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#SOFFAs in Transition: Resources for Companions and Family of Trans* Persons

#SOFFAs in Transition: Resources for Partners and Family of Trans* Persons

Finding a kind and loving support for all but the world’ s luckiest folks is a lifelong project. Grow that times… what… infinity? … and it’ ersus that much more challenging for trans* persons of experience to cultivate and to find.

Times are changing… we have trans* prom kings and queens, and public shaming or dismissal of trans* folks has become the real taboo, as it should be. Unfortunately for every advancement, inexcusable ignorance becomes much more identifiable and still continues to increase, grow.

So of course , we still have a long way to go—and the greater resources, gatherings and health-related modalities and methodologies that come to gentle in order to support, help, uplift and empower trans* persons of experience and their loved ones, the better.

When you’ re reading this, you try to support or share supportive sources with trans* persons, friends, family members members, peers or others within solidarity. Here’ s hoping you discover useful resources, places and spaces to share below.

 

For Families

Conferences meant for families and mental health/medical service providers are extremely helpful places to connect and network along with others.

If you’ re in one of the many healing progressions, it would benefit you to visit family-specific conferences, and vice-versa.

These gatherings serve many purposes: they will create a safe space for exploring ideas of gender and identification, to exchange information, for educating and connecting service providers, healing professionals and families, and for co-creating community. Along with each step forward, with each new truth shared and experienced, we help to eradicate stigma and put education and learning and compassion in its place.

The conferences below constitute just a handful of available resources just for trans* youth, their parents, educators and families.

TransFamily

www.transfamily.org

TransFamily is a support group for trans* persons and their SOFFAS

Colage –

www.colage.org

Colage/Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere supports mainly kids of LGBTQ parents and is known for being very trans* inclusive.

Straight Spouse Network –

http://www.ssnetwk.org/

Provides personal, confidential support and information to “ straight-identified” partners, current or former, of homosexual, lesbian, bisexual or transgender partners.

Forge Forward -“Making Space Safe” –

http://forge-forward.org/wp-content/docs/making-space-safe-2001.pdf

“Making SpaceSafe, ” by Loree Cook‐Daniels and

SOFFA Q& A -http://forge-forward.org/wp-content/docs/SOFFA_QandA.pdf

Guidelines just for Trans*/SOFFA people and groups, encouraging inclusiveness.

PFLAG Local Support for Trans* People and Their Families : http://community.pflag.org/transgender

Models of Pride

Lifeworks Mentoring (Los Angeles) sponsors The Models of Pride weekend, with a Models of Pride fair, entertainment, dance and meals. Past performers possess included Kathy Griffin, select skill from Glee, and Dustin Puncture Black.

Gender Spectrum Family Conference (See: “ Events. ” )

Sex Spectrum provides many resources for your trans* community, and the Family Meeting is one of its many standout occasions. This annual event uncovers issues related to trans* folks and co-creates tangible and actionable solutions just for families.

Gender Odyssey Conference

As with thecomplementary conferences noted here, the Gender Odyssey Conference features focus groups, workshops, discussion forums and entertainment. It’ s one of the most renowned events and takes place in Seattle, Washington.

 

Books for Families:

Trans Forming Families : Real Tales about Transgender Loved Ones By Jane Boenke

 

For Companions

It can be hard to individuate when your partner is experiencing gender-related questions, issues and revelations. You want to be there 100 percent and then some. But even if, let’ s say theoretically, things were 100 percent positive, you’ d feel as if you were doing or saying something wrong. And to become honest, at times you will be doing or saying something wrong. Congratulations! You’ re human.

Humans need support. Be sure to ask for it and be willing to receive it.

Otherwise you partner goes through or even begins to examine transitioning, your relationship will, simply by definition, experience a change. You may experience various stages not unlike the stages of grief—these happen when anything changes in life (the stages include: denial, anger, bargaining, depressive disorder and acceptance), and of course these stages won’ t be linear.

You need to keep this in mind: change can be a celebration, and in this case, encouragement and celebration is highly recommended. There’ ersus nothing more freeing than feeling more fully aligned within yourself. Love your partner for their courage to face and handle the truth. Also: suffering is a process, but it’ ersus also a symbol. Even as you grieve certain changes, you make space for a new birth/rebirth. Nothing and no one is dying. Life is beautiful, and here’ s another embodiment of the truth.

Don’ t allow transphobic notions creep into your relationship– not only is it bunk, the arguments are usually tired, and the truth is liberating. Contact yourself on your own isht on a regular basis. Substitute fear with love– yes, regularly.

Love, honor and respect your partner for the person they are—the person who brought them to this new transitional phase in life. And still love, respect and honor your spouse as they embody what it means to be much more comfortable and aligned within themselves.

The best thing you can do is to continue to be become supportive and compassionate, and lengthen that same support and empathy to yourself. You can’ big t make your partner’ s transition about you, but again, you’ re human—it’ s going to happen. The good thing you can do is find support and kinship with folks who’ ve gone through it. Such connections verify beneficial to everyone involved.

There’ s an alchemy in any alter: your awareness will become heightened. You’ ll find you become much more receptive to your own truths. Note and share your observations with those you truth. You may find you effect the healing and an elegant transition of your own (or two… or ten).

When someone you care for is usually gender variant, you’ re not alone, and you too can find support. There are plenty of resources for SOFFA’ s: (Significant Others, Family, Friends and Allies). There are many groups (online and offline), discussion forums, books and agencies already in place who’ ve assisted many others through the journey, in conjunction.

You may not be ready tor each out to others, and there are many sources available to help you to prepare and do the study on your own. Here are a few great starting factors:

Brynn Tannehill: Transition Deconstructed http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brynn-tannehill/transition-deconstructed_b_2460514.html

An article with specific recommendations and kind reminders for SOFFA partners and family.

Tranz Guys PDX SOFFAs & Family Resource Page – http://tranzguyspdx.org/resources/soffas-family

SOFFA Support at Tumblr http://soffasupport.tumblr.com

FTMInfo. net Resource List for SOFFAs of FTMs http://www.ftminfo.net/soffa.html

Transgender Forum or TSForum. com – Though the local community provides support for trans* persons of experience, SOFFAs are welcome to connect. To read more about TSForum. possuindo here at Gay Agenda, click here.

Books

Transgender Emergence by Arlene Istar-Lev, LCSW

Mind over Heals: Wives who Stick with Cross Dressers and Transsexuals by Virginia Erdhart

She’ s Not There: A Lifetime in Two Genders by Jenny Finney Boylan

Wives, Companions and Others: Living with Cross-dressing Edited by: Dixon, J. and Dixon, D.

My Husband Betty : Love, Sex and Life having a Cross-Dresser by Helen Boyd

Wherever you are in the SOFFA alphabet, remember: love in action is surprisingly powerful. All the love you provide is a powerful, healing boomerang. When you’ re less attached to controlling your partner’ s process and the outcome, you’ ll both fare better in our and in the future.

What resources have you ever found to be useful? Let us know.

 

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