Happily, we do work with minority families, particularly African-American and Latino. They have in the case of male to female indiividuals 3 minority statuses. They are people of color, They are transgender. They are also women. It takes much support and compassion to work with the entire population, but, in particular, those families and individuals of color.
Because we are able to see through modern medicine that there is a medical cause for being transgender (even though they don't completely understand it), I consider it to be just one of many conditions that God did not intend for children to have. There are thousands of things that can go wrong during fetal development. I doubt God plans on children being born blind, with heart defects, with Sickle Cell Disease, or any number of issues. But they still are born with those problems. My child is no different. She is a creation of God and we will use the medical interventions available to help her be a happy and healthy child just as a parent would with any other medical condition.
The next responses will be for Pam's question at 1154a. Our teenage grandson has just come out as a MtF transgender. Where can we get information on how to support in the best way possible...and what's needed for his parents to advocate at school?
We feel that support is the best course of action. At the Institute we have a group of 26 young boys who are mentored by 2 adult FTMs. We also believe that the training we offer at school is critical. and that the parents should be a part of that endeavor. The initial meeting should include the parents, therapist, school counselor and primary teachers. This tactic will substantially, as we've observed, cut way down, if not do away with, any bullying. Very soon the Federal Govt. will be mandating anti-trans bullying policies and laws. Many schools are already complying with what is coming down the pike.
In Kansas City, we have PFLAG and SOFFA, two support groups that meet regularly. SOFFA is specifically for the transgender community. if you don't have a local group to connect with, there are many great online options. TYFA is a great online group for parents with kids under 18 and has many active discussions going on at once. Visit imatyfa.org for information. Support groups can be found on Facebook by a simple search. You can also find resources from many different school districts and sample policies at trans-parent.com, which also lists those support groups in the resource area.
Thanks to all of you who have cared enough and been bright enough to join us in our discussion of this critical issue. We say "transgender...the last frontier of social justice". Thanks for being a part of this ongoing civil rights struggle! Caroline
I would like other parents to know that allowing your child to explore their gender identity shouldn't be scary. Gender identity is not about sex or sexual orientation. Adults bring those ideas to the table, not kids. To kids, gender identity is the expression on the outside of who they are on the inside. Allow them to explore and discover who they are. A child who is not transgender will not become transgender by playing dress-up. It just isn't possible. Trust the process, listen to your child, and love him or her no matter what. Knowing that their parents love them unconditionally is the best way to ensure they grow up confident, secure, and able to handle any possibly bullying that will come their way. Debi
@question: Yes, it will remain available at the same link.