My Daughter He: Transitioning With Our Transgender Children

Research shows that family acceptance is the single most important factor in protecting the health and wellbeing of gender nonconforming and transgender children and youth. When a child discloses, everyone is affected. Family members may initially experience a range of difficult emotions that can impede their ability to accept and support their loved one.

In My Daughter He, Candace Waldron undertakes a courageous and honest exploration of the 7 stages she traveled to move from denial and loss, to acceptance and advocacy. Steps along her journey may help chart the course for others.

•  Anticipation and Attachment  •  Awareness of Difference  •  Asking Questions  • Acknowledging Feelings  • Accessing Help and Aligning Goals  •  Action Steps  •  Amazement and Advocacy

Candace Waldron, MDiv, is a writer, educator, administrator, and public policy advocate in violence prevention and women’s health. She is the mother of a transgender son who disclosed at sixteen and transitioned at nineteen. She is cofacilitator of PFLAG support groups in the Boston metro area for parents of nonconforming and transgender children.

My Daughter He should be required reading not only for parents and family members of trans children, but for teachers, counselors, and school administrators. Besides being an education, it’s a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I couldn’t put it down.”

—Betty DeGeneres, Ellen’s mother, is a national LGBT rights advocate and the author of Love, Ellen: A Mother/Daughter Journey and Just a Mom

“Candace Waldron has written a book for everyone!  My Daughter He should be required reading not only for parents and family members of trans children, but for teachers, counselors, and school administrators. In fact, all of us will benefit from the information in these pages. Besides being an education, it’s a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I couldn’t put it down. All my love to the brave young man, Kai.”

“This book is a must for anyone who wants support for or insight into the path that must be taken, by parent, child, and everyone around them, if our transgender youth and young adults are going to have the full opportunity to be the wonderful people they are.”

—Diane Ehrensaft, PhD, Director of Mental Health, Child and Adolescent Gender Center, University of California, San Francisco, and author of Gender Born, Gender Made

In My Daughter He, Candace Waldron takes us on a remarkable journey revealing the deepest inner chambers of her own experience as a mother shepherding her daughter, Kendra, from a burgeoning recognition that Kendra was not the gender everyone thought her to be to the blossoming of her young adult transgender son, Kai. With honesty, fortitude, and openness to sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly, she teaches us the simple but so complicated truth about our gender-creative, transgender children: It is not for us to say, but for us to listen to what they are telling us about who they are.  Once we hear what they are saying, we have only one job:  to help them get to be that person. With no sugar-coating, My Daughter He gives us a window into exactly how this can be done.”

“By sharing her own transition journey and that of her trans son, including issues around safety, schools, and mental health, Waldron has created an informative and comforting resource for other families.”

—Rachel Pepper, gender specialist and coauthor of The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals and editor of Transitions of the Heart: Stories of Love, Struggle, and Acceptance by Mothers of Transgender and Gender Variant Children

In My Daughter He, Candace Waldron bravely delves into the new frontier of autobiographical writing by parents of transgender children. By sharing her own transition journey and that of her trans son, including issues around safety, schools, and mental health, Waldron has created an informative and comforting resource for other families.”

“A groundbreaking resource for parents and educators that blends the emotional journey of parents with strategies for transitioning and the urgent need for safe schools.”

—Jeff Perrotti, founder and director of Massachusetts’ Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ students and coauthor of When the Drama Club Is Not Enough: Lessons from the Safe Schools Program for Gay and Lesbian Students

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