Coming off of our incredibly satisfying trip to California for the Gender Spectrum conference, I am astounded by one major revelation – we need each other more than we know.
Even the workshop I presented on creating local play groups and support systems expressed the gravity of the situation. Beyond needing, we’re craving the genuine connection with people who actually speak our language. Never mind having the same experience, we don’t need it to be exact. Just being in the ballpark is hugely rewarding. Anytime families get together like we did at the conference it’s a good thing. Kids are smiling and playing. Parents are talking and laughing. It’s a win-win and it feels good.
Now how can we find each other without flying half way around the country? My first suggestion is to join the list serves with TYFA & Children’s National Medical Center, start talking and find others in your area. If that doesn’t work, contact your local PFLAG group (or other LGBT organization) and ask what type of support groups they have for parents of transgender individuals and their kids. If they don’t have a kids play group, entertain the idea of creating one. You know you can do it, all it takes is a little effort. Then send your smoke signals out there. Set your intention and watch families come together.
If you already have a group or a solid support group for parents, tell me your thoughts. What’s worked for you? How do you manage your group? What works? What ways can we individualize our groups so they meet our unique needs?
Let’s keep a dialogue going of best practices so that we can ignite a movement across the country. Families connecting in a loving, non-judgmental way to help preserve the safety and well-being of all of our kids and raise gender awareness. It can happen. We need to be ready. Do our homework. And then go for it in a meaningful way. We need to connect with one another and spark awareness in all of our communities. Now.