LB Hannahs, an educator, speaker and Chair for Strategic Development Initiatives for the National Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, delivered a talk on transgender parenting for TED to discuss some of their experiences.
A parent to a two-year-old, Hannahs explains that raising a child has caused them to rethink the way they see the world in many different ways. By this, Hannahs means that they were forced to truly acknowledge the depth of their vulnerabilities, and how they prevented them from being their most authentic self.
As someone who identities as gender queer, Hannahs struggled to come up with a title that makes sense for their child to call them by. They explain that "dad" felt better for them, but continued to be referred to as "mom" by others. These interactions tend to involve a level of discomfort, and it can be hard to gauge how others will react when they're corrected. Often times, Hannahs explains that they have to sacrifice their authenticity for their family's safety, as there are many people who refuse to understand what it means to not subscribe to traditional gender roles.
Hannahs continues their talk on transgender parenting by discussing their efforts to raise their child in a gender neutral household in order to not force stereotypical ideals of masculinity or femininity that can be damaging onto them. They do so by placing value on both masculinity and femininity, while also maintaining a critical dialogue to show that no one should feel limited by the roles associated with them.
By speaking to their own journey, Hannahs considers how all parents can create a loving and open environment for their child, while helping them to navigate the world around them.