Perspectives of Mothers of Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Katherine A. Kuvalanka, Derek J. Mahan, Jenifer K. McGuire, Tracey K. Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This study represents findings from interviews at two time points with three mothers of transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) children (ages 8 to 12 years at T1) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Of interest was the mothers’ experiences of raising a TGNC child with ASD, and whether/how the children’s autism played a role in their understandings of their children’s gender identities and expressions. The mothers’ fear of a transphobic/cisnormative society and wondering about whether their children’s ASD influenced or caused their children’s gender variance were barriers to fully embracing their children’s gender nonconformity. Unclear causes of children’s social/emotional difficulties and lack of adequate resources and support were identified challenges. Positive interventions and resources were also discussed. Recommendations for clinicians and other professionals who serve TGNC youth with autism and their families are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1167-1189
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 29 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) and the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law for funding Times 1 and 2 of the Trans*Kids Project, the data from which this study was derived.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Taylor & Francis.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Transgender
  • autism
  • family
  • gender-nonconforming
  • youth


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