her from playing as a woman at the U.S. Open, until her landmark legal victory served up a win for transgender people everywhere.

“I’ve seen how much we’ve learned.”-Dr. Renee Richards

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