Archive | March, 2015

Rural Camp for Gender-varinant Kids

26 Mar

Happy Campers

Please click on the link, Happy Campers, above. You will have the opportunity to read a short piece in last week’s TIME magazine about a new book about to be published called, You Are You. The book includes some pictures from photographer Lindsay Morris’ collection taken over the years of families as they enjoy a rural four-day annual camping trip. The children fall across the gender spectrum. The families are able to enjoy a time away from scrutiny in comfort. The book will also include a list of other books and organizations that will be a support to. Take a moment to click on the right side of the featured photo to scroll through the delightful photographs.

If You are From New York…

24 Mar

Our transgender families’ support group received the following information that I thought I’d pass along. It involves folks born in NYC that are interested in changing their gender markers on their birth certificates. Please read below:

Dear Colleague,
I am happy to announce that the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recently adopted a rule change regarding the process of changing the gender marker on a NYC birth certificate. As of January 12, 2015, NYC-born transgender individuals seeking to change the gender marker on their birth certificate are no longer required to under “convertive” surgery and a name change. Applicants are instead asked to include a signed affirmation or affidavit from a wide range of health care providers as proof that their gender identity does not match the gender marker on their birth certificate.
We are reaching out to medical and mental health providers, as well as LGBT advocacy and service organizations around the country to spread the word about this rule change. As part of these outreach efforts, we have planned one webinar a month through June 2015 to share information about the rule change; discuss its implications for applicants and providers; and answer any questions you may have about our new rule. We have already hosted two webinars in February, and for those of you who participated, thank you! Please feel free to spread the word to your colleagues about our upcoming webinars.
Please join us at one of the following webinars:
Thursday, March 5, 2015
1:00pm EST – 2:00pm EST
Tuesday, April 15, 2015
1:00pm EST – 2:00pm EST
Monday, May 4, 2015
3:00pm EST – 4:00pm EST
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
1:00pm EST – 2:00pm EST
If you are able to attend a webinar, please RSVP to Danielle Gurr at dgurr1@health.nyc.gov and indicate which webinar you plan to attend. Please find attached to this email a calendar invite and instructions to join the March 5th webinar.
If you know others who might be interested in attending these webinars, please share this information with them. All are welcome.
 We look forward to speaking with you soon!
 All the best,
 Gretchen
 Gretchen Van Wye, PhD, MA
Assistant Commissioner
Bureau of Vital Statistics
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Division of Epidemiology
125 Worth Street, Room 204
New York, NY 10013
 
Phone: 646-632-6747
Danielle Gurr, MPH, CHES
Special Assistant to the Assistant Commissioner
Bureau of Vital Statistics
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Division of Epidemiology
125 Worth Street, Room 204
New York, NY 10013
Phone: 646-632-6745

Article and Podcast on Transkids

22 Mar

Tough Choices for Transgender Kids

Here are the stories of two families that deserve so much credit for living authentically.The title is, Tough Choices for Transgender Kids– but this is REALLY about how their parents stepped up and made their ability to live happily and truthfully possible. Honestly, it does NOT sound as if the choice was tough for the kids themselves…rather, that their gender identity was a simple fact of who they are- PERIOD! Take a listen!

Showing Up for Your Child

2 Mar

Over the last few years, I’ve witnessed my son’s redefinition, i f you will. The physical changes are, of course, evident: The female curves and form are absent, replaced by leaner hips, broad back and defined arms. The softly rounded face has been replaced by an angular bearded jawline. His long curls shorn into a masculine style.

But it isn’t merely his physical presentation that has evolved. This individual’s being feels evolved to me as well. He is much more thoughtful and careful in his words and actions. His future is being retooled and planned. He is consciously considering, ever present and mindful. The courage I now understand this took- the risks he has faced- I am really in awe of my son’s transition!

I feel privileged that he generously has brought me along by his side! Hell, I managed not to screw up our relationship- like so many parents faced with a child’s transition, I didn’t know what to do. Where to begin. I wasn’t elegant nor eloquent in my initial reactions. I have been blessed that my child allowed me my discomfort. My pain. My huge learning curve.

So, in retrospect, I am thinking about a “To Do” list. When faced with such news, what SHOULD parents do in order to maintain these precious relationships and foster their child’s positive transition? After reflecting on my own journey and having watched others parents in similar circumstances, here’s a rudimentary consideration:

* EMBRACE YOUR CHILD! Whether literally or through sentiment, make CERTAIN your child knows they are loved unconditionally!

* REMIND YOURSELF: Someday it will not be this scary! There WILL be resolution!

* TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! Find allies, parent groups. Reach out. Read. Inform yourself. Know you are not alone!

*FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE! Your child is ALIVE! THEY ARE HEALTHY! They are on a path to happiness! They DESERVE to be LOVED and SUPPORTED and you have the ability to give them that critical love and support!

*STAY CONNECTED! Even if your child doesn’t seek you out often or at all, offer your emotional support. Check in. ASK! LISTEN! HEAR!

* CONTINUE! You care enough to be reading this now- you are on your way-
YOU’VE GOT THIS!