Date of Conferral
Parents of transgender children face challenges when their children come out, including fear of negative reaction toward the parents and their transgender child by community members, concerns about social status in the community or religious organizations, and concerns about the inability of the transgender child to build his or her own family. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to investigate the emotional experiences of parents regarding their acceptance or rejection of their transgender child. Rohner's parental acceptance-rejection theory provided the framework for the study. Data were collected from parents (N = 13) who attended Parents and Friends of Gay and Lesbian support groups from various areas in the United States or who were identified through snowball sampling using semistructured interviews and a demographic questionnaire. Data were coded and analyzed to identify themes in parental responses to their transgender children coming out, which were either negative, neutral, positive, or mixed. Results indicated that even parents with negative emotions supported and loved their children unconditionally. Findings may be used to develop supportive interventions for parents coping with their transgender child's transition.