Transgender is a term most households are talking about…
Laverne Cox, star of Orange Is the New Black, on the cover of TIME Magazine
Obama was the first President to say the word transgender during the State of the Union
Bruce Jenner’s public coming out in an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC’s 20/20 reached 16.9 million viewers
Growing visibility of transgender people has caught the attention of Republicans across the nation and they’re pushing bills that will require people to use public bathrooms according to the gender they were assigned at birth. These bills are discriminatory and ridiculous at best, dangerous at worst.
But it's transgender teens and kids who inspire me...
Leelah Alcorn’s suicide and pleas for change caught the world by storm and began an impassioned discussion about the damaging methods and effects of conversion therapy
Jazz: Transgender teen recently named as the face of Clean & Clear
'Raising Ryland’ - a short film showcased exclusively on CNN.com about parenting a transgender child
And most recently, a local genderfluid child, Ziya, was featured in international media coverage about transgender issues
Stories of kids like Leelah, Jazz, Ryland, and Ziya are the stories that inspire me to invest my time and efforts to reach transgender and gender non-conforming youth and their families. I volunteer with Lost-N-Found Youth, a local organization helping LGBTQ homeless youth who have been abandoned by their families. But that’s not enough for me. I want to help transgender and gender non-conforming youth and their families through the process of acceptance of self and each other so these kids don’t end up on the streets, in need of Lost-N-Found’s services. I want to be sure trans* youth and their families have an affirming, loving, and encouraging therapist so they don’t land in the office of a conversion therapist.
Growing visibility of transgender people has increased awareness of what being transgender is and what it means. Parents are more aware and willing to accept that their child is transgender, so transgender kids are transitioning younger than ever before. Kids who transition before puberty won’t have to face the debilitating experience of trying to undo what their biology creates during puberty without cross-sex hormone therapy.
This past Saturday (May 9, 2015) I attended the first THEA+ Family Symposium. I was honored to be invited to present on Gender vs. Sexuality. I wasn’t sure who my audience was going to be (transgender parents of cisgender kids or cisgender parents of transgender youth), so I prepared to discuss how sexual orientation and gender identity are related and how they are not. I introduced The Genderbread Person approach to gender identity and sexuality as an alternative to the traditional spectrum theory (think Kinsey Scale). I discussed childhood sexual development and how parents can have age appropriate discussions about gender identity and sexuality.
I probably learned more than I taught at the THEA+ Family Symposium. I met so many amazing parents, teens, kids and professionals passionate about providing the best care and love possible for transgender people of all ages. I’m thrilled to be part of the movement creating a world that is loving and kind towards transgender people.
If you’re transgender or gender non-conforming and between the ages of 13 and 23, I invite you to attend the weekly North Fulton Trans* Youth Support Group. If you or your child want support before, through, and after transition, I’m available for both individual and family counseling. If you’re ready to live and love more authentically, begin your journey here.