When children enter this world, the adults greeting them have many assumptions already in place about their future. If the child has a penis, projections about masculinity-driven biological and societal experiences prevail, if the child does not have a penis, a femininity-driven future is imagined with regard to biological development and social opportunities.
But in approximately 1.5-3% of families with a transgender child, those projected futures may not be in the cards, because their child simply does not identify with the gender role assigned to them based on their genitalia. In fact, enforcement of those gender expectations may cause the child profound distress. This is the world of a transgender child and their families.
Courageous Conversations between parents and their LGBTQ children regardless of age. The coming out conversation can be extremely difficult on both sides. This program will look at some of the repercussions the LGBTQ person faces from the conversation, as well as the gains that are made. We will also look at resources available to LGBTQ people and their friends and families.
Stories of attacks on the way home from the bus stop, bullying in the classroom, and assaults in school hallways are all-too-frequent reminders that our community and many others throughout the US are still not safe places for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people. Perhaps what is most heartbreaking is that some youth have come to believe that this is normal, that this is just part of growing up, or that this is how life is for LGBTQ individuals. SMYAL is working to change all that by providing an inclusive environment and empowering DC-area LGBTQ youth to be leaders and advocates for themselves and their peers in the broader community. We provide youth with the opportunities, support, and skills they need to de-escalate conflicts as they occur and to work within their community to root out these conflicts from their source.