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Straight Expectations: The Story of a Family in Transition

by Peggy Cryden and Janet Goldstein-Ball Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Pub Date:
Pbk 184 pages
AU$24.99 NZ$26.08
Product Status: In Stock Now
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Ever since they were young, Peggy Cryden noticed her children's gender expression did not correspond with society's expectations of their biological gender. In this moving and honest memoir, Peggy details the experiences and challenges of raising both a gay son and a gay, transgender son and shares her family's journey of adversity and growth, which has helped inform her work as a psychotherapist.


Each chapter explores a particular year in the family's life, following the children from birth to adulthood and through their numerous experiences including coming out, depression, hate crime, relationships, school and various aspects to do with transitioning (legal, physical, medical, social) as well as their appearances in the media as a family. This book is insightful, charming and thought-provoking, and through levity and humour, offers a positive approach to parenting outside of convention.


Preface. 1. The Green Room. 2. Raised by Wolves. 3. Saved by the Belles. 4. The Good Daughter. 5. Trick or Treat. 6. It's a Girl! 7. The First Two Years. 8. And Then There Were Two. 9. Dancing to a Different Beat. 10. We Can Get Through This. 11. Life Derails. 12. I Hope You'll Still Love Me After I Tell You This. 13. The Transition. 14. A Darker Turn. 15. In the Spotlight. 16. The Red Carpet. 17. What about Him? 18. The Loss of the Mani-Pedi Dream. 19. On the Mend. 20. Let's Talk Shop. 21. You Just have to Laugh. 22. The Zen of Ducks. References. Resources.

Cryden writes with the emotional clarity of a seasoned therapist and also as one who's done her own soul searching.
Peggy Cryden, LMFT specialises in ADHD, gender identity, sexual orientation and interpersonal relationships. Peggy and her son Jake co-founded the non-profit organisation Trans United with Family & Friends (TUFF) to provide financial assistance to transgender and gender variant individuals.

Peggy Cryden has been on Oprah and other television

programmes with her son several times, and is very active in educating and advocating for LGBTQ and transgender issues.


Janet Goldstein-Ball, LMFT has a private psychotherapy practice in Los Angeles, C alifornia, where she specialises in eating disorders, at-risk adolescents, substance abuse, and working with creative professionals. Janet also works in a hospital out-patient program and is a co-founder and board member of the Valley Federation of Eating Disorder Professionals (VFFD).