Raising a gender expansive child

An author next to the cover of his book.
Author Tom Rademacher's new book is titled "Raising Ollie: How my Nonbinary Art-Nerd Kid Changed (Nearly) Everything I Know.” 
Courtesy photos

What’s it like when the kid you’ve known every day of their life as a “she” says they aren’t? Tom Rademacher’s child was in third grade when they said they didn’t feel like a girl — or a boy.  

Rademacher, a 2014 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, writes about learning to support his child’s gender expansive identity in a new book called “Raising Ollie: How my Nonbinary Art-Nerd Kid Changed (Nearly) Everything I Know.”  

Having a child who doesn’t conform to gender norms can hurl a parent into unfamiliar, and, for some, unwelcome territory. Half of transgender youth say their family and others they live with do not accept their gender identity and pronouns, which can exacerbate mental health challenges and weaken family relationships. 

Host Angela Davis talks with Rademacher, a physician and a nonbinary young adult about how parents and other adults can support gender expansive children and teens. 


  • Tom Rademacher teaches eighth grade English in the St. Anthony–New Brighton School District and is the 2014 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. His second book, “Raising Ollie: How my Nonbinary Art-Nerd Kid Changed (Nearly) Everything I Know” was published in October by University of Minnesota Press. 

  • Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd is medical director of the Gender Health Program at Children’s Minnesota and the health system’s chief education officer and chief of staff. She gave a 2020 TEDxMinneapolis talk on kids and gender identity.

  • Ty Gale is a co-founder of the nonprofit organization TIGERRS (Transgender, Intersex, Gender-Expansive Revolutionary Resources & Services) which runs programming for gender nonconforming children and teenagers. 

Use the audio player above to listen to their conversation.

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