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Complicating constructions: middle-class parents of transgender and gender-diverse children

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-03-04, 12:33 authored by Aoife NearyAoife Neary
Recent years have seen an increase in the visibility of transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) children in the public sphere. Jack Halberstam [(2018). Trans: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability (Vol. 3). University of California Press] is very critical of middle-class parents of TGD children, arguing that much of their activism is based on a normalizing model of individual rights as opposed to a more transformative activism that might de-stabilize gender-power systems that are restrictive for everyone. Following this pronouncement, this paper takes up the opportunity to inquire further into the everyday negotiations of middle-class parents of TGD children. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with twelve middle-class parents of TGD children aged 5–13 in Ireland, this paper provides in-depth insight into the classed, precarious, gendered, disruptive and arduous nature of parents’ work as they negotiated schools and laboured to follow a child-led parenting philosophy amidst the judgement of others and rigidly gendered worlds. Ultimately, this paper’s argument is two-fold – it alerts us to social class inequality in parenting TGD children but it also complicates the figure of the middle-class parent of a TGD child, offering in-depth insight into the shape and effects of child-led parenting with TGD children.

History

Publication

Journal of Family Studies; 27 (4), pp. 506-522

Publisher

Taylor and Francis

Note

peer-reviewed

Rights

This is an Author's Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published inThe Journal of Family Studiess 2019 copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at: https://doi.org/10.1080/13229400.2019.1650799

Language

English

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