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The fourth annual Stand with Trans Youth Empowerment Workshop is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 6. The workshop is open to gender expansive young children, trans youth ages 12 to 24 and parents and caregivers of trans youth. It will once again take place at the Orchard United Methodist Church in Farmington Hills. This year’s theme is “I Am.”
“We are so much more than our gender,” said Stand With Trans Founder and Executive Director Roz Keith. “This is about encouraging youth to identify all that they are.”
Youth sessions offered this year include How Do I Know When to Transition? and What to Do? led by Anthany Beasley, LMSW, MSW; Struggling with Self-Harm led by Nick Zielke, MSW; Being Trans and Dealing with Law Enforcement led by Corp Dani Woods, LGBT Liaison to the Detroit Police Department; Job Hunting – What Do I Have to Disclose? led by the ACLU’s Jay Kaplan; Improv run by Go Comedy! Improv Theatre; and How to Cope When Family Members Aren’t Accepting led by Monica Sampson who is the director of Second Stories program at the Ruth Ellis Center.
Parent programming includes Social and Medical Transition led by Antonia Caretto, Ph.D. and Dr. Dan Shumer; Navigating the Legal Process led by attorney Erica Moise; Self-Care led by Tejinder Gill; You’re Human and This Is Hard led by Lisa Goyette and John Ball; Trans and How To Prioritize Your Children’s Needs led by Melissa Farrell, Psy.D.; and Therapy – When Is it Appropriate and How to Find the Best Fit? led by Nicole Law, Ph.D.
“Every year the theme is different and all content is youth and parent informed,” said Keith. “Many of the sessions are new as we learn from the prior year. We get feedback via surveys and then we bring youth and parents together for brainstorms/focus groups to better understand their needs.”
The youth, Keith said, are very smart.
“They have a lot to say and they want to be heard. They want to make friends and look forward to this event to connect with others like them who understand what it means to be transgender. Parents feel really lost and are hungry for the information. It is important for the parents to meet other parents who are in the same boat,” Keith said. “The connection strengthens the community bond and the parent child bond. And, while it’s become more prevalent in the news to hear about transgender individuals, each person has their own journey to navigate. There are still personal hurdles and family hurdles even though we are talking about it.”
The workshop can accommodate approximately 25 young children and the trans youth and trans parents tracts can accommodate 75 each. There are three choices of session at each time slot throughout the day. This year’s sponsors include Springmatter, Mercedes Benz Financial Services, Cripps & Silver Law, The Human Rights Campaign, Premier Pet Supply of Novi, Trans Kids Purple Rainbow Foundation, Nakisher Orthodontics, Arbonne Charitable Foundation, Sephora, Between the Lines and Dominos.
To register in advance, go to online to gaybe.am/lC.