The Atlantic

Why Is the Media So Worried About the Parents of Trans Kids?

Journalists are constantly reporting on trans children from the perspective of their parents. Why not focus on the experiences of the kids?
Source: Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series of responses to Jesse Singal’s Atlantic article “When Children Say They’re Trans.”

The first time I remember reading a story about parenting trans kids was in 2011, the same year a nurse at Fenway Community Health Center in Boston gave me my first injection of testosterone. An hour after my appointment, I was back at my desk at the Boston Phoenix. My job at the paper was to think and write about culture and, as one of very few out trans journalists working in media at the time, I was both personally and professionally captivated by the stories told about trans bodies. I clicked link after link that summer, surfacing ostensibly anthropological, yet ever-more-breathless coverage of this new (to journalists) trans “phenomenon.”

I found that these stories, by reporters who inevitably were not trans, fell broadly intro three genres: tabloid stories that highlighted trans people who “pass” particularly well; transphobic

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