My research broadly focuses on LGBTQ families and children, and I am particularly interested in the ways that we understand children’s gender and sexuality. Children are coming out at younger and younger ages, claiming identities that were previously considered to be adult subjectivities, and shifting our very understanding of queerness and transness. As children are living more openly and expressing themselves more freely, families are navigating a new kind of parenting.
My book manuscript Life Uncharted: Parenting Transgender, Gender-Creative, and Gay Children, examines the experiences of families who are raising children that break normative ideas about gender, sexuality, bodies and desires.
In my analysis of the media, ethnographic research online and at conferences, and interviews with families, I analyze and evaluate the complex realities and temporalities that these parents and children experience, as they navigate public and private spaces, go to school, celebrate family holidays, make legal name changes, debate medical decisions, and more.
I argue that parents engage in anticipation work, trying to manage their children’s identities and plan for the best possible future, while also trying to live in the present moment. The children’s lives I am studying are still unfolding, and their parents, professionals, and researchers are making their best guesses and creating knowledge based on what is currently known, even as the field continues to shift under our feet.