Parenting Outside the Gender Box: A Research Project

Krysti Ryan

Krysti Ryan, doctoral candidate at UC Davis, would like to talk to parents supporting gender creative and transgender kids.

Our guest blog today comes from a graduate student doing really cool research that may help build a bridge from parents’ personal advocacy for their kids to larger public policy changes.

My name is Krysti Ryan. I am graduate student in sociology at UC Davis, a passionate advocate of gender equality, and a soon-to-be mom (expecting my first baby in October!). I am doing my doctoral dissertation on the experiences of parents who are raising and supporting gender creative or transgender children. This research project is very close to my heart, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to share a bit about myself and my work with the Pink is for Boys community.

While I am passionate about furthering gender equality in a broad sense, my dissertation work is particularly motivated by my desire to see the wonderful kids in my life grow up in a world where they feel safe, supported and affirmed in who they are, regardless of their gender expression or identity. I believe that the key to accomplishing this task lies in better understanding and sharing the experiences of parents who are supporting and affirming gender expansive youth. In particular, I am interested in learning about how parents advocate for their children when interacting with people or social institutions that may be uninformed or unsupportive of gender diversity. Through this project I hope to contribute to important public policy work aimed at promoting the inclusion and celebration of all genders and all forms of gender expression in our schools and communities more broadly.

Right now I am trying to connect with parents in the United States who would be willing to share their experiences for my study, either through participation in an anonymous online survey, or through an interview. If you are interested in taking part in the survey component of my research, you can find it and read more about my study at: I am currently conducting interviews with parents who have children between the ages of 5 and 16 years old, and who share parenting responsibilities with at least one other person regardless of their relationship or cohabiting status.

If you are interested in taking part in an interview, I would love to hear from you. You can reach me by email at, or by phone at 503-559-1015. My research is completely confidential and is governed by the UC Davis Institutional Review Board (IRB), which ensures the welfare and safety of all research participants. I take the privacy of my participants very seriously, and never use anyone’s real name or include any potentially identifying information in any part of my study. No children are interviewed for this research.

Thanks! I look forward to hearing from you,

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7 Responses to Parenting Outside the Gender Box: A Research Project

  1. Krysti Ryan says:

    Thank you very much, Anne! I really appreciate it!

  2. I shared it in a mom’s group. This is a fantastic project!

  3. Pingback: Inspiration for the weekend

  4. Krysti Ryan says:

    Thank you very much, Stephanie!

  5. Pingback: Fellow Parents: Participate in Research | My Migraine Family

  6. George Davis says:

    Thanks for sharing this information on this important research.

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