Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
50 - When Gender Hits the Holidays

50 - When Gender Hits the Holidays


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The holiday season is often associated with big expectations and high hopes. It can be fraught for families, whether they are going through challenging times with a child’s gender identity. Sasha and Stella discuss the meaning of extended family, big celebrations, and how to keep the stakes low and reasonable during the holidays. They also discuss the holidays as a time some young people try to ‘come out,’  while others feel hesitant to reconnect with loved ones who haven’t yet seen their new ‘gender presentation.’ Sasha and Stella also provide practical strategies that families can use to recruit loving trusted adults who also have the child’s best interests in mind.


What happened in LeRoy

Stop That! It's not Tourette's but a new type of mass sociogenic illness:

Debbie Nathan’s Lecture:

Genspect’s Brief Guidance for Friends and Family:

Sasha’s Newsletter on Extended Family:

Whale Rider Movie:

Extended Notes:

  • The holidays are really hard for a lot of gender questioning children. 

  • Our families are our lifeblood to connection, and if there’s conflict within it, it’s hard for everyone involved.

  • People are coming together for the first time since COVID. There’s a lot of things going on.

  • People are more isolated than ever, and when there’s a conflict within the family, it really burdens the parents because they can not rely on their extended family. 

  • What do you do when you haven’t seen your extended family in a while, and you’ve...transitioned? 

  • Families who are ashamed of their child transitioning will try everything they can to keep it a secret. 

  • Some children want their parents to tell the world, others feel betrayed if their parents let out their secret. How do you navigate when each case is so personal and individualized? 

  • What should you talk about at Thanksgiving? 

  • Are you estranged with your child? Sometimes sending a small gift to remind them of home is all that's needed. Sasha offers suggestions. 

  • If you’re planning to see your family this holiday season (or if your children plan to visit you) and you know you’re going to get triggered, find someone close to you who you can call beforehand/during these events. Let them know you will need a ‘lifeline’ on this day. 

  • Families are complicated in general, add tension to the mix and you have a mini explosion waiting to happen. The holidays just intensify these feelings. 

  • Remember, pick your battles. Do you really wanna die on this hill?

  • How do you deal with the grandparents? How do you tell your mom and dad about your gender questioning teen? 

  • Stella shares how her mother was trying to understand the field of work Stella is in as a therapist.

  • Sasha shares resources on how you can help the older generation understand what’s going on in your household. 

This podcast is partially sponsored by ReIME, Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics:

Learn more about our show:

Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
Therapists Stella O’Malley and Sasha Ayad explore diverse perspectives through a psychological lens, fostering open dialogue on gender identity, transition, and the transgender umbrella. Their work with gender dysphoric clients and unique experiences yield an informed outlook delving into gender's psychological nuances. Interviews with clinicians, academics, transgender individuals, parents, detransitioners, and others touched by gender provide varied insights and intimate inquiry into the taboo yet relevant topic.