“A year ago, when she was in kindergarten in Fountain, Colo., Coy Mathis became a girl. Until that point, Coy — born a boy — had resisted the boyish t-shirts and jeans that her parents laid out for her, hated the boy’s backpack she had to carry to school. She wanted to wear tutus and princess dresses, to grow her hair long, to slip into pink Mary Janes.
The best thing parents can do is respect their kids’ gender preferences. “I’m not saying it’s easy to be a transgender child in our culture, but it’s a lot easier than trying to be a boy when you know you’re not,” says Ehrensaft. “Once parents get on board, the children calm down, they are happier, they relax into themselves.””