We have some history
We have some history
Trans Families is a nonprofit organization that has been supporting transgender people and their families since 2008. Formerly called Gender Diversity, we are also the force behind the annual conference Gender Odyssey.
Today, we run parent support groups (including a group for Spanish-speaking families), a trans youth leadership program, special topics groups, and youth support groups, with more programs in development. Before COVID-19, our groups were all in person. Now they are all online, here, available for families everywhere.
We’ve been where you are
What Trans Families staff and volunteers have in common is that we once felt lost in our confusion, apprehension, uncertainty, or resistance to a gender that fits outside the box. That gender may have been our child’s, a friend we care about, or even our own. We are here because we know the value of talking to and connecting with others who have been on a similar journey. We won’t tell you how your family should do this, but we are happy to share with you what we did—what worked for us and what didn’t.
Why have this site?
The inspiration for this website comes from seeing the power and hope parents get from talking to each other in our weekly support group meetings. Magic happens in those spaces. Parents who arrive with sadness, nerves, and more questions than they can carry leave smiling and expressing hope. They feel less alone in the world. Because of that, we want to bring that power of connection to everyone.
"I just wanted to say thank you. We attended our first support group for Tweens yesterday and we felt very welcomed. I was able to finally exhale some of the air I have been holding in since my child came out to me a couple of months ago. To be in a room with other parents going through exactly the same thing is very very comforting. I am so incredibly thankful we found this group. Thank you again."
- Parent of a tween
“I feel like having a trans or nonbinary child is like having a red truck. You may never notice red trucks on the road but, when you get your own red truck, you sure do. Once I understood my own child’s gender, I realized that trans kids are everywhere!"
-Parent of a trans teen
Founder & President
A Message from Our Founder
The power of connection cannot be overestimated. The relationships I formed with others, as I faced my own gender exploration decades ago, were crucial to my journey. In 2001, I founded the Gender Odyssey conference for all those whose lives were touched by a gender diverse experience of their own or of someone they loved. We shared our tears, uncertainty, anger, and laughter. This helped us light a way forward to a future that no longer felt so fearful, rather one that had hope and possibility.
Within a few short years, parents of trans and nonbinary youth began to show up. In late 2007, I started a small support group – just two families at first – for these courageous yet fearful parents. It didn’t take long for hundreds of families to seek support, and that soon became thousands.
The empowerment and hope that parents experience when coming together for support has changed the landscape for trans and gender diverse children in so many positive ways. I’ve witnessed children of all ages blossom and thrive as they receive the support they deserve.
Family support is fundamental but community support, especially within a child’s school environment is also necessary. It was soon evident that the next step was providing education to schools, camps, and youth-serving programs through Gender Diversity, the training arm of our organization. Providing educators and others the chance to deepen their learning continues to have far-reaching effects.
The need to extend this support on an even broader scale is significant…monumental, really.
So, the inspiration for Trans Families should come as no surprise. At the heart of Trans Families, is the desire to provide a place where parents and caregivers of gender diverse children everywhere can make the crucial connections they so urgently need. Finding resources, increasing knowledge and joining with other families helps them move from isolation and apprehension to a deeper understanding that they are not alone.
We firmly understand that “it takes a village” to raise a child, and Trans Families is just that village.