Role Models for Parenting a Transgender Child: Read this beautiful story about two Deaf parents and their now 9-year old Deaf child’s transition journey from a boy to a girl. It is truly inspiring to see these parents respond with great sensitivity to their child’s emotional needs, even when they may fly in the face of conventionality and societal expectations. Seeing Dominice’s happiness and growth is proof enough that allowing a transgender child to express her identity is the healthiest decision parents can make.
Transgender Athletes in Deaf Schools: Dominice’s parents share concerns about facing resistance from their daughter’s school’s athletic departments when it comes to allowing Dominice to play as a girl on school sports teams. As a rule, middle and high school sports are gender segregated and often conform to rigid standards and ideologies. With transgender athletes being a fairly new concept at this level of competition, it is no surprise that some athletic directors, coaches and parents may allow fears or prejudices to affect their views. The article references Indiana’s outdated and irrelevant rules for eligibility for allowing transgender athletes to play – one can only begin to imagine what rules other states may have in respect to this.
Need for Education and Training:While it is clear that Dominice’s parents are proactive in advocating for her rights as a Deaf transgender student and athlete, the burden of educating our Deaf schools and community about transgender rights should not fall on parents alone. All Deaf schools can and should offer training to teachers, staff, administrators, coaches, and parents about creating welcoming and supportive environments for transgender students. In the same spirit that schools such as California School for the Deaf – Fremont teach about diversity by making their curriculum inclusive, honoring minority groups with celebratory months, discussion panels, and posters, they should also include education and awareness of transgender issues.