Gender for Rebels
Hope and support for those who push past the system and want to own who they are
Adolescence can feel like a chasm, and we're not sure if our kids will make it to the other side.
Many parents tell me they feel overwhelmed and out of their depth when trying to shepherd their transgender, non-binary, or gender-nonconforming child through the struggles of the world. When so much hatred and bigotry surround us, how can we keep our kids safe? It's hard enough to navigate the world as an adult, even more so as a teen just trying to figure out life.
All parents want their children to grow into happy, successful adults. Many parents of transgender teens worry "Will my child even have the chance to grow up?" Grim news articles and statistics seem to pop up everywhere: nationwide political battles, hate crime reports, and statistics showing that 35-45% of trans youth have attempted suicide. The pressures on teenagers are something most parents have never had to face before.
Parents also tell me they're afraid that adolescence will be so scarring that their kids will never be able to live a full and embodied life. Some of the fears I've heard have included a teen:
Developing addictions to alcohol or other drugs
Mistrusting others and having difficulty forming relationships
Inability to navigate school and work systems
Shutting themselves off from the world
Fracturing the family system and loosing connections with their parents
Escalating conflict, leading to arrest or injury
It doesn't have to suck forever
I say this again and again because it's true: it doesn't have to suck forever. Yes, things are hard. Yes, things can be scary and feel like they're too much. No, it doesn't always have to be this way.
Getting guidance from a professional in a supportive peer environment can be life-changing. Having a safe space - one where it's okay to be sad and angry and confused - can help teens figure out who they are and feel connected to something greater than the chaos around them.
In my years of work with trans teens, marriage to an incredible trans partner, and firsthand experience as a non-binary person myself, I have found professional support has unparalleled benefits.
I've seen teens in support groups:
Learn to trust others and open up about their struggles
Manage their overwhelming feelings in positive ways, including creating music, reaching out to friends, and decorating their rooms as a safe space
Communicate with their parents about their fears, hopes, and passions - which in turn often allows them to really hear their parents' love and admiration
Figure out ways to navigate organizational structures (such as schools, religious communities, extra-curricular structures) to get what they need in order to be successful
Become advocates for and give hope to other people who are struggling in the community
Tell me more!
Gender for Rebels is an ongoing support group for transgender youth. There are multiple cohorts based on age and maturity. Enrollment is currently open for middle school teens (12-14), high school teens (14-18).
(There’s also a section of college-aged adults (17-23). You can find out more here).
Parents and/or young adults can get started by registering below.
We make every effort to make sure that this group is a good fit for your needs. After registration, we will schedule a short screening call and an in-person intake. After the teen has been to one group session, they are invited to become a full-fledged group member.
The investment for this group is $50 for the intake session, $50 for the first session and $200 monthly for ongoing groups.