Our LGBT children (not just those in high school) desperately need safe places to relax and be themselves. They deserve to belong to groups of folks to whom they can relate- adults and peers alike! The fairly common “GSA” (Gay-Staight-Alliance) club at many high schools are great for those who are comfortable already with whom they are and how they are seen. But what about those who still struggle with acceptance with their family and friends? What about our transgender children who do not personally know any successful trans adults with whom they can relate? These are the children of whom I most worry! Who do they turn to when their parents are frightened and not sure where to turn?!
One of my colleagues that teaches at our district’s middle school shared with me that she knows of a student who is desperately trying to transition from male to female. She related how the student caused “quite a stir” by writing in large letters down a leg, “TRANSGENDER!”. My friend did not know many specifics…just that the student’s counselor is attempting to help (not sure what that entails) and that the father, while declaring he is supportive of his child’s feelings and supposedly choice of identity, doesn’t want him to begin to wear female clothing at school. While I do understand a parent’s fear that such a change could receive negative or perhaps even dangerous responses in some places, I am far along in my own acceptance of all folks transgender to know that this child cannot possibly yet feel supported. How can she- when he is being forbidden to become her? Does she need to CARVE her identity into her leg?…talk about “spelling it out”- Hellloooo World!…let’s get on board!
So how can I help? I am trying to find a little “in” to make myself known…perhaps if I could speak to the father…introduce him to other parents of kids just like his. Or connect him with the Transforming Family LA group that would embrace them both and help guide them to some safety, some appreciation, some acceptance. It certainly did for my husband and I…now I just have to make my way to them.