Raising Ryland: Our Story of Parenting a Transgender Child with No Strings Attached

Hillary Whittington, with Krissy Gasbarre. Morrow, $15.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-06-238888-9
Though Whittington has an admirable impulse to use the unexpected viral video fame of her transgender kindergarten-aged son, Ryland, for a teaching moment, her narrative comes across as overly self-congratulatory. Soon after Whittington and her husband, Jeff, addressed toddler Ryland’s deafness with cochlear implants, Ryland began to express clearly, in word and behavior, a male identity, in ways typically seen as markers for young transgender children. Ryland soon adopted male bathroom behavior and masculine hair, clothing, and toy preferences. Hillary researched the subject and learned that gender identity is established in children in the first few years of life. Realizing that the outcomes for trans youth unsupported by their families and communities are very poor, she committed herself to supporting Ryland’s transition, overcoming her own misgivings, and helping her husband and the people around them to understand. Hillary’s carefully crafted eight-page letter for friends and family may be a useful tool for other parents of transgender children. However, the immediacy seems to have been worn away from her well-rehearsed story, leaving more message than emotion. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/21/2015
Release date: 02/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5046-9569-5
Prebound-Glued - 272 pages - 978-0-606-38533-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-245486-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-5046-9568-8
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-06-238889-6
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