On Thanksgiving morning, Paria Hassouri finds herself furiously praying and negotiating with the universe as she irons a dress her fourteen-year-old, designated male at birth, has secretly purchased and wants to wear to dinner with the extended family. In this wonderfully frank, loving, and practical account of parenting a transgender teen, Paria chronicles what amounts to a dual transition: as her child transitions from male to female, she navigates through anger, denial, and grief to eventually arrive at acceptance. Despite her experience advising other parents in her work as a pediatrician, she was blindsided by her child's gender identity. Paria is also forced to examine how she still carries insecurities from her past of growing up as an Iranian-American immigrant in a predominantly white neighborhood, and how her life experience is causing her to parent with fear instead of love. Paria discovers her capacity to evolve, as well as what it really means to parent and the deepest nature of unconditional love.
This page-turning memoir relates a tender story of loving and parenting a teenager coming out as transgender and transitioning. It explores identity, self-discovery in adolescence and midlife, and difference in a world that values conformity. At its heart, Found in Transition is a universally inspiring portrait of what it means to be a family.
Paria Hassouri, MD, is a pediatrician, mother of three, and transgender rights activist. She is a public speaker and has written articles for multiple media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the Huffington Post, and presented stories on stage through Expressing Motherhood. A proud Iranian-American, she spent her formative years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She currently resides and practices in Los Angeles.