What Back To School Is Like For Trans Kids

Photo: Getty Images.
My fourth grade son can’t wait to get back to school — after a long, hot summer of missing his friends, he’s itching to get back on that playground and show everyone his monkey bar tricks and the sweet tae kwon do moves he worked on over vacation.
I, however, always face the new school year with trepidation. Because my fourth grade son is transgender. Adding to the new school year anxiety is the fact that we also live in Texas, a state that attempted to pass 30 anti-LGBTQ bills during this year’s legislative session and, when that wasn’t enough, Governor Greg Abbott added a “special session” over the summer just to try to eke out a little more hate before the school year started.
While other families are concerned about getting haircuts, new shoes, and backpacks for the first day of school, parents like me add considerably more to the list: worries like, “Will my kid’s teacher use the correct pronouns?” And the very basic, “Will my kid be able to use the bathroom at school?” That's on top of wondering if this presidential administration is going strip what remaining Constitutional rights people like my child have.
In no particular order, and certainly far from complete, here’s a list of a half-dozen things that parents of trans kids are thinking about when the school year starts, and how teachers, parents of cisgender kids, and friends can be allies. I’m sure we’d all rather be thinking about cool monkey bar tricks — but there’s a lot of work to do, first.
Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about kids right now or not, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.

More from Wellness

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.