‘Inviting in‰’ the family: enhancing affirmation of diverse gender during school years


Increasing numbers of people are identifying as transgender or gender diverse during their primary and secondary school years and an understanding and celebration of these young people‰’s identity by family, educational and social environments is integral to their well-being. This presents a considerable challenge for parents, educators and social and counselling services trying to keep up with the rapid increase in awareness of gender identity amongst young people. This paper presents practical information gained from extensive experience working with a whole of family model to provide education, support and counselling to young people and their families as they navigate the affirmation of their gender. Inviting families in to the experience of a young gender diverse person can change the home and school environment in which that young person lives and may obviate many of the difficulties that young gender diverse people face leaving them free to engage healthily in family, educational and social activities alongside their cis-gender peers.


Louise Cooper | louise.cooper@ds.org.au

Dr Louise Cooper is a Family Practitioner at Drummond Street Services’ Queerspace. She has extensive experience working with gender diverse young people and their families. In 2017 Louise was part of the Queerspace team that established ‘The Village’, a 6-week group program for parents of gender diverse young people.