This month Parents magazine has made a go of it, trying to print what I’m sure in their mind is a oh-so-very-progressive article with 8 Positive Ways to Address Children’s Gender Identity Issues. Perhaps that’s what’s so disturbing about it. An attempt to bring the issue of gender identity to a mainstream public is actually laden with homophobia and transphobia. The gist of the article is that if your child is displaying gender variant behavior (like your son wearing high heels), you probably have no need to “worry.” My favorite line is from Dr. Ken Corbett at NYU (I expected better) who claims that if your daughter wants to play firefighter she probably really wants a dalmatian! What? It’s better to have a girl want a dog than be a firefighter?!! The article continually returns to the premise that most likely your child is “normal.” (ie not gay and certainly not transgender). The article’s eight suggestions on dealing with gender identity issues are all about assuaging parent’s anxiety rather than addressing the fundamental homophobia or transphobia in this country that makes parents “worried” in the first place. Wouldn’t it be great if there were an article like this that instead of telling parents that their children are just going through some developmental norm by exploring gender differences and gender play instead took the perspective of “hey, if your child does turn out to be gay or transgender that is something to be celebrated and embraced.” So go out and buy that princess dress for your son and tell him how wonderful he is and that you love him exactly as he comes!