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Published on 2012-03-24 and tagged for Toronto

Seeking Participants for Study about Parents of Gender-Independent Children

Raising Gender-Independent Children: Coming to Understanding 
Seeking Participants for Study about Parents of Gender-Independent Children 


My name is Jake Pyne and I am currently completing a Master of Social Work degree at Ryerson University. I am in the process of recruiting participants for a small study about the experience of parents of gender-independent children – children whose gender identity or gender expression differs from that expected of the gender they were assigned at birth. Sometimes these children are known as gender variant,gender non-conforming, gender-creative or two-spirited, though parents do not need to use any of these terms to participate in this study. 

The focus of this study is on how parents come to understand their child’s gender identity – in essence, how they know what they know about their child.  I am particularly interested in talking to parents of children who are living outside of typical gender roles (neither male nor female) or parents of children who have socially transitioned to a new gender role through a change of name, gender pronoun and/or physical appearance. I aim to learn more about how parents of gender-independent children understand their children and make decisions about their well-being. I feel this is important because these families are often on the receiving end of stigma, discrimination and disbelief.  I hope this work can contribute toward creating better resources and services for these families and I hope that having the opportunity to share your challenges and experiences will be helpful.  Because there is so little information about the diversity of families with gender-independent children, I particularly welcome the participation of those who identify themselves as Aboriginal, people of colour, those with low income, immigrants and refugees, parents with disabilities and other equity seeking groups. Eligible participants will have parented a gender-independent child under 12 years of age within the past 5 years. 

This process will involve a 1 to 1.5 hour tape-recorded interview which can be done at a time and location of your choice.  Interviews will be in-person for participants who are in Toronto and over the phone for those in other areas.  All information shared will be confidential and no names or identifying information will be published or shared in any way. Participation is entirely voluntary and you can choose to end your involvement with the study at any time. 

Finally, a bit about me. I was a gender-independent child myself and currently do community-based research and activism in the trans community in Toronto.  I am committed to working towards building better resources for families with gender-independent children so that parents, children and the communities around them are safe, supported and celebrated. 

I look forward to hearing from you. For more information please contact me at jake.pyne@ryerson.ca

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