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Date of Award

Winter 2024

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation

Experimental Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Lemm, Kristi M., 1971-

Second Advisor

Czopp, Alex

Third Advisor

Lehman, Barbara J.


In general, attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community have been becoming increasingly more favorable in the United States in the past two decades (Rosenfeld, 2017). However, in recent years there has been some pushback, particularly regarding transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) identities, as opposed to lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) identities. Growing transphobia is evident, especially in the political realm, as several anti-TGD bills are being introduced that limit access to bathrooms, sports, and gender-affirming care (Freedom For All Americans, 2022). As the difference in acceptance between LGB and TGD people is becoming more evident on a large scale, it raises the question: is there a difference in acceptance on a smaller scale? Or rather, would a parent be less accepting of their child if they were TGD compared to if their child were LGB? Few studies have directly compared parental acceptance levels of LGB youth versus TGD youth. Those that have used qualitative methods and small TGD samples (Abreu et al., 2021). The current study used a retrospective design with quantitative methods and large, comparable samples of adult TGD and LGB participants to understand if there is a difference in parental acceptance levels of LGB versus TGD and what factors may predict parental acceptance. Overall, we found TGD children perceived less parental acceptance, more parental rejection, and more psychological control when they came out compared to LGB children. In addition, participants who rated their parent(s) as being more politically conservative and as having less knowledge of the LGBTQ+ community, tended to rate their parent(s) as being less accepting, more rejecting, and more controlling. These results reveal a gap in parental acceptance between TGD and LGB children when they come out, and underline a need for further education and advocacy in support of the TGD community.




LGBTQ+, Transgender, Gender-Diverse, Parental Acceptance


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Coming out (Sexual orientation); Parents of sexual minority youth; Parents of transgender children




masters theses




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