Gender Identity from the Eyes of Parents

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Dr. Mike Chupp and Dr. Jeff Barrows are joined on this week’s CMDA Matters episode by Diane and Mark, who are the parents of three children, as they share their experience as parents with a child going through gender dysphoria and a gender identity crisis.


Meet Our Guest

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“Diane” and “Mark” are the parents of three children. Mark is an insurance company executive and Diane is a registered nurse, though she was primarily a full-time mother while raising her kids. Their children are quite spaced out in age, with the youngest now 20 and a junior in college. He was diagnosed as Aspergers at age 9. He had many years of not fitting in at school and had a great deal of difficulty making and keeping friends. At the age of 15, he announced to his parents that he thinks he is a girl. He was very much cheered on by teachers and faculty at his private school. He has socially transitioned for five years now, although not medicalized. As his parents, they were extremely flummoxed by his announcement. He always behaved in a boyish way and never expressed any desire to do girl things or be referred to as a girl. Diane has since learned through her research that kids with autism spectrum disorder often are very gender nonconforming.  It was shocking to her the way his pediatrician and other physicians so clearly affirmed his thoughts and never questioned how or why this all came out of the blue. No one, including his lifelong pediatrician, seemed at all concerned about his autism history and recent history of depression. Since then, Diane has put much of her energy into activism and has found solidarity with other parents in the same situation. Their prayer is that their son can make peace with his male body and feel free to express his personality as he wishes without harming himself medically.



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