Today's teens have access to a wealth of information on the internet. Teenagers who are wondering about gender identity soon find out what it means to be transgender or transsexual. They watch video accounts of young people progressing through physical changes from hormones. They converse with other teens who share similar feelings. Parents, on the other hand, know little about this topic. Most have never considered the possibility, and they are not prepared when their child begins to talk with them about it. They initially approach the subject with tremendous discomfort. It is extremely important as the parent of a transgender child to educate yourself about the variety of gender identities that exist. Be prepared to let go of some of your ideas about what it means to be male or female. When you were growing up you learned what it meant to be a boy or a girl. Perhaps what you learned felt right to you and you never gave it much thought. Or perhaps there were times when you felt fenced in by what others expected of you because you were a girl, or because you were a boy. You may have been kept from certain activities or discouraged from pursuing certain interests because of your gender. Most likely by adulthood you figured out how to make your way in the world without questioning whether you are a woman or a man. If you are reading this book, however, someone you care about is struggling with questions about gender. When a teenager declares he or she is transgender, parents fear that their child is confused and is choosing a life fraught with danger. As the parent of this teen, you will find it is best to be thoughtful, inquisitive and compassionate as you come to understand more about your child's gender identity.--Adapted from introduction.