Would You Consider a Transgender Au Pair Candidate?

by cv harquail on October 21, 2015

As more Americans become aware of transgender people’s concerns and rights, we’re seeing more transgender people coming forward to participate fully in our society.

We’ve got transgender actors like “possibility model” Laverne Cox, transgender television hosts/media personalities  like Janet Mock (whose autobiography I recommend to everyone), transgender characters at the center of TV dramas, and of course transgender reality stars.


So how about Transgender Au Pairs?

A young man emailed to ask about becoming an au pair. Only a sophomore in high school, he’s wondering if being an au pair is a possibility for him.  

“My French teacher has talked about her year as an au pair and recommended becoming an au pair to all of us. The idea sounds really cool to me– I’d like to live with a host family, polish my second language, and take care of kids too. But I’m not sure whether this is possible.

Is it too much to expect that a family might accept a transgender Au Pair?  What would they even need to know about me to feel comfortable?”

On average, Host Parents are socially liberal people — well educated, comfortable with cultural differences, more open-minded than not — so it’s likely that there will be families who would not hesitate to take on a transgender au pair.

Yet, as we know when we host Au Pairs of races and religions different from what’s common in our local communities, Host Parents often have to be proactive in showing people how to be accepting and welcoming of their au pair. It can be a little extra social work to have an Au Pair whose identity trigger anxiety, fear, or rejection from others.

What do you all think?

How would you respond to the file of a prospective au pair who was transgender? 

See also:

Matching with an Au Pair: When Racism interferes
Choosing an Au Pair: Sexual Orientation as a consideration
Au Pairs and Your American Politics

A Quiet Thank You to our Transgender Colleagues

Gender: The labels and language of transition


AuPair Paris October 21, 2015 at 11:01 am

Can verify that people certainly do, as my cousin has been a bro-pair in the US. I don’t think anyone made any comment, although I believe his employers were aware of his transition. I can’t see what the problem would be, but obviously I am not the target for this question.

cv harquail October 21, 2015 at 12:51 pm

APParis- That’s good to know– I’d wondered if there were any actual or implicit restrictions by agencies. Your cousin’s example suggests that agencies have no problem with accepting transgender candidates.
Agency folks, any insights?

AuPair Paris October 21, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Worth noting that he has a passport with, what we call in the UK an “acquired gender” in it. That is, he has a passport with his chosen name and appropriate gender identification. Meaning that unless there is specifically a box to tick on the agency form to say that one is transgender, he may never have had to say he was. I don’t know if he would have said so to the agencies, although like I said, I am pretty sure he spoke about it with his eventual host family. (I’m trying to think through what he *might* have done, because I don’t know what he actually did do. But I’ll ask next time we speak.)

Boy Au Pair Spain October 22, 2015 at 4:29 am

They may have a problem with them being male though. Perhaps this is a UK thing but I remember when I was looking to be a nanny in the UK I was rejected from a couple of agencies on the basis that there aren’t any families that want a male. Maybe it is different in the US though.. it could be partly that a man doesn’t fit with the whole “British Nanny” thing.

WarmStateMomma October 22, 2015 at 10:23 am

The overwhelming number of pedophiles are male. While the number is still quite low, it’s something some parents worry about.

Families with little girls or babies may need a female AP for the reasons I mentioned below (public bathrooms). Families with tween girls may want a female AP so the girls won’t feel awkward about puberty/periods/etc. Families with older girls may feel uncomfortable having a male AP so close to her age in their house. Not all families will feel this way, but it’s going to limit your pool of potential host families.

As a mother of two girls and no boys, an unplanned benefit of hosting female APs is that they have been great role models. I feel strongly that we live in a male-dominated society and I like providing them with a strong female environment at home. AP#2 is a fearless risk-taker; AP#3 is a math and programming genius. Showing my girls different possibilities of how to be a great woman is important.

Multitasking Host Mom October 22, 2015 at 11:07 am

I can understand your reason for wanting a female au pair. In a way, it is kind of why we are going to host our first male au pair. I want my boys to have the role model of seeing a male who in addition to having the ttypical male interests can also take on the role of a nurturing care giver. I want them to see that they do not need to be bound by stereotypes.

Multitasking Host Mom October 22, 2015 at 11:17 am

That being said…to follow up with WSM first comment….I was probably much tougher on screening au pairs this go around then in the past when I only looked at female APs. I even called references personally. (Lucky for me the two I called spoke English well.) I was definitely over cautious and wanted to make sure ( to the best of my ability) that the male au pairs were coming here for the right reasons.

Boy Au Pair Spain October 22, 2015 at 11:25 am

Yes, around 0.01% of men are pedophiles I imagine. But yes pedophiles are statistically more likely to be men in the same way that violent offenders are statistically more likely to be black or hispanic. To me it is interesting what statistics it is politically correct to consider as significant and which are not.

I think there are ways round the issue with public bathrooms. I don’t understand why this is includes babies though). Anyway, men’s toilets are not so dangerous a place and it is okay to go in their supervised in the same way a boy would go into a female toilets with an au pair. I would be surprised if that would be a reason for choosing between two au pairs. Surely there are more important considerations.

It is interest that you feel you live in a male dominated society. I think it depends on what you want to achieve in life. I live in a female dominated society. I have always wanted to work in care work but it has always been more difficult (in nurseries, schools, hospitals, as an au pair etc). Likewise I am now a medical student and our year is 80% females. Unlike my female colleagues I know that there are at least two specialties I may not accepted in based on my gender: obstetrics and paediatrics. I know that women also suffer discrimination in medicine: particularly in surgery. However, it is rare that you would hear someone opening saying “I just don’t feel comfortable with a female doctor” in a room full of people and having everyone nodding back and respecting that viewpoint as is the case when people speak against men.

It is interesting from your other post that you seem accepting of a transgender individual but of a man no. I presume you would be happy with them as long as they have left their masculinity behind? I need to stop typing now. I find the hypocrisy of it all so infuriating.

Mimi October 22, 2015 at 11:39 am

The concerns for male APs and babies/bathrooms is that there are many mens bathrooms in the US that don’t have baby changing stations. If you need to change a diaper, you will have to hunt for someplace to do it.

Boy Au Pair Spain October 22, 2015 at 11:49 am


I see. Thank you. This is not the case in Spain. I suppose I would carry a portable changing mat or else just go into the women’s toilets (women could complain to the establishment for not providing more readily available facilities).

German Au-Pair October 22, 2015 at 11:56 am

What’s also interesting, but slightly off-topic- is that BECAUSE there are so few men in caregiving, they get favored in jobs such as kindergarten teachers. As in: if there are 10 candidate and one is male, he will get the job if he’s about as good as the females are. Not because thies field is dominated by men and they are better, but because it is not and the influence of another male is viewed as beneficial.
I see your view on hypocrisy though…we want emancipation so bad that we sometimes forget not to try to turn in the other direction too much.

WarmStateMomma October 22, 2015 at 12:15 pm

Agreed with Mimi. My husband has a lot of problems with this when he takes our girls out. Half the time he takes my toddler into the men’s room to use the toilet, there is some guy at the urinal with his pants around his ankles. My toddler can’t go into the bathroom by herself because an adult has to lift her onto the toilet and lift her up to the sink to wash her hands. Even the Children’s Museum in our city doesn’t have changing tables in the men’s room, so changing the baby’s diaper is complicated too. It’s generally considered unacceptable for a man to enter the women’s restroom here, so that’s off the table. It’s just a bad situation and there aren’t enough “family bathrooms” around.

Agreed that pedophilia is rare, but it’s almost always someone who knows the child and it’s a pervasive topic in the media here.

I’m a lawyer, which is a very male-dominated profession (especially after the first few years of practice). Within that, I’m in a practice area that is 90% male. I live in a country where rape, sexual harassment and discrimination are pervasive. A place where women don’t have equal rights to bodily integrity or receive equal medical treatment. So I understand your frustration with discrimination in your chosen field (most OBs and a lot of pedis are male here in the US, though), but it’s not the same as experiencing a lifetime of having your gender belittled or being made to feel like prey. I’m sure minority parents can relate to that. (FWIW – my husband avoids seeing a female GP.) Above all, my home must be a sanctuary for my children.

So I want a female AP. If that person was born with male parts but believes herself to be female and lives as a female, that’s ok with me. If my kids were boys, we’d probably be considering hosting male APs as role models.

WarmStateMomma October 22, 2015 at 12:24 pm

@German: my sister is a nurse and she reports the same thing. The qualified male will usually get an offer but he often feels out of place as the only male nurse.

Meg October 22, 2015 at 2:04 pm

We are one of those families that only looked for women. And you may be right. You sound like a great Au Pair. Honestly, the whole Au Pair thing was way out of our comfort zone and that may have caused us to not see male Au Pairs fairly.

Boy Au Pair Spain October 22, 2015 at 4:01 pm

@German Au-Pair It works like that for getting interview with public nurseries. They interview every minority applicant. I wish it didn’t though. I remember I once was given an interview in a under 3’s center and the interview asked me “Wouldn’t you rather work as a mechanic?”. They clearly would never consider a male. I think in some ways the Spanish system works very well for this…. for public jobs it is all based on points: so many points for your degree grade, more for certain types of degrees, so many points for years of experience and then a limit number of points for interview. It helps prevent both positive and negative discrimination.

German Au-Pair October 22, 2015 at 4:47 pm

As far as I know (my friend was part of the interviewing process in her kindergarten) it’s different here. People don’t just invite the guy to look good, but are actually interested in hiring male caregivers because it’s seen as a good influence on the kids to not only be surrounded by women. Probably has something to do with having a “father figure” in a child’s life. Elementary school teachers are female more often than not but the few male teachers are really popular amongst students.
Pediatricians are equally male or female here, I’d say.

However, while I think the fear of inviting a man who turns out to be pedophile into your home seems a little over the top to me, I can see the role model part. I feel like this is a bit of a cultural issue as well, as Americans appear to focus mor on the role model factor than my culture does. (I had never heard of the concept of faking morning happiness for the kids for example. We always knew not to ever talk to mom before her first cup of coffee :D ) But the idea of having a good role model of the same gender as the kid makes sense to me. Especially when the girls get older and want and need to talk about all that stuff that puberty brings -which is starting way earlier now, I think- the girl may be uncomfortable with a male AP.

Also, one factor that seems really really unfair to me but is undeniably there is that male caregivers in any job tend to be (and maybe have to be) more careful when it comes to giving physical affection. Where a female teacher can get away with snuggling with the kids (we’re taught not to, but you cannot fend them off with a stick, right?), male teachers really need to make a point of avoiding that. When a child comes home saying “I sat on my teacher’s lap today” for some reason the gender of the teacher makes a difference. It’s not fair, but that’s the way it is.
Guess it has to have some disadvantages to be a man in this society, too. Also, has anyone found that a gay man seems to raise way more eyebrows than a gay female? Some things are super weird.

Boy Au Pair Spain October 23, 2015 at 9:04 am

@German Au Pair

Haha BAPS! I am from the north of England and to there baps means breasts. Ironic seeing as I chose a name that would identify me as male!

The number of male pediatricians is decreasing rapidly. In the US (just the stats that were readily available) only 30% of pediatricians under 25 are males (opposed to 97% over 65s).

Yes I take the point that maybe a female au pair is better for some all girl families.

I remember when I did work experience at the age of 15 in a nursery in the UK I was told not to let toddlers sit on my knee and that this was a general policy. Kind of seems unhealthy to push a 3 year old away who wants to sit on your knee but anyway… Not really had that problem in Spain. In fact it is quite the opposite – I think sometimes I am not affectionate enough. Spain is a culture with a lot more physical affection than the UK and I sometimes I feel I have to make more of an effort to be affectionate as to not seem cold in the eyes of Spanish people!

AlwaysHopeful HM October 24, 2015 at 1:18 pm

I know the conversation has moved beyond this, but I have to adress the throwaway comment that violent offenders are likely to be Black or Hispanic. It is simply not true, even though it is widely believed. A lot has to do with who gets investigated/charged/convicted, which may or may not correlate to who is committing the crimes. I tend to believe the same is possibly true of the pedophile statistics. Females are not expected to be pedophiles as much as males, and behavior that is considered inappropriate or even violative by a male may not be viewed the same way if the perpetrator is female. All but one of our family’s au pairs have been male. Have I worried about pedophilia? Absolutely. But I worried just as much when we had a female au pair.

APlove October 23, 2015 at 3:41 pm

I think the issue is that male Au pairs in general are very risky for agencies to accept, not by any fault of the male Au pair, but rather the risk for accusations by host families and children about “misconduct”.

I work for one of the main agencies and we find that there really is a large demand for male Au pairs and they make great Au pairs, but when we’ve sponsored them in the past, they have become targets of sexual misconduct accusations when things go wrong with their HF (like we all know is very common between APs and Host Families).

As far as I know, we have never sponsored a male Au pair who actually did anything inappropriate of this nature while caring for a host child. We even had one HF who accused their AP of giving pornography to a host child. The AP was investigated by the police and was completely absolved of any wrongdoing, it was found out that it was actually the host child’s older sibling who had given the younger child pornography. This was a super sad situation because this AP was accused of something horrible that he didn’t do and then we had to send him home because there was no way we could put an AP who had been accused of this type of misconduct into rematch.

That is just one example out of numerous issues of this nature that have come up when we have allowed male Au pairs to participate and for whatever reason this kind of thing just doesn’t really happen when female Au pairs are involved.

Boy Au Pair Spain October 24, 2015 at 9:53 am

You seem to be saying that because of this your agency doesn’t sponser males anymore. I feel quite tearful reading this post to be honest. It seems to me that you should check families more before placing au pairs with them. I find it really hard to swallow that a family would make their children go to the police, be examined internally by a forensic doctor etc.. just to be vindictive towards an au pair. I also find it hard to believe that a agency can legally discriminate in this way when there is a demand. This is too much. I really should stay away from discussing these sorts of issues.

WarmStateMomma October 21, 2015 at 3:10 pm

I don’t know any transgendered people well enough to discuss something so personal with them. I don’t see how it would affect childcare, but the candidate would have to be comfortable with educating us on a lot of issues.

Logistically – My kids are both girls and my AP needs to be able to go with them into the women’s restroom. We don’t host male APs although we hosted male exchange students before having kids.

Socially – I don’t really care. Our friends and family have always welcomed the exchange visitors we’ve brought home. My toddler goes to a Waldorf preschool where acceptance is a given, so school pick ups wouldn’t be a problem. I can’t imagine anyone where we work giving it much thought if they met our transgender AP.

Also – the candidate would need to show that she understands that she will likely meet unkind people in the community. If she came from a less-tolerant country, I’d be more convinced that she is prepared for the occasional nasty remark and won’t rematch because someone at the store said something mean.

For a family with a transgender kid, this AP could be a real gift. A relatable young adult who the kid can talk to about things when life gets too “lifey.”

KF October 21, 2015 at 7:32 pm

I would not consider a transgender person as an AP. That’s a little too much life for my little kids.

Amelie October 22, 2015 at 8:26 pm

First and foremost, I’m not judging you or your parenting decisions, and I think it’s totally you prerrogative to choose what your kids are exposed or not to…

However, I think kids should be exposed, in an appropriate way, to the reality of life. And besides, if I were to protect my kids from anything would be from the existence of poverty, suffering, violence, intolerance, etc. Having a different perceived gender compared to your sexual organs is not a bad thing – unless we make it a bad thing. People should be able to identify themselves as they want and it shouldn’t confuse, bother or shock anybody. I really think your kids would actually benefit from understanding this is the reality for some people and that this is ok. It would even maybe help them accept them and other people fully, regardless of anything like sexual orientation, gender or anything else.

Anyway, just my two cents, again, your kids, your decision, and i’m really not judging you on this.

DC Metro Mom October 23, 2015 at 7:11 am

Oh, you’re judging her seven ways to Sunday, so just own it. Your statement makes it clear, whether you start and end with a declination or not.

I respect KF’s decision and her right to make it. You are correct, they are her children and it is her choice. Depending upon the age of her children, it may be an issue that she doesn’t want to get into. It may be a developmental concern about not wanting one more complication. I don’t know KF, so I don’t know what she specifically meant, but her decisions about what her child(ren) is/are isn’t/aren’t ready for is her decision as a parent.

I wouldn’t select a transgendered ap (although we just started a brief break, I am still staying here because we will pursue one, again, when I return to work and, well, I really like the advice here), and I doubt that they would want to be in my house. I, honestly, think that neither party would feel comfortable. I am one of those well-educated, intelligent conservatives (maybe a golden unicorn in AP families, but not in my world :)) ; however, life experience has taught me that people that you might enjoy, or even be friends with, are not necessarily the people that would make good living partners with you. A good teaching experience on kindness and acceptance is not necessarily a good living environment. And, whether or not people like it, there are very good people of very good will in this world who disagree with when they want to expose their children to anything beyond boy/girl and assignment of benefit/detriment to anything beyond that.

We get a lot of people, in general, not interested in our family because we are very strict and we are very open about our faith (FYI, that is with everyone, regardless). We will send our DD to a religious school, so pick ups would be very difficult for everyone involved. So, okay, start up the firing squad. I’m used to it, and I’ve developed pretty thick skin.

cv harquail October 23, 2015 at 11:57 am

Of course there are also ‘liberal’ conservatives– meaning, people who might be religious, or teach their kids old-fashioned manners (e.g., ‘Ms. Wilder’, vs. ‘Laura’) — by definition, Au Pair host parents are interested in cultural change, because you can’t really have an effective HP-AP relationship without learning about and adjusting to an other person and her/his culture. I was going to tease TexasHM when I wrote that line about ‘host parents tend to be socially liberal–‘— I guess I should have teased you too ;-)

Seattle Mom October 26, 2015 at 3:56 pm

So I am genuinely curious how you would handle a child on your street the same age as your children who identified as a gender other than the sex they were born? Would you not want this child to play with your children? Or is that different than having an AP living in your home?

This is not an outlandish, extremely unlikely situation. We have a boy on our block who wears dresses, heels, and pink sequins every day of his life, and likes to dance and sashay up and down the block and invites my kids to play “parade drill team” and “dance party” with him. I’m using the male pronoun because he identifies as a boy. He also does a lot of “boy” things like tree climbing, soccer, and he’s extremely athletically gifted & big, tall & strong for his age- he defies stereotypes. He’s definitely faced discrimination from kids & adults because of his nature. And there are people out there who think that his mother puts him up to it- but I have spent a lot of time with this child and I know this is genuinely who he is.

Anyway being a pretty tolerant person I was glad to have this child living on our block, because he exposes my kids to ideas that are different from what they hear from 99% of the kids they know. We have other diversity too- a foster child, and kids on the block from a religious Christian background, and they all play together…. some of the parents seem a little leery and I could tell you some stories about things parents have done that have not been what I would call loving and accepting of your neighbors, but as far as the kids are concerned they all just like to run around and play. And I’m glad that they all have each other. I think it’s good for all of them. By the way my younger daughter is 4 and this 10 year old cross dressing boy has been one of her best friends- they are both intense personalities and they really click. He is one of the only kids who doesn’t get offended by her antics… and because of that it encourages her to be even more wild- it’s unbounded creativity that is happening, and when my daughter starts writing novels or directing films a lot of credit will be due to our wild kid up the street who is not constrained by the usual social norms.

Seattle Mom October 26, 2015 at 3:58 pm

You write like someone who has never known a trans person to successfully transition with the full support of their friends & family… I have known a few such people, so I know it is possible and that the effects are no more traumatic than the usual drama that we all go through in life.

Taking a Computer Lunch October 26, 2015 at 8:50 pm

Seattle Mom, your stories remind me that child #2 loved to watch the cooking channel as a toddler, so we got him a play stove for his 2nd birthday. He loved it. When his sister (who only has eyes for hard plastic toys that play music) received a soft pink doll that made no noise, he took it and called it “Baby Night Night.” It made his Dad cringe. By the time he was 6, he was ready to say good-bye to the play stove – which went to the girl next door. Child #2 still loves to cook, but he bounces off walls (literally) on his skateboard, loves girls and is amazingly empathetic (as his Dad is).

We were fortunate that none of our APs challenged our desire to relax and see how it all played out. Being a human being is complex and challenging.

However, my bottom line is that an AP is supposed to make my life easier. Helping another adult navigate life in a world in which they might be abused or murdered for their lifestyle does not fit into that paradigm to me. (That being said, if an AP were to come out after matching – so be it. I know that would not be every HP’s attitude. But after 14 1/2 years of hosting, I know too well what gets left unsaid despite my best efforts to leave no stone unturned.)

Seattle Mom October 29, 2015 at 6:14 pm

TACL, I think that’s a completely rational reason for not wanting a trans AP, or another AP who might have a challenging issue through no fault of their own- only because of the discrimination they could face (that could make their job and our lives more difficult).

In my city & neighborhood, there are people who would say/do mean things, but overall it’s pretty tolerant and I don’t see it being a huge problem.

Fortysomething HM October 26, 2015 at 5:21 pm

Seattle Mom, I am not sure if you are directing your question to me or not, but i will answer it anyway since I was on the “i would not hire a transAP” side of the fence above.

I would not want my daughter to treat a peer any differently than anyone else for gender identity-related reasons. Of course she should play with that person if she wants to! That’s exactly the kind of other life experience I was talking about in my other posts.

The AP choice is fundamentally different, for me, for us, right now than a choice of who my daughter is hanging out with. A female tween is going to experience lots of gender-focused stuff (getting a bra; getting her period, shaving legs/armpits) etc. And as I have explained, the AP needs to be able to connect and bond with my daughter in big and small ways — gender is inevitably a major “connection point” at her age.

While I do not believe that gender identity is a “dot” that makes up the whole person (adopting language from above), it’s most certainly one of the dots that make up the person. If a person believes that they do not identify with the gender they were born with, that person simply as a matter of fact will not have that “dot” in common with my child (and that dot is super important to my daughter at her specific age right now).

Seattle Mom October 29, 2015 at 6:19 pm

That makes sense… a trans AP would be about as inappropriate as a bro pair would be in your case. My girls are little enough that all that pre-teen stuff isn’t on my radar yet. I would also love for them to have a role model who isn’t so girly for once. Luckily current AP is much more moderate on that stuff than the last two… She’s definitely a girl, but she’s not always dressed up and doesn’t own anything pink or even a pair of high heels.

Seattle Mom October 29, 2015 at 6:24 pm

But actually I was responding to KF, who said that having a trans AP would be “too much life” for her kids.

I think there are many good reasons to not consider a trans AP, just as there are reasons to only want female APs or sporty APs or healthy weight APs (though that one is certainly controversial), but there are also bad reasons to not consider trans APs, and not wanting to expose your kids to something different because it might freak them out (my words, I’m assuming this is what the commenter meant) is ***NOT*** a good reason unless you think perpetuating discrimination is good. Anyway, people who say that don’t usually care that much about their kids’ well-being, they just are making an excuse because they don’t want to deal with someone so different from themselves. At least be honest about it. There are cultural backgrounds out there that would be too much work for me to deal with an AP from, so I won’t get them as an AP- but I don’t feel that way about trans people. We all have different tolerances, but don’t pretend you are saving your children from being exposed to something really weird- you just don’t want to deal with it yourself, and own up to it.

Boy Au Pair Spain October 23, 2015 at 8:49 am

**Having a different perceived gender compared to your sexual organs is not a bad thing – unless we make it a bad thing.**

It is not a bad thing but it is different and it does mean that person has suffered such an overwhelming psychological issues that they have elected drastic surgery to deal with those issues. They have gone through a trauma in their life and were, and maybe still are, unhappy with what they are. I think that a parent would have to be sure that all that psychological turmoil is in the past and that they can cope with the stressful experience of starting as an au pair. Can this be gained from interviewing a candidate thoroughly? I am not so sure.

**People should be able to identify themselves as they want and it shouldn’t confuse, bother or shock anybody.**

I think the reaction of confusion and shock are quite natural. We should make the effort to overcome that though and I agree it is a good skill for children to learn too – to look passed what we find to be shocking and potentially unpleasant and see the person for who they are. It is a hard lesson though and I can understand why some parents don’t want to go through it with their kids.

** I really think your kids would actually benefit from understanding this is the reality for some people and that this is ok. **

It it is one thing understanding the reality of someone and another living it, which is partly what the children of the au pair would have to do. If it is going to cause children to be bullied at school for it, again, I can understand why parents wouldn’t want that.

I think it is pretty undeniable that having an transgender au pair would cause problems for the family. I would feel that if the candidate has all the qualities to make a good au pair then maybe the benefit of having that individual outweighs the negative. Additionally, some people may also feel there is a moral obligation not to consider the fact that someone has undergone gender reassignment as an issue but then it takes a big person to stick to their morals knowing that it will cause some problems. It is a matter of priorities I suppose.

Anonymous October 23, 2015 at 11:28 am

No, it doesn’t mean that the person has gone through such a trauma that they are now unhappy in their skin. It means they have sex organs that don’t match up with their perceived gender. No trauma necessary. You can also be trans without surgery.

It’s not natural to be shocked and confused by trans individuals. Up until recent centuries trans and a-sex individuals had a place and acceptance in society. Other cultures also accept third genders, two spirited persons, gender fluidity, etc. ergo this it not natural, it is learned. I do like to believe we will one day very soon live in a world where we aren’t so shocked by trans that it no longer drives us to murder.

If having a trans AP causes a kid at school to be bullied, then the school needs to do some bully intervention. Transphobia kills, and schools and parents need to nip that in the bud. And how would the school kids even know?

I’m not advocating a transphobic family getting a trans AP, that seems like all sorts of toxicity that the AP doesn’t deserve, but your arguments are flawed.

And yes, I do judge transphobia.

Boy Au Pair Spain October 23, 2015 at 12:17 pm

**No, it doesn’t mean that the person has gone through such a trauma that they are now unhappy in their skin. It means they have sex organs that don’t match up with their perceived gender. No trauma necessary. You can also be trans without surgery.

What does “unhappy in their skin” mean to you? You don’t think the realisation that you were born in the wrong body is traumatic? I think to say that someone can just realise this and then decide to be the opposite sex without any personal issues is a little niave and slightly unappreciative of everything that a transgender individual has to go through.

**It’s not natural to be shocked and confused by trans individuals. Up until recent centuries trans and a-sex individuals had a place and acceptance in society. Other cultures also accept third genders, two spirited persons, gender fluidity, etc. ergo this it not natural, it is learned. I do like to believe we will one day very soon live in a world where we aren’t so shocked by trans that it no longer drives us to murder.

Okay then I am not natural. Being that so much of the world is made up of unnatural things I am not going to start to argue what is and isn’t natural as if it matters. The fact that another cultural is different does not suggest one cultural is natural and the other isn’t though. However, I do find the sight of a transsexuals shocking. It is outside my range of experience. I think it is to go beyond the pale with the whole PC thing by judging what emotions are and are not acceptable in response to things like this. As if it is something I can decide on. “Today I will not be shocked by transsexuals!” No. I can choose behave in a tolerant way, which I think I do.

**If having a trans AP causes a kid at school to be bullied, then the school needs to do some bully intervention. Transphobia kills, and schools and parents need to nip that in the bud. And how would the school kids even know? **

You can have the best bully intervention programme in the country, the kids are still going to have the piss taken out of them for having a carer that is different to 99.9% others.

**And yes, I do judge transphobia.


Yes. It ends in phobia and it kills. It must be bad.

Fortysomething HM October 23, 2015 at 12:21 pm

There are lots of reasons why a family might not want to match with a trans AP other than “transphobia.” Many of those very coherent reasons are spelled out by the thoughtful HMs who have replied.

I personally would not match with a trans AP only because my tween daughter is an only child and one of the major reasons we get an AP is to give her a “big sister” relationship and to help foster that bond, we specifically chose APs who have lots of things in common with her — like the same sports and after school activities and AP’s who have lived an existence and experiences that are somewhat similar to hers (cultural differences notwithstanding). This helps her to have a big sister outlook of her AP, and as such, it helps her to bond more easily. Keep in mind, these kids are asked to bond with new APs every year or so, and especially for sensitive tweens like mine, that can be a challenge and every little bit of familiarity helps, believe me.

Someone who is conflicted about their gender would not have experiences or an existence that are similar to my daughter’s, and for us specifically, therefore would not be a good fit for us.

That is not to say that we, as a family, do not believe in trans rights and have great respect for the trans communities (because we do). And we teach her all people, of every race, gender (or gender identity), gay/straight, etc, are entitled to be judged the same way: based on their actions and how they themselves treat others.

But that does not mean that a trans AP would be a good fit for this very specific relationship for my child and family. I hope that everyone can accept that a family can believe a trans AP is not necessarily the right fit for that family, but that does not mean that the family is “transphobic.”

Anonymous October 24, 2015 at 1:36 am

1. Kids can also be bullied by having a male AP, or a black AP. I would still advocate teaching kids about tolerance rather than giving into the bullying

2. You seem to be operating under the assumption that you’ll be able to tell when you pass a trans person on the street, and that will be shocking to you. I had a trans prof in university, and for two months of staring at him twice a week for a couple hours, I didn’t know he was trans until he told us.

3. You didn’t say that they were “unhappy in their skin.” You said they have “suffered such an overwhelming psychological issues that they have elected drastic surgery to deal with those issues.” Many people are unhappy in their skin, many girls from an extremely young age report dieting, for example, but I’m not going to classify them as trauma victims who have gone through such “psychological turmoil.”

DCBurbTwinMomma October 23, 2015 at 12:23 pm

I think the generalizations here are dangerous. Transpeople are not victims of some sort of trauma, it’s a real condition in which a person is born with the genetalia that does not match their sense of self. Just as much as believe I am a woman with female genetalia, a man can strongly believe the same having been born with complete or incomplete male phenotypical genetalia (and vice versa).

I just wanted to comment that some of the statements you made deserve education. I call folks on their bigotry, misogyny and/or homophobia the same as I’ll call them on their trans-prejudice.

That said, I do not think anyone should take what will be “too much” into their homes, I simple would welcome a transperson if all else were aligned with my needs. I’ve lived through the experience with having a conservative au pair and it was delicate bordering on unpleasant for all involved. I didn’t want her as a role model but the twins were babies so that wasn’t a huge issue at the time. No one should be held in “house arrest” for a huge philosophical mismatch. However, I think all should practice respect even if they disagree so I made changes to accommodate the au pair’s living space and duties as they conflicted.

Boy Au Pair Spain October 23, 2015 at 12:32 pm

I find not mean that the condition of gender dysmorphia is the result of some sort of trauma. I meant that it is traumatic growing up feeling that you are born into the wrong sex and then having to go through the process of changing that. That is the traumatic experience.

Fortysomething HM October 23, 2015 at 12:35 pm

“However, I think kids should be exposed, in an appropriate way, to the reality of life.”

As noted in my earlier post, it is entirely possible to “expose” your kids to “the reality of life” including but not limited to things like the trans community, and to still believe that a trans AP is not a good fit for your family. There are many ways to teach our kids about life, as we each deem appropriate for our own families. Who you hire as an AP is not, per se, an avenue for teaching your kids about societal issues and where you, as a parent, happen to stand on those societal issues. It’s about finding a caregiver that fits the needs of the family, period, full stop.

AuPair Paris October 23, 2015 at 2:46 pm

When I saw this I wasn’t going to leap in. Lots of other people have. I don’t think anyone *has* to accept anything else. (My judgement of people who don’t accept people who are trans has about as much to do with the issue, as their judgement of my tattoos/piercings/bisexuality.) You have a right to choose your au pair. If you don’t want it to be a trans au pair, that is your choice.

But I feel sorry for your kids who are already living life, and potentially the “too much life” you don’t want them exposed to. Trans kids tend to know “something is not right” at a very early age. Many queer kids too. Not exposing your kids to these things, as though being trans or queer is dirty or pornographic, is potentially depriving those kids of a way to make sense of something they may very well be experiencing.

The odds are low. I get that. But I don’t buy that knowing things exist is damaging to straight/cis kids, and I think it could be massively reassuring to LGBT kids – and *you don’t know which category your kids are in*.

End of my two cents. And after all that, you still have the right to choose your au pair. (And strangers on the internet have a right to judge you for it. Isn’t freedom of choice grand. ;) )

AuPair Paris October 23, 2015 at 2:49 pm

ETA The “something is not right” is the being forced to live while being constantly misgendered – not anything wrong with the actual kids. Of course. But having read some of the above conversation, there seems to be a *lot* of misinformation floating around, so it seemed best to clarify…

Boy Au Pair Spain October 23, 2015 at 2:58 pm

I don’t think anyone advocating pretending that transexualism doesn’t exist. The issue is whether you want a transgender au pair.

AuPair Paris October 23, 2015 at 3:04 pm

Saying that hiring a transgender AP is “too much life” for your children implies either that the children shouldn’t know about transgendered people, or that they shouldn’t share a house with them. Given that the latter is considerably more damning, I’m giving the benefit of the doubt and going with the former.

Boy Au Pair Spain, I really wasn’t talking to you, and given some of the things you’ve written above I don’t particularly wish to engage. I find it difficult to believe you are actually posting in good faith, and not attempting to begin an argument.

Boy Au Pair Spain October 23, 2015 at 3:16 pm

Parents tell me all the time they don’t want to live with me because I am male. Come off the melodrama please. That isn’t what anyone is saying. And you say it is me who is trying to pick an argument!!

Fortysomething HM October 23, 2015 at 3:08 pm

But do you believe, Au Pair Paris, that a family can choose not to have a trans AP for entirely neutral reasons having nothing to do with “not accepting” trans people in general? I would hope so because I think a contrary position is judgmental in a superficial way in the same way you are arguing against.

I would not choose a smoker; I would not choose a male (b/c I have a female tween who will be getting a bra and her period soon enough and she would be self conscious of going through that with a male), I would not choose someone with a sedentary lifestyle. I like choosing female APs who play soccer and/or dance, like animals and music b/c my child will more easily bond with her AP.

I have nothing against smokers (heck I smoked in college when out with friends!), I like men (I married one!), I am more sedentary than I like these days thanks to the job that requires me to have the AP, and I myself never played soccer. So I obviously have nothing against smokers/males/couch potatoes/non-soccer players, but I still avoid them when choosing an AP. Same analysis applies to why I would not choose a trans.

AuPair Paris October 23, 2015 at 3:20 pm

A trans *person*, you mean? I do believe that it is hypothetically possible that one might set a barrier against all trans people without judging them as people. In the same way that I believe that one might prefer a female role model for female children, and so rule out male au pairs. Or a non-smoker (but that is a judgement – and one I agree with/am neutral towards. Being around smokers may encourage children to smoke. Which is… Not good. <- Judgement, but a reasonable one, I think!)

The thing is, I can't think of a good reason to be against all trans people as employees, simply because I can't think of anything all trans people share, aside from being trans. Want a sporty AP? Ok – but trans people can be sporty! Want a woman? Ok, well transwomen are women so… I don't buy the "for their own good" argument – but then I am always arguing about AP's being adults who can look out for their own welfare on this board.

"Trans people are not right for our family" is a nothing statement. It's like "brown haired people are not right for our family". So yes, I do believe, if you can find an aspect of life that all trans people share, that you *know* they all share without ever speaking to any individual trans AP candidates about it, that doesn't suit you, then it is not prejudice.

Little precision – if you make a statement about yourself and your values, which I judge, that is rather different from me making a statement about the way I was born and you judging that. I'd not be offended if you judge me as a lefty bleeding heart liberal based on the statements I've made. Those are decisions I made based on my moral system. Would be offended if you judged me for my sexuality. I didn't pick that, and it makes me feel miserable and unfair. So yes. I am not opposed to all judgements, but the difference is important to me.

Fortysomething HM October 23, 2015 at 3:33 pm

For this particular role (which is a very specific one, and not at all like other job positions), and for me, it’s not about whether I can find a sporty trans AP (I was not being disrespectful by saying “trans,” just using shorthand, but as I typed above, I meant “trans AP”).

Looking only at the child’s perspective (which we parents always do, of course), bonding is hard for most kids who get a different AP every year. It’s particular harder for older kids who are less cuddly than their toddler counterpart HKs (just check out all the transition docs in CCAP’s site and how many APs want to rematch b/c they can’t bond with tweens/teens). It’s particularly hard for my child, who is very slow to warm up to new people, though she eventually gets there.

The more familiarity (and by that I mean “things the AP has in common with my child”) I can provide for her in an AP, the easier the bonding will inevitably be, under what I can only imagine is not an ideal situation for my child (who among us can say they know what it’s like to have a new caregiver every year — and no, it was really not much better with American nannies. For a split shift or after-school situation, they often leave after a year or two as well). With no judgment whatsoever, I can say with certainty that a transAP would not have sufficiently similar life experience to my tween, and that in and of itself would make it harder for my child to bond.

AuPair Paris October 23, 2015 at 3:49 pm

I guess all I’m thinking is that my cousin has a similar upbringing and life experience to me. He was brought up near me, and we shared a massive chunk of our childhood. We were in the same teams at school, we have in-jokes and a similar group of friends and we did the same degrees at uni. We have the same taste in music and films (which are how I bonded with my HKs), and we played the same games with the other cousins. He has a bad time when he was transitioning, to be sure. I had a nervous breakdown in my late teens that was unrelated to my gender or sexuality though… Neither of those things define us now.

If you *know* your kids couldn’t bond with a trans AP, that’s a good reason not to have one. I get that. But I just think that sometimes we don’t actually know what we think we do. TV and films show all trans people as traumatised, maybe drag queens, or big figures in queer club culture. There’s nothing wrong with being like that, but it doesn’t correspond to my experience. You couldn’t tell my cousin was trans – not to look at him or talk to him. (He’s a guy, so doesn’t fit your criteria anyway…) But his life experience is as varied and interesting as mine.

Fortysomething HM October 23, 2015 at 4:23 pm

AP Paris,

The system won’t let me reply to your entry below, so I’m doing it here.

Parents do tend to know certain fundamental things about their kids and what will help them or hinder them. Maybe not EVERYTHING, of course, but certainly the “big” things, including what would help them to bond with others the most in this particular AP/HK relationship.

I do not believe that anything we go through “defines” us, but it does indeed become a part of the much larger part of us and what we bring to relationships and life in general. It’s what makes the world go around, for better or sometimes unfortunately, for worse. But that is really not the question, for me, inTHIS specific analysis.

I’ve just got an anxious tween, who, AP or no AP, is going through plenty of changes herself as she moves from being a small kid to an older more independent teen; who is feeling vulnerable b/c there’s ANOTHER new person down the hall, taking her places, sharing her bathroom, giving her consequences while enforcing mom’s rules, and hopefully eventually being a confidante for the good and bad stuff that goes on with her at school and with friends. And I want to increase the amount of familiarity she feels, so as to help that relationship succeed.

She has and will continue to have plenty of time and opportunity in her life to bond with others who have experiences that differ from hers, in big and small ways. But given the challenges inherent in having a new AP every year, this is not the overall goal for this particular endeavor.

AuPair Paris October 23, 2015 at 4:30 pm

Seems like we’re going to have to agree to differ. I don’t doubt that you know your child. Anxious children need support, they need people handpicked to help them, who can bond with them, who they’ll *like*. You don’t think a trans person could have similar experiences to your child and fulfil that role. I don’t understand why not. Might as well leave it there. It’s your au pair anyway, and it’s all hypothetical.

Fortysomething HM October 23, 2015 at 4:59 pm

That is certainly fine. I was really just trying, in an honest and open way, to explain how/why a HF might opt not to choose a transAP without being somehow anti-transpeople or otherwise discriminatory. I may be wrong, but it seems like you don’t necessarily agree that this is possible, which is of course, your right.

I appreciate the honest exchange, and am grateful for the opportunity that this board provides in order for people to agree to disagree in a respectful way about sensitive topics.

DCBurbTwinMomma October 23, 2015 at 5:06 pm

I can’t respond below to this–so I will place it here. AP Paris, I think it’s important to respect what is parent’s choice. This is not parenting by committee. I really value the trans community and yet if a person is a bad match, I’m not going to pick him or her as a social experiment.

I have heard my girl’s question why their skin is brown and the AP has different skin and hair. They assumed at one time that bigger girls just have that sort of hair. This is not as grand as gender identity but in my house, self esteem and self love will be huge issues. I have had conversations with my husband about picking a Afro-Latin Spanish speaker in the coming years so they can see someone like them. While I respect diversity, my knowledge of what is best for my family will be the primary selection criteria and not just winging it to be inclusive. Who knows if one or both of my children will be trans or bi/homo sexual. In those circumstances, it would be great for them to have options of positive roll models that can include a cool AP–but only if it works. Not because I owe A sacrifice of my children to the communities that I support.

There are plenty of opportunities to expose a child to positive expressions of many different communities but we part ways when you seem to question whether a parent knows their child enough to know if a transperson would be too much. If my child was prone to anxiety, I’d hesitate to have someone who would garner attention for whatever reason, if my gals’ school was uber conservative by some twist of fate laughable by my standards and a transperson were not able to attend games or recitals that would be a problem. This is what is best for my family, not sociology 101.

I think that one commonality we all share dispite our different philosophies is that our kiddos will always be our first concerns. I passed on a person who wanted to place in the same city as her sister who was selected by a local family. It would have been great for her but she wasn’t first choice. My family’s needs come 1st dispite what could be great for the AP.

AuPair Paris October 23, 2015 at 5:08 pm

I don’t necessarily think it’s transphobic to not hire a transAP. Just don’t think anyone can accurately connect the dots of a person’s personality with only one dot. Regardless I hope your next AP clicks with your daughter, and can help her to manage her anxiety. I am looking after an anxious tween as well, and it is complicated for everyone.

AuPair Paris October 23, 2015 at 5:17 pm

DCBurbMom – I think I am discussed out on this issue. But I *would* like to point out that disagreeing – on a forum or otherwise, is not the same as disrespecting a person’s choice, nor a form of parenting by committee. I think what I think, and you think what you think, and in the end we go home and live our own lives and make our own choices. I think differently from lots of people on this board. Sometimes people here can change my mind. Perhaps sometimes I can change theirs. But everything becomes very difficult when in a thread specifically about the rights and wrongs of a particular issue, I’m asked not to express my (actually, pretty well-informed) opinion as though it in some ways prevents you from parenting.

I *can’t* stop you from making your decisions. I wouldn’t if I could. But I am not obliged to *approve* the parenting decisions of people I don’t know on the internet. “I think it’s best for my kids” is not a cure all phrase that means any discussion of the issue (which is the point of the whole thread) is off the table. The pleasant corollary is that if I don’t approve, you’re not obliged to take the slightest bit of notice of the opinions of a twenty something that you’ve never met.

Taking a Computer Lunch October 21, 2015 at 9:22 pm

Probably not, and here’s why. Yet another transgender teenager was murdered in my county because she was still not fully she and pissed off a male who didn’t understand her. It’s really tough to be transgender in America – watching a transitioning young adult on my block have a really tough time.

It’s hard enough for a typically developing young adult to adjust to the culture shock of living in the United States. Adding transgender seems to be one too many social morays to me.

For the record, it’s the same reason why, when I send out my “dare to match with us” email to women who are convinced they are now ex-smokers, I state: It’s really stressful to adapt to a new culture. Before I interview you I want to hear your plans to deal with the stress and remain a successful ex-smoker. Not a one wanted an interview.

momo4 October 21, 2015 at 10:09 pm

I would have no hesitation to welcome a transgender AP if they seemed like they would be good AP for my family, just as I would have no issue with having a gay AP. My main concern is how well they care for my kids and fit in with my family, and their being trans or gay would in any way count against them, regardless of what their original gender was.

My kids all go to a Waldorf school where most of the parents (including me) are very socially liberal so there would never be an issue there. My 10 y/o daughter is aware that there are people born with the anatomy of one gender who feel that they are really the other and choose to live in accordance with what they feel is right. I doubt my younger sons would even notice. Kids can be very accepting of reality as they experience it.

Culturally, I think it is hard for trans people in the US, but I suspect that is the case most places. I live in a fairly large city, so I think that if I had a trans AP they would need to take the precautions they would anywhere, but I think they would have a good year here.

I’m not sure how either AP or family would broach the subject though. I’ve never asked AP candidates about their sexual orientation (not really my business) and it wouldn’t occur to me to ask about their being transgender (that’s REALLY personal). I can imagine it would be really scary for an AP candidate to bring up being transgender with a potential HF, given how scared some of my APs have been just to tell me they had tattoos (something I really don’t mind)!

It seems like there should be some kind of check box in HF profiles where they can indicate whether they are comfortable with a transgender AP, and maybe another for gay APs?

Amelie October 22, 2015 at 8:20 pm

Wow. What a great response, momo4. Hope you get all the best au pairs, always, gay, straight, transgender or anything.

Boy Au Pair Spain October 22, 2015 at 4:26 am

“On average, Host Parents are socially liberal people — well educated, comfortable with cultural differences, more open-minded than not — so it’s **likely** that there will be families who would not hesitate to take on a transgender au pair.”

I disagree. When I search for an au pair family (on the au pair world website) I find that 90% of families have put on the their profile that they would only consider female candidates. When I email them explaining about my experience and such then some families will change their mind and consider me. In the end I reckon that around 70% of families point blank refuse my application based on me being male. So the fact that he is now a man rather than a woman is going to cause a him difficulties. Put on top of that the fact that he is transgender and I think in reality he will find it difficult to find an au pair family.

However it is not impossible. I actually find that I am very fortunate with the families that I have had I think it is partly because the sort of families that consider experience, qualifications etc over gender are the sort of families that are thinking carefully about the best interest of their kid and I aren’t just looking for a skivvy. I think if you looked for long enough you would find someone. There are things you can do to make yourself more sell-able – such as getting more experience with kids, doing first aid courses and learning to drive.

Good luck. Although my post my seem negative. If I were you I would go for it. If it is what I wanted to do. It is a challenge but would be worth it.

Boy Au Pair Spain October 22, 2015 at 5:22 am

Wish I could edit on this. Sorry CV, I said I was disagreeing but actually I agree! It likely that there will be families, albeit a small minority, that will accept transgender people.

HRHM October 22, 2015 at 3:38 pm

I also wonder if you are looking at EU families or USA families? IME, the US families that I know use APs tend to be rather left leaning, very into the cultural exchange etc. I’m sure not all are, but most are fairly well educated, have seen parts of the wider world and want that “broadening ” of the world that an AP provides. My current AP is gay – a first for us (as far as we know) and we didn’t know prior to matching but it wouldn’t have affected our choice. We have gay cousins, neighbors and co-workers so this isn’t a foreign concept to my kids in any way. I would totally be ok with a trans AP IF they were the best candidate overall.

Boy Au Pair Spain October 23, 2015 at 8:13 am

My opinion is based on what I know of families in Spain, UK and Germany. If I am honesty, I think that many people’s politics dictate that they accept transsexuals but in reality I am not so sure. Perhaps though I am just a little bitter and jealous. If we were to judge by these comments alone, it would seem that a transgender applicant would have a much better chance finding an au pair position than a male applicant. I am pretty sure that is not the case though when it comes actually comes to it.

DCBurbTwinMomma October 22, 2015 at 6:44 am

I think we would if the more important factors were in place: childcare experience, driving, swimming skills and Spanish speaking. One of the twins’ godfather’s is gay male with a partner and they see them have normal relationship moments like hugs and kisses. So the foundation has been set for knowing that some folks are born with different preferences for love. We have briefly interacted with one transperson who was a resident at the hospital. We talked briefly about choosing to match what you feel on the inside but that was a big conversation for distracted toddlers. I do believe the larger metro areas would be more tolerant of differences, but the au pair should be made aware that Anerica, in general, is seeing a critical level of murder of trans people. He or she would have to think of their safety while taking care of my children. What if something were to happen which left my twins vulnerable?

Yes, on face value, I would welcome a trans person. I would welcome the social learning opportunities for my twins. However, this person would have to be extraordinarily mature to make safe decisions, to ignore and not engage in slurs that could escalate to tough situations at the same time undergoing a life journey with gender orientation. I do not pick anyone who has never lived away from home for similar reasons–the culture shock on top of “first time out” insecurities can be too much. I had the unexpected challenge of having a past au pair whose father had been kidnapped twice and uncle murdered in Colombia for political reasons and where they had land on the border of FARQ territory. I’m not trying to compare that chaos and real urgent family strife to a transitioning person. However, people with pressing life events aren’t always best positioned to care for children at their full capacity.

The person would have to be quite far in their transition to have the confidence to live freely in their chosen gender on top of all the challenges of being an au pair. Because while I support and like the trans community and see value in exposing my twins, I LOVE my twins more and want to make sure they will have the best every day. It is possible. I suggest that the OP potential trans au pair candidate think critically about challenges in the U.S. and talk openly about ways that these issues will not be a factor.

AuPair Paris October 22, 2015 at 7:02 am

Wrt all the people talking about the US as a dangerous and depressing place for trans people – absolutely true and heartbreaking. But I do think it’s about the same everywhere – perhaps a question in these circumstances along the lines of “if it’s not too painful can you describe an example of a time you’ve been confronted with prejudice, and how you handled it?” might be quite useful? Could be useful for lots of au pairs actually! Agree with DCburbtwinmom – it’s important to talk openly about these things. Pretending it’s not real or that you can’t see it (and other people won’t see it) is silly and unhelpful!

For me, I think rejecting an AP on the ground that they might not be able to cope with prejudice (without asking lots of questions!) is unfortunately a very caring way to compound that prejudice. But at the same time, you do owe people a duty to warn them if they don’t know what they’re stepping into. As a bisexual woman, there are places in the world I wouldn’t go, for fear of being arrested for my sexuality. So, if your neighbourhood has recently seen murders of trans people it’s definitely something to bring up!

NBHostMom October 22, 2015 at 11:06 am

Personally it wouldn’t be a factor in our decision if the au pair met all the other criteria and aced our interview (just like every other ap we’ve hosted)

However, based on my highly non-scientific, general observations of other host families, I’d say roughly 80% would not consider hosting a trans-gendered AP. On the bright side, that leaves ~20% who would consider the AP …. The AP only needs one host family

(I can’t help but envision what a great match this would be for a family whose child is transgendered, AP could potentially be a huge positive influence for the child )

Amelie October 22, 2015 at 8:28 pm

Yeap, how great would that be! =)

Multitasking Host Mom October 22, 2015 at 11:27 am

My only concern with all this would be what drama would this cause in my life. I already have a child who has anxieties about many things. I have had many things said to me about his behavior from strangers and even friends that were very hard to hear for me as an adult. Would this au pair be able to handle comments made to them? Do I need that extra element in my life? Being an au pair and hosting an au pair is a lot of stress just normally. I just don’t know about this extra issue being added in. I would really have to interview carefully with a transgender au pair (who already met our needs for an au pair) and make sure all of my worries could be handled…by both of us.

Multitasking Host Mom October 22, 2015 at 11:38 am

Let me be clear l still think the au pair should try if this is really something they want to do. Just because I would hesitate…. they might be the perfect match for another family. I just think he should be prepared for what he is getting in to, and understand that he will need to be patient as he looks for the right family match.

WestMom October 23, 2015 at 4:58 pm

I feel the same way about drama. We are a very inclusive family with many gay friends, and who has hosted a gay AP in the past. As far as I am concerned, the more exposure for my children, the better. BUT… this trans AP would have to be completely secure in his/her trans identity. I would not want to be the ‘family I escaped to’, because ‘I don’t accepted in my country or in my family’. A year in our family is about new experiences, but I would not feel comfortable if it were about this person’s coming out, and/or discovery. I can only assume that this is a difficult transition or most trans people, and I don’t think my family would be ready for the drama that comes with the territory.

I’ll also clarify that I would avoid ANY situation where I suspect drama…. Parents not supportive, boyfriend at home, possible eating disorders, etc.

calihostmom October 22, 2015 at 3:11 pm

I absolutely have no problems with transgender folks, or anyone who falls anywhere on the gender spectrum.

But — I’m with Multitasking Host Mom in being concerned about the “drama” it might bring. Personally I would always opt for the candidate with the least amount of personal issues and life transitions, because I have enough going on and I don’t need my home to be the stage on which someone else’s personal drama (and I don’t mean that in the sense of a “drama queen” but rather just the “business” of discovering and exploring oneself and one’s choices) unfolds. This goes for any au pair of any gender or sexual preference — I’ll take the most stable and settled candidate I can find.

Actually, stating it this way I guess it would depend on the potential au pair. I don’t even want a single au pair so maybe if the person were in a boring established relationship it would be fine.

German Au-Pair October 22, 2015 at 4:54 pm

Wait, you DON’T want an AP who is single? That’s a first. I only ever hear from people who don’t want APs who are in a relationship. Would you mind elaborating why you think a single AP is not the right fit for your family?

calihostmom October 22, 2015 at 8:26 pm

That, combined with other personality traits, have meant our au pair is completely uninterested in going to clubs, going out on dates, meeting guys… We specifically chose someone who really wanted the chance to pursue educational opportunities in our city. We appreciate that she doesn’t go out much because we like the flexibility in terms of making last-minute plans for our evenings, etc.

Mimi October 22, 2015 at 3:19 pm

I would be very concerned that the stress of an AP year might cause problems for even the most well-adjusted transgender AP. On one hand navagating cultural norms is hard (soemtimes especially with respect to gender) but on the other hand, it might be easier to step outside of one’s culture and find more freedom that would make it significantly easier. I would be open to a conversation about it, but for me, it’s more important that the AP can multitask, is trainable, and can fit into our family. However, I don’t think HD would go for it. He has a hard time even with the idea of a male AP, even though our children are 3/4 boys. Since there are very few IQ male APs, it hasn’t been an issue so far.

Seattle Mom October 22, 2015 at 7:22 pm

I would consider a trans person as my au pair. I would screen heavily to see how comfortable they are in their own skin, and that it wouldn’t cause them any issues to undergo a lot of questioning from my kids or other kids. But that’s how I screen every au pair- I want someone with self confidence, who understands that kids will figure out what makes them uncomfortable and ask them about it, and who won’t shame them for their curiosity. And of course I would consider how well they would fit in with our family and care for my girls- just like everyone else.

The main difference is that I generally only want female au pairs, but I could see an au pair who is born female but identifies as male to be our au pair, because at least they have some experience of being female. I don’t know, that might be hypocritical or a double standard.

I did interview one potential au pair last year who seemed sort of ambiguous in her gender. Clearly she was at least born female, and I think she must have checked the female box or I wouldn’t have looked at her application. But she was very masculine- hair, clothes, manner. I never asked her about that, but I was seriously considering matching with her. We skyped a couple of times and emailed a lot. She was the most intelligent and creative au pair applicant I have ever seen, with the best English skills (not her native language). But what actually killed her for me was that she talked way too much and didn’t seem to be a good listener in our Skype sessions. Because she didn’t listen well I had a hard time connecting with her, and I worried that she was too confident and would not adapt to our family. To be honest my husband was concerned that he would have a hard time relating to her because of the gender thing (which is unspecified because I really don’t know exactly what it was about her- maybe she was trans or lesbian or just liked dressing more masculine- who knows?), though he thought she would be great with the kids so he was willing to go with it if I chose her. She is one of the few au pairs I wonder about, whether I made the right decision or not. There are 2 others I wonder about as well, who I decided against for reasons in my gut but who I liked based on certain parts of their application.

Seattle Mom October 22, 2015 at 7:24 pm

And now that I think about it, I wonder if she was just talking so much because she was nervous? Maybe I should have given her a few more chances…. I really was kind of sad to let her go, it was not an easy decision.

Old China Hand October 24, 2015 at 8:17 am

I have not been participating in this conversation because of the level of judgement that is going on among a normally supportive and friendly community. There was nothing in the post from CV or the letter from the prospective au pair that asked us to judge other people’s parenting choices or the way they screen for au pairs. The question was if people would be willing to host a trans au pair. Like a poll with an explanation so that the OP could get some idea of whether s/he should bother with the process of applying to be an au pair.

There are all sorts of ways that each family screens through the hundreds (or thousands) of au pair candidates we are faced with when matching. Personally, I only match with girls who have been trained at Swallow’s Nest Orphanage in Zhengzhou, China. Does that limit me from other au pairs who could be fantastic? Of course it does. But it also helps me to narrow the search down. Other people have said they won’t take girls who love horses or that they only take boys who play certain sports. Only looking at people from particular countries or cultures, only looking at male or female au pairs, and so on, is all the same type of screening. We are looking for someone who is a good fit for our family and our community because rematching is such a miserable and stressful process for all involved.

So, can we please step back and answer the original question without criticizing each other’s choices on how we screen for au pairs? There is an au pair for every family and the process of matching is to try to get the right au pair to the right family for their child care needs.

I woke up thinking about this and needed to get it out to you all because normally this is such a supportive community. The only other time I’ve felt like this (basically) was the discussion about matching with gay/lesbian au pairs. These are sensitive issues in the US these days and we need to remember that we are an extremely diverse community of people who are all trying to improve host family/au pair relationships.

I’ll get off my high horse now.

Happy Saturday!

Should be working October 24, 2015 at 8:46 am

I am the HM who doesn’t pursue any APs who have photos with horses. I love it that you remember that–somehow I Mentioned it as a screening criterion and you or someone else was like, “OK, I gotta ask, why no horse photos?!!”

Same hesitations here to step into this thread. It is not that I wouldn’t ever take a TG AP. But given all the applications to be sorted through I probably wouldn’t pursue one simply because it would feel like another layer of questions would need to be answered about safety, social life, and my kids’ feelings.

I passed in my last round of selection on a Saudi Muslim AP. Video and application were great. But I didn’t ultimately want to stretch that far (I am Jewish). Not bigotry I think, just a matter of moving onto another application when I start to question (rightly or wrongly) whether this one MIGHT take more energy to evaluate than I want to expend.

Should be working October 24, 2015 at 9:03 am

Another meta-thought about this question. Choosing an AP seems like a more “private” decision than hiring for a job as part of my job as a manager, and thus the oddball subjective factors feel ok for that “private” decision. In hiring an employee I focus on qualifications for the job first and foremost–and those qualifications are generally quite clear. With an AP the qualifications can be less obvious–since at least for me childcare experience is NOT my top criterion. I want someone who, to my subjective eye, looks pleasant, responsible, fun, and mature. Those qualities aren’t obviously present based just on objective measures of experience–this is why we have SO MANY threads and posts here about AP selection. We look for “proxy” elements (like horse photos). And what each of us finds to be a proxy element for qualities we want (like what is a proxy for a “low-maintenance” AP?) it is a different kind of process than hiring for a job with CLEAR qualifications.

Also it’s not “hiring” an AP, it is “selecting” one, because with an employee I would not be responsible for that person’s happiness, safety, health, and off-duty interaction with my family. So I look for “proxy” elements to guess whether this applicant would be good for me to live with and have around for a year.

Maybe another way to view this is as looking for “low maintenance” APPLICATIONS, where even to investigate the candidate would seem straightforward. And what makes it look straightforward is another level of subjective “bias”–which is all we have to go on when the “job qualifications” are for some of us fairly intangible.

Mimi October 24, 2015 at 9:32 am

This is a good point. I include screening for APs that may have problems/drama/issues that I can handle or have familiarity with. LGBT issues may not be one of them for a particular HF.

cv harquail October 24, 2015 at 3:57 pm

SBW, I think this is definitely the case with ‘hiring’ an Au Pair — where that gray band between ’employee’ and ‘family member’ becomes so important. While there are qualities about a person that we hope we’d never use to exclude them when we hired a worker– such as their sexual orientation or their physical ability — when it comes to finding a fit with our family, how these very same kinds of criteria feel, subjectively, becomes critically important.

cv harquail October 24, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Wait, what? What’s bad about having an Au Pair show a photo of herself with a horse?

Should be working October 24, 2015 at 10:36 pm

Horseback riding is expensive, time-consuming, and not easy to do or get to where I live. And it’s not something to do with my inexperienced kids if you are REALLY into it. AND in my experience pool of 2, I found that the “horsey” APs were more into horses than into kids. Again–maybe that was a fluke, but when it’s time to cull AP applications, I eliminate horsey ones. ESPECIALLY horses on the “cover” picture. Or any animals. The worst is when they are cuddling a bunny or hamster in that cover picture. Why not a KID?

Boy Au Pair Spain October 25, 2015 at 2:57 am

Right, I am the same when selecting a family. If the family have a photo of their kids with animals I always think: why not an adult? Some kids are more into animals than adults. Also I dont horseride so its not something I coulddo with the kids.

Seattle Mom October 26, 2015 at 4:11 pm

You might have something there.. my sister is “horsey” and also into dogs, she’s excellent at training animals. And I’ve found that she seems to expect to be able to “train” children the way she trains animals. She doesn’t have kids (yet) so I don’t know if that will hold with her own kids, but I wouldn’t want her as an au pair for my kids.

Great, now I’m eliminating people who seem “horsey” too. I remember a couple of potential AP’s who I was considering way back, who were into horses, and I ended up eliminating them for other reasons that might have been covariables!

(But on the TG thing, I can think of 2 friends I have who I knew as females in college who are now males- they were both awesome fun people who were great with kids, and knowing them makes me know that I would be ok with a TG au pair, if all else was fine.)

Should be working October 26, 2015 at 5:56 pm

I think Boy Au Pair Spain is being snarky here, not sure though. I’m describing my own proxy criteria for determining whether an AP shares my priorities, and my own strategies for culling from hundreds of applications.

When he tells a HM in another comment “Come off it,” that’s definitely not the kind of language we on this blog use with each other.

Please keep the tone polite.

Anna October 29, 2015 at 8:59 am

This is very interesting, thank you for the insight. I think all of us have proxies for what we consider a wrong match for us, and eliminate based on these criteria.

For me, I almost always eliminate candidates who are artsy (as their main career interest), like theater or art majors. Creative artsy bohemian personalities may have difficulties in a structured environment and being punctual, consistent, etc., may be night owls and not early birds. But musicians are OK, this requires a lot of discipline.

I also eliminate candidates who list “modeling” as their hobbies, look produced (makeup and the whole gamut) on their photos, or have had plastic surgery or are thinking about it (now this is a question I ask in the interviews, having had a bad fit once who turned out had plastic surgery and it really testified to her priorities in life). Focus on external beauty is not a thing in our family, nor I want this modeled for my daughters.

I also eliminate candidates who look overweight on their photos AND don’t list any physical activity in their hobbies, but list “baking, cooking, eating out” in their hobbies. I don’t have body type prejudice because I’ve had voluptuous au pairs who were very fit and active. But I’ve also had a failed match who was overweight, and ate exclusively bread and cheese, was depressed, and had no idea how to serve fruit and veggies for my kids, and was low energy. I am looking for high energy upbeat girls, and this is my proxy of reducing the risk of a wrong match.

Boy Au Pair Spain October 30, 2015 at 2:18 pm


Thank you for your insight into the mind of au pair parents. Whenever I am rejected I always send a message back asking for feedback. I am not sure how I would feel if they said “its because your too fat and I think you might not be able to provide healthy meals my kids” or “you are too much into art so you might not be able to wake up early to take the kids to school”.

I guess I can understand a little after what SbW says about having 100s of applications. In Europe it is the opposite. Each native English speaker au pair will get around 200 applications from families and it is the au pairs that have to be very selective and think of ways to eliminate families. I guess we have more solid things we can discriminate on though.. such as the ages of the kids (which is personal preference), location, how many hours a week it is (as a general rule a native speaker shouldn’t accept more than 25 hours a week), whether they have weekends off and whether you have to do housework or not. I wonder though how you would feel though if an au pair didn’t want to be with your family because your kids were overweight, and didn’t do any sport, or didn’t look like early risers? Just food for thought.

WarmStateMomma October 31, 2015 at 12:42 pm

@Boy AP:

Some APs do turn down American host families for weight, lifestyle and ethnicity. It’s a two-way street and perfectly justified IMO as young people and parents look for people who would be a good match for their specific situation.

WarmStateMomma October 31, 2015 at 12:50 pm

To clarify – I don’t like the idea of ethnicity playing a role in matching, but a family of ethnicity X is not going to benefit from hosting an AP who has a problem with ethnicity X but feels obligated/forced to accept the match.

Anna October 31, 2015 at 11:14 pm

Boy aupair, i would be totally fine with it. I know what is and isnt a good mtch for my family. Bohemian personalities aren’t, and icm not guessing, i can see it in the application. People with no sports hobby aren’t either, and i am not jumping to this conclusion, i read wht they chose to say on their application. I am not obligated to give equal chnce to over 300 candidates in the database to be my au pair, nor would most want to. And yes, an overweight person with a baking hobby will be a bad match for our family, who only have baked dessert once a week, and concerned about our own weight. She won’t be comfortable either because husband is a health nut who will be freely offering her exercise and diet advice. Or do you suggest i contact her and ask : i know you didnt say it in your application, but do you by any chance exercize daily? Is running, or perhaps tennis, you hobby?
You think i am judgemental, but i judge on what i see in the application not what i guess. You however guess about my reasons and judge freely. My reasons are solid for my family.

Boy Au Pair Spain November 1, 2015 at 5:29 am

@Anna I think that you are likely to eliminate people based on false assumptions. For example, the assumption that all or most people with arts majors won’t be punctual, that all or most overweight bakers are low energy, that all or most people that care about external beauty are going to teach your girls bad life lessons about inner beauty etc. However, I can understand that with 300 applicants you have to have some way of whittling it down. I think you probably lose a lot of great candidates that would have fit well with your family but I suppose if there are so many more to choose from it doesn’t really matter. Maybe I would also start a ‘culling’ process based on generalisations in your situation too. Sad for the au pair though but what can you do.

Anna November 1, 2015 at 8:18 am

I see what you are saying, but again you are not reading my replies. I need someone sporty, i only eliminate those overweight bakers who ALSO dont list any sport or physical activity in their hobbies. and plastic surgery for a nonmedical reason is a very serious step, it is very divergent from out fmily values. So is making money out of one’s looks, such as modeling. I want to have a close amd comfortable relationship with my au pair, so i need someone who shares my values. I also want an au pair to have a good year and someone whose values are extremely different will not. Yes, she may have done the job well, but both of us would be happier with someone else.
For example, when i was with an agency where a matching coordinator suggests candidates to me. Despite mu instincts, i contacted a candidate whom i would otherwise have quickly eliminated (people of her faith have a bloody conflict with people of my faith somewhere in the world ). She said no to me immediately herself.

LuckyHM#3 November 1, 2015 at 3:35 pm

@ Boy Aupair – perhaps this is not what you mean by your responses are coming across as if your method for filtering HF applications is somewhat more valid that the filtering process for HFs because yours are apparently “non-judgemental”. I dint really think you have any basis for making the judgement. Just like saying that there something wrong with HFs who dare not to want male aupairs but still be okay with a transgender one. No one’s reasons is anymore valid that the other person’s. We are all different and hopefully know what’s best for each of us

Boy Au Pair Spain November 2, 2015 at 8:26 am

@LuckyHM I think there are some ways of selecting au pairs and families that are unjust and others that are just. I think the word valid is perhaps misleading. For example, to use an extreme, if I said I was not picking a family with blonde children because blondes are more aggressive, would that be unjust? Perhaps more the issue is that you don´t believe the way that Anna selects an au pair is unjust? Or perhaps that even if it is unjust that it is rude to point it out?

In any case, I understand what she means now. If she is looking for a sporty health conscious au pair she has to positively search for someone that fits that criteria and thus eliminating overweight bakers is consequent to that. I think the problem comes when you eliminate people based on an unfair generalisation. For example, wanting a high energy au pair and eliminating overweight candidates based solely on that. I am a tiny bit overweight and have a very bad diet but yet am the one running around with the kids at the park while the other au pairs sit gossiping on a bench.

Yes, there is often something wrong with the logic of families that say that don’t want a male au pair. It is often based on the fact that they see men as dangerous aggressive sexual predators. I recognise though that this is not always the case, especially with families with girls. However, I think particularly if they have sons it that may at some point want to also work in a female dominated sector, then it is a shame and is an example of an unjust generalisation that, quite frankly, more people should speak out about.

AlwaysHopeful HM October 24, 2015 at 2:03 pm

I’ve been following this topic closely because like all good topics CV posts, it has really made me think– about who I am as a person, about what I’m looking for in an pair, about what is important to my family, and about what I want to model for my son… and about the fact that these are not the same, but are overlapping.

After reading through all of the views I’ve seen posted here, my answer is still “I don’t know.” There are so many considerations, and those considerations would vary based on my son’s age at the time, the AP’s maturity and level of security in his or he current gender, my familiy’s tolerance for challenges, etc. I say I don’t know even assuming that in every other way, this au pair is perfect for our family because for us it really is a big deal (or could be, possibly).

I don’t worry about my son being bullied if people know that his au pair is transgendered, but I do worry about him being ostracized and subjected to a multitude of microaggressions over and above the ones he already has to face as a black male in a predominantly white community. I know from that experience how it is distracting and disheartening and makes life hard in ways that are unfair and inexplicable.

And I know that pepole who are kind and loving and welcoming in many contexts can sometimes surprise even themselves by their levels of intolerance and fear, and that could affect our au pair’s reception in the community.

On the other hand, it could be that the transgendered status of the person is just a “thing” and not a big, overwhelming THING that becomes the focus of our experience with the au pair. In that case, I say why not?

So maybe my answer is not “I don’t know” but “possibly, but not without careful consideration of the impact on our family.” And I’m not sure that’s too different from my answer for au pairs with all kinds of backgrounds and characteristics.

Seattle Mom October 26, 2015 at 4:17 pm

“On the other hand, it could be that the transgendered status of the person is just a “thing” and not a big, overwhelming THING that becomes the focus of our experience with the au pair. In that case, I say why not?”

This is sort of the assumption that I’m going on. I don’t want an au pair with any big overwhelming THING that becomes the focus. The focus should be on the relationship with the children, keeping them happy and safe, and enjoying a new experience in the USA. I’ve interviewed many au pairs who seemed to have an agenda, and I’ve steered clear of them. But sexuality does not equal an agenda. Maybe it helps that I lived in a group house with 3 gay men once (plus one other female- couldn’t have done it without her)… one of them was “gay for a living” (he worked for an activist organization) and the other 2 would make fun of him for it nonstop. So I guess I’ve been exposed enough to know that there’s all different kinds… you can be an orthodox Jew, an evangelical Christian, gay, transgendered, a super athlete, an adherent to interesting diets- lots of things- without it necessarily being your entire identity that takes over everything you do.

ChiHostMom October 24, 2015 at 10:00 pm

I work at a college with transgender colleagues and students as well as those that are not. I think my questions would be as they are for all APs about their fit with my family. As far as the transgender issues go, it may depend where they are in the transition and if they are on hormonal therapy (that can be complicated and I could see if having an effect on their ability to work). That said, similar to orientation I don’t care and if an AP is happy with themselves and their choice of job (being an AP) then that’s more important to me.

LuckyHM#3 October 27, 2015 at 2:10 pm

We are just #3 into this AP journey and at this point we have only had female APs. We may consider a male AP in the future but its not currently in the plan. I personally would not select a transgender AP. I do not have anything against transgender people but it would not matter to me with friends. APs on the other hand are supposed to make my really busy and crazy life easier. With all the bad stuff you hear on the news happening to young trans people around the country, I honestly do not think I will sign up to add that extra worry on a daily basis for what may happen to them by some crazy people. I already worry enough about my APs as is. I also dont want to have to worry about my kids when they are with the trans AP if they are accosted by some crazy person. This is one place I get to make a choice, and I wouldnt choose this given the chance and I would be very upset if my AP turns out to be transgender but didnt think to mention it during matching. That would probably lead to a rematch like all things involving lying. This is different for a gay AP. I dont need to know who you sleep with and I dont see how an AP sexual orientation will affect my kids and my family

TexasHM November 2, 2015 at 10:53 am

Wow. Quite a thread! I, like others, was hesitant to comment here because I wasn’t interested in my parental decisions being dissected by strangers on the internet and I am particularly adverse to APs doing the dissecting (love APs commenting but can’t stand them telling me they know better in regards to what is best for my kids).

I don’t think it’s likely we would host a TG AP for many of the reasons listed above (we live in a conservative area, look for low drama APs to make our crazy lives easier, lots of additional screening questions, etc) but I am willing to admit that I have never interviewed one and therefore don’t really know if I would or wouldn’t. If someone had transitioned many years ago, it wasn’t physically obvious (just being honest) and they met all of my criteria and seemed to be a fantastic fit for my family would I match with them? Very possibly but there would be A LOT of conversation and I don’t know if DH would agree so as others have said, it might be more likely that I would match with or move on to a candidate that was “easier” to screen/match with. And in this case is he transitioning to she or vice versa? Because if she was transitioning to he we would be out anyway for all the reasons already covered (we have 2 girls, US isn’t tolerant of men in women’s bathrooms and men’s bathrooms are usually gross enough that my husband sent son in bathroom with me until he was old enough for it to raise eyebrows, DH will not host a bro pair, etc).

As far as horsey APs our french ER nurse total rockstar gem was not only horsey, she was on the French national team and was fantastic with my kids (and animals). I would have never thought about eliminating candidates with that hobby but its interesting! She didn’t have kid photos on her profile because she barely had enough childcare hours to even qualify for the AP program but again, was fantastic with my kids. This is something we screen by plopping kids in front of Skype with them with no help. The ones that truly love kids and are natural with them will shine anyway and I can teach them the childcare stuff.

CV I just saw your note about HFs being socially liberal – lol. In my case maybe not so much as maybe just a little insane? After all I do regularly invite strangers from around the world to move into my home and care for my children so I must be a few short of a full deck right? :) DC Metro Mom I am in your camp gf!

Schnitzelpizza November 19, 2015 at 11:34 am

There is a FTM transgender exAP from Germany on youtube who first vlogged about his AP experience and is now vlogging about his transition. While from what I remember, his host family matched with an officially female AP but he never mentioned his host family not accepting his coming out as transgender, his host family called him by his male name and he does identify as male in his videos. He also seems to have had quite a good relationship with his host family.

So yes. It is possible.

Caroline November 25, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Hi Host moms and dads! I am a transgender girl from Brazil, I’ll be 21 years old in February and I want to be an AuPair. Being trans would never affect the host family’s life and their routine. If I act like a girl and I look like a girl, how could this be a problem? Am I right? The other thing is, I am very very responsible and I have taken care of children all my life, and the host family would be impressed by my English skills. I am also an English teacher and I could perfectly teach a new language to your kids. I am not worse just because I am trans.

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