So what are some of the common tips and guidance you would give to those parents, who think their kids are trans?Kids will send out pretty strong smoke signals that they're working out something about gender.The parents may not be able to know that the child is transgender right away.So it's not just one point in time, but over many points in time. If a child, particularly a young child, is really excited about their body parts, and says "Can I grow one? " there's often a signal of a real unhappiness with the body that you have and that marks you as a boy or a girl in the culture. The child who's transgender often will go beyond play to what I call "serious business." They're not just, for example, wanting to try out their sister's princess dress and pretend to be a princess for a day. But they may — as someone who's [designated as] a boy who says, "I'm a girl" — go and steal their sister's full clothes, regular girl clothes, so they can dress to tell people, "Hey, this is who I am. But I'm a girl who wants to go to school dressed like this." So you look for play as "serious business." It's not fool-proof, but those are good signs.Lots of kids these days like to play with toys that were labeled for the other gender. GL: Let's say some parents think their child is trans. DE: In terms of the mental health field, I will quote Dickens: It's the best of times, it's the worst of times.If you say something a little different — "You know, honey, where we live people don't understand this, so we might do this just at home, but until we help the people out there to understand it, we might just leave it at home" — it's still a bit of a mixed message, but it says to the child that "the problem is not with you, the problem is the town we live in, so we're going to create safe spaces for you." The hope there is the child doesn't take it in as "I'm weird" but that this world has a lot of learning to do.But the first thing you want to do, like with any other sense of identity, is instill pride in the child, rather than shame.DE: The first thing — and this is the motto you can put on your wall — is around children's gender, it's not for us to say, but for them to tell, and to give them the opportunity to say what's going on with them. The second is that all of us, as parents and people walking down the street, have what I call gender ghosts and gender angels.The gender ghosts are all of the messages that we got in the way we live — such as our religious beliefs — that tell us that there's something wrong if a child is either gender nonconforming or transgender, or that makes you feel uncomfortable or weird about it.This, quite frankly, is why we such high levels of anxiety, depression, social withdrawal, acting out at school — this kind of common misery among gender nonconforming kids who are getting messages like that. So we want to bring them out to the light of day and put them at war with what I call our gender angels.Those are the parts of us — and I think they're either there or can be harvested and fertilized — which open up our eyes to gender expansiveness, to the notion of gender diversity, to the notion that not following the rules does not mean you're sick or have a disease or that it's pathological, but that it's creative. I do believe that when we have people around gender ghosts and gender angels, we have a cognitive dissonance moment.