I never thought I would be thankful to “Keeping up the Kardashians” for anything. But Caitlyn Jenner messed with my kids’ limited perception of ‘boys in blue and girls in pink’ and was just what was needed for me to be able to start an honest conversation with my kids about gender identity.
Caitlyn was the first trans person that they knew about. I pride myself on raising open-minded, tolerant kids, so I was furious and disappointed when the initial reaction of my 12-year-old son was “No matter what, Caitlyn will never be a girl, it’s a he’. That ‘it’ pissed me off so much. But the more I tried to make my points on gender identity, the more I realized that I had no articulate language, no tools, to navigate these conversational waters well.
I’m still learning how to better communicate with my kids on gender issues. But here’s what I’ve figured out so far.