Latinx and Asian American Transgender and Gender-Expansive Youth’s Experiences with Parental Ambivalent Support and Coping Processes

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LGBTQ+ Family: An Interdisciplinary Journal




Parental acceptance and rejection have been found to impact transgender and gender-expansive (TGE) youth well-being; however, these constructs have typically been studied within a binary framework. Emerging research indicates that acceptance and rejection are not mutually exclusive experiences, and in fact, many TGE youth are in family environments characterized by ambivalent, inconsistent, or ambiguous support from parents. The current study adds to this literature by exploring types of parental ambivalence that Latinx and Asian American TGE youth experience and the coping processes they use in response to ambivalence. Participants included 12 Latinx and Asian American TGE youth (14–25 years). Data were collected via semi-structured interviews. Emergent themes related to parental ambivalent support included: (1) situationally dependent use of pronouns; (2) lack of support for gender-affirming healthcare; and (3) provision of unreliable support. Youth coping included: (1) avoidance, (2) acceptance, (3) employing active internal coping strategies, and (4) employing active external coping strategies. Findings contribute to growing evidence that accentuates the need to move beyond the family acceptance–rejection framework binary and understand that acceptance and rejection often co-occur in the lives of Latinx and Asian American TGE youth. Implications for practitioners, researchers, and families are discussed.


Asian American youth, coping, Latinx youth, parental acceptance, parental rejection, Transgender and gender-expansive youth


Child and Adolescent Development