Terrific Free Movie to Stream!

19 Sep

It’s not too late to sign up for free streaming of our award-winning documentary, “STRAIGHTLACED- HOW GENDER’S GOT US ALL TIED UP” in honor of Ally Week 2017!! “Straightlaced”, explores the pressures that ALL teens face when it comes to dealing with gender norms and sexuality.

Please take a minute to watch this AMAZING trailer, then GO TO: https://groundspark.org/9360

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Great Article!

14 Sep

Teaching all of our children about gender doesn’t have to be brain surgery! It doesn’t have to be painful or controversial. It CAN be discussed openly and honestly. It CAN be discussed respectfully. Even at a young age!

Below is the link to a story from Northern California, from actually a generally conservative area. A discussion of gender was handled beautifully in a kindergarten classroom. I’m sure ALL of these students have benefited from the honesty presented!

Check it out:

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-edu-kindergarten-transgender-books-20170830-htmlstory.html

 

Supporting Our Gender Fluid Children 

5 Aug

Recently, a loving and concerned mother wrote in to share her journey while supporting her gender fluid child. My first reaction was one of incompetence: my FTM son identifies as male. I felt that perhaps information I shared or my experiences as a parent with a transgender kid might not be “legitimate” or “enough”.

However,  I realized mothers of transgender children who identify with the binary (the concept of the two traditionally recognized genders; male and female) share insights and experiences not so very different than mothers of children who identify as gender fluid (identify as neither or both female and male and experience a range of femaleness and maleness, with a “flow” between the genders). Mothers of binary and fluid children both have to learn to accept and embrace our children regardless of how they present themselves! We each have to field questions (often very private) about our children from family, friends, and perhaps even strangers. We mothers all may struggle in knowing just how to best support our kids. We may feel disappointed and even grieve the loss of our personal dream for our child. We all worry and fret. The struggle IS real for each of us! 

The message: 

1-To the mother that wrote in, like so many of you, you are doing a GREAT job of supporting your child! You are pushing yourself and finding strength to be an advocate!! Even though you may experience pain along the way, you are trying to wrap your head around your child’s new reality-kudos to you! 

2- It is so important to respect non-binary gender identities, and it sounds like the mom that wrote in completely understands this! For those of you still struggling, Hey! It’s a BIG process to understand a new paradigm; something that is not what you have grown up expecting! You get time to learn to bend. It’s okay not to automatically be on board- but know that your kid needs your love and don’t give up your journey!! 

3- The medical establishment is slowly coming around, but it is true that it may be harder to find professionals who can competently work with non-binary folks. There IS hope though, as the WPATH Standards of Care now recognize non-binary gender identities, and people CAN access medical care (hormone therapy, surgery) as non-binary under the Standards of Care. 

4- What may be most helpful is helping the young adult connect to other non-binary/genderqueer folks, even if it’s just online. There are so many non-binary folks who have accessed hormone therapy, surgery, etc. and it might be nice for your child to get to talk things through with other people, especially if their current doctors don’t “get it.” 

5- My son shared with me that he has friends with non binary gender identities (genderqueer, Two Spirit, etc.) who haven taken hormones for years, stopped taking them, and have no regrets. They continue to be non binary-identified. 

6-The best thing anyone can do is support people in having access to all the information they need to make an informed choice…and keep supporting them no matter what their decisions are down the line!! 
* Here are some resources that may be helpful:

http://darahoffmanfox.com/ask-gender-therapist-can-transition-im-non-binary-genderfluid/ (or you can just link right to the youtube page of the video)
http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/07/myths-non-binary-transition/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/a-non-binary-perspective-on-top-surgery_us_58d27b27e4b062043ad4ae76

https://thebodyisnotanapology.com/magazine/transitioning-while-non-binary/
http://www.teenvogue.com/story/what-is-non-binary-gender

http://www.transequality.org/issues/resources/understanding-non-binary-people-how-to-be-respectful-and-supportive

As always, my best to you as you advocate and continue to demonstrate unconditional love! 

Being There for our Children!

6 Jul

Each of us desires to be the very best parent we can be! We want to be effective whenever our kids need us most! And because each life brings it’s own challenges, we are certain to be called upon to step up to support our children. Some of these challenges are more painful than others. Some can bring us to our knees! Other challenges teach us more than we ever anticipated!

My journey as the mother of a transgender adult child was one such experience for me. I knew no other transgender folks. I knew no other parents of transgender kids. I felt alone. I feared for my child’s health and future. Initially I groused,  “I did not sign up for this,” but it soon became clear that this would become one of the most important learning experiences in my life. I learned that ‘unconditional love’ is not as automatic as I had assumed. It turned out that I was much more judgmental (yikes!) and critical (sigh!) than I imagined or hoped myself to be. These realizations would later come to inform future interactions and encounters while requiring much needed self-reflection.  My son’s gender identity turned out to be a tremendous gift to me!

Below is a link to a great article with sound and practical suggestions. Please take the time to click on the link to learn more!

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/when-your-adult-child-breaks-your-heart/201703/strategies-supporting-transgender-child

EXCELLENT Article

26 Mar

http://educator.cta.org/i/795366-march-2017/21

What a fabulous article! Consider reading this and passing this along to educators you know!

“Ongoing learning is key. Educators need to engage in regular professional development to build a school climate that avoids gender stereotyping and affirms the gender of all children. Every child has the right to learn in a safe and accepting school environment. And supporting gender expansive students gives schools an opportunity to help all children succeed.”

Fascinating Podcasts- Take a Listen!

5 Feb

My son introduced me to podcast listening! What a fun way to learn from so many different folks about so many different subjects! Several of my favorite podcasts include episodes concerning transgender issues. I highly encourage you to check out the following:

  • Morgan M Page’s podcast One From the Vaults explores the lives of trans men, women, and genderqueer people throughout 20th century history. One From the Vaults is available online on SoundCloud and iTunes.
  • Marlo Mack’s How to Be a Girl podcast discusses her day-to-day experiences of being a mother to a transgender daughter.
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class is also a fantastic podcast, and you can poke around their archives for wonderful episodes on LGBTQ history here.

Happy Listening!!

It’s a Brave New World!

28 Jan

There is a lot to take in when understanding a change in your child’s gender identity -especially when your child is an adult and you have had years of practice assuming you know your kid!  You have raised them by the gender they were assigned at birth and called them by the pronouns associated with that assigned gender. And now you are learning, as I did, that this identity did not ring authentic for them. Your child and mine see themselves outside of that which was assigned. For some it may mean identifying as female when they were born as male. Some females grow up to recognize themselves as male. And still others understand that theirs is a more fluid identity…not the binary we parents were raised to expect, but instead,  theirs is an identity that goes undefined because it can be both complex and dualistic. It may mean not being confined to loving or being attracted to only “opposite” partners.

When I was  growing up, the term, “queer” was considered extremely negative and used strictly as an insult. The many  folks that now consider themselves Queer or Gender Queer use the term with pride. I will not attempt to give the best definition for this identity…instead, I ask you to read a really great article that says it best!

What I have learned during my journey, is that I really knew so little and assumed so much! I had to become open enough to consider that identities involved choices and alternatives. I had to work on being less judgmental so that I could recognize folks deserve to be happy; and what that happiness looks like and lives like- is their call!

I hope you will read the link and consider. It’s not a “black n white-this is how it is and only how it is” world any more. We live in a technicolor time, full of possibility!

Enjoy reading!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nadia-cho/being-queer-means_b_3510828.html

 

 

Hiring Transgender Actors for Transgender Roles

25 Sep

A recent article by Nick Adams, the director of GLADD’s (formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Transgender Media Program, was spot on! GLADD holds the media accountable for accurate representation of the LGBTQ communities. Mr. Adams notes,  “— in spite of the critical and commercial success of projects that put trans people front and center — Hollywood is having a very difficult time letting go of the idea that putting a male actor in a dress, wig and makeup is an accurate portrayal of a transgender woman.”

I invite you to read Mr. Adam’s article here! It’s not enough to put out a movie depicting the lives of LGBT folks- Transgender actors and actresses SHOULD be portraying those roles themselves!!

Matt Bomer and Men Who Play Transgender Women Send a “Toxic and Dangerous” Message

 

 

Happening Tomorrow

17 Sep

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Moms take note: Here are WONDERFUL Suggestions!!

8 Sep

https://gendermom.wordpress.com/2016/09/06/dear-ms-s/

One of my favorite blogs, Gendermom (the author and commentator of the podcast, “How to be a Girl”), has a new post that offers excellent recommendations for you moms with school age trans-children. As she sent her MTF daughter off to begin third grade, the blog’s writer shares the letter she has composed to her daughter’s new teacher. As a retired educator myself, I can say that this letter will be most likely be met with gratitude! Teachers (especially in the elementary grades) seriously consider their students’ self esteems and personal needs!

While Gendermom is positive in tone, she is, at the same time, open about the concern her daughter has for remaining “stealth”(not disclosing she is transgender unless she personally so chooses to disclose). This proactive mom’s anticipation of what the teacher should be aware of, seeks the teacher’s support so that potentially awful interactions can be avoided. Let’s be honest, we cannot prevent everything bad from reaching our children, but we can stem the tide by laying the foundation for understanding-especially in our children’s schools!

As we watch this first generation ever have some of its children switch their gender identification with the support of the significant adults in their lives, we can ALL learn how to support and celebrate our transgender youth!