A while back we posted about wanting to write a children’s book about why our youth should appreciate EVERYONE! If you look at our blog http://transformations2013.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/why-teach-hate-when-you-can-teach-love/, you’ll find out the reason behind this. We have received a few, but we need A LOT!!! If you are willing and able, ask your child(ren) to draw a picture and write a brief description, word, sentence about the importance of appreciating the diversity of our world. You can forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will in turn provide you with the address of where to send the original. And P.S.—this can be a youth of any age, so it’s not just for the wee ones, teens are welcome to send in their thoughts as well. Thanks for the support!!
One of the themes we have heard time and time again is religion. In a lot of cases, not all, we have heard how LGBT+ individuals have been ridiculed, discriminated against, kicked out of their religious sect, etc; however they still have faith. That faith can exists in a wide range of religious or spiritual arenas. Now if you aren’t religious, don’t just bypass this because you may come across someone who has this struggle. I would like to apologize for any due harm that you may have suffered at the hands of a religious affiliation, and that is why I am writing this today. When I and my colleague attended the Southern Comfort Conference in Atlanta, GA we met some great people. A few provided us with information on their sites that address this exact issue. I know I should have posted this a while back, but things have been chaotic with us attending conferences, lectures, pride events and networking in order to achieve our goal of getting up and running for January 2014. With that being said, if you have questions, want more information, or are just curious- you are always welcome to email us at email@example.com or please visit the below sites:
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn.”-Benjamin Franklin
Today I figured that I would share some information that we learned at the Southern Comfort Conference and also let you in on some great companies that we met. First off, we met some great authors of books that shared their amazing stories and after reading them you get a grand glimpse into their struggles and triumphs. The books are
We were also able to hear some great news about surgical procedures and advancements in FTM surgeries (I will post the names and information on these surgeons in a later post). We also spoke to individuals from the EEOC and DOL in regards to potential changes in policies concerning LGBT individuals throughout the nation. It will be an ongoing fight, but every step is a step in the right direction. We also received information about some new studies taking place (such as transgender individuals in the military). This too will take time, but the repeal of Don’t ask, Don’t tell and the media story coverage of Kristin Beck, shows that times are a changin’ my friends. Another thing we learned was some potential new HRT’s that are being implemented…it’s not just pills, implants, or patches anymore!
We met some great guys from Point5cc Tshirts (http://point5cctshirtcompany.com/) who are bringing humor and recognition to the trans community. There were associates from several other companies that showed that these companies are LGBT friendly, so they do exists! (a listing to later come). I was able to speak to the founder of gendertree.com, which provides a wealth of information on different religions. If this is a focused hardship for you, we recommend you look them up and review the information. We were also able to meet some great people, who we will remain in contact with. I know that this may not seem like a great amount of information, but I myself am still shifting through all the information we received. We’ll be sure to keep you posted, and as always…thanks for your support!!
We are currently at the Southern Comfort Conference and we can’t wait to share some great information with you all!! If you ever have the chance to come to this conference, we definitely recommend it. When we arrive back home, we’ll be sure to make some post with the new information and resources that are available. Have a great weekend everyone!!
Many of you may be wondering why there is a picture of a binder on our blog. The reason for this is to educate parents of transgender children the importance of this little book. For many, this book could be a life saver and for others a way of life. It is our wish that this wasn’t even necessary; however after much discussion, we have found that this binder brings peace to many parents.
So what is this binder?
This binder should be made up for safety reasons. The contents should hold documents such as: legal name change paperwork, birth certificate, documentation by a therapist/psychologist (even though Gender Identity Disorder has been removed, many people still feel this is the case, sadly), document from your family physician, documents from an endocrinologist (if you child is on hormone blockers or receiving hormone replacement therapy), letters from friends and/or family stating when your child transitioned and comments about your parenting strides,artwork or papers drawn or written by your child depicting their gender identity, and so much more. It’s better to be over prepared than under prepared.
Why is this important?
Many families have had DCF (Department of Children and Families) or CPS (Child Protective Services) called on them. This could be because someone disagrees with an early transition (which we all know to be nonsense) or they just may be transphobic- really the reasons can vary; however having these items readily available can lessen the stress and bring closure to an unwarranted investigation (if there truly isn’t any abuse of any nature). Every parent MUST remember that any accusation called into the state has to be investigated (warranted or not), so don’t be angry with the agency or social worker. If there truly is no issue other then someone doesn’t agree- then cases are usually closed pretty quickly,
(I must note that we do not have any influence on the investigation and DO NOT work for these agencies. We are merely speaking from stories that we have been told by parents throughout our journey’s).
I hope that this has been helpful and insightful, possibly even making you think. We all know society can be tough, but try to make it flow a bit easier by just keeping everything together in this nice binder.
WE need more people, and youth, to stand up! Also, the teacher who brought about this collective event should be praised for his actions. Bullying has become atrocious in our society and a stop needs to be put to it. As kids are returning back to school, remind them to stand up for those who are afraid to used their voices. Stand up for those who need help. To feel free and okay with who they are.
Among our travels, research and reading, we have found that words to individuals mean different things. For many people, that includes everyone- not just LGBTQIA+, labels are a nasty business; however when discussing the LGBTQIA+ community they may be essential to get a general meaning out to those who have no idea what all these letters mean. I feel the need to mention that these are a societal viewpoint of meanings but it is important and respectful to ALWAYS ask the individual how they would like to be addressed, labeled, or identified. The reason for this post is to educate those who may be a bit confused. First, let me start off with what all the letters mean.
Q- Queer or questioning
There are many other groups, and I do not mean to negate them, but usually you will see either LGBT, GLBT or LGBTQIA. This has become the ‘umbrella’ by which everything has been included under. Now let’s discuss what these mean.
Lesbians are women who are attracted to other women.
Gays are men who are attracted to other men.
Bisexual are individuals who are attracted to both males and females, regardless if they are male or female.
Transgender is an umbrella term that includes individuals who are born one sex but are the opposite sex, have had sexual reassignment surgery or those who may dress in drag. Some common terms associated are MTF, which means male to female. This means that the person was born anatomically a male but lives, feels and is a female. FTM is just the opposite, meaning that the individual was born female but lives, feels and is male. A transsexual is one who has undergone surgery to become the person they know they are (again review MTF or FTM). Those that are labeled drag queens actually have no intention, need or feeling to become the opposite sex but do however feel the need to dress in the opposite sexes’ clothing. It must also be noted that this has nothing to do with an individuals sexual orientation and ONLY their gender.
Queer or Questioning describes those that are unsure or questioning their sexuality.
Intersex is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. Most people may be more familiar with the term ‘hermaphrodite’. Or a person may be born with mosaic genetics, so that some of her cells have XX chromosomes and some of them have XY.
Asexual is a term generally meant to describe individuals who seek an emotional attachment, but do not seek a intimate/sexual relationship. This is not like celibacy, because that is a choice; whereas asexual’s do not have a choice in the way in which they feel.
I hope that this has cleared up some questions and provided some informational education to our readers. -Patti (admin)