Trans Families is committed to building community where connections are scarce. Families of gender diverse children often feel a sense of personal isolation, challenges finding accurate resources, and an inability to make connections with other families who have shared experiences.
With our organizational values as our foundation, Trans Families will actively assess and consider what it means to create one over-arching community hub for a collection of many diverse communities. We know this will mean life-long attention and commitment to our collective community and organizational needs. We hope that our “heart first” commitment will be the beacon of light to successfully guide Trans Families in all our endeavors.
As our mission states, Trans Families seeks to inspire hope, increase understanding, and create a visible pathway to support trans and gender-diverse children, and all those who touch their lives. As we’ve reflected on how we might best accomplish this, we’ve named what we feel is the core foundation of our work – showing up in a “heart first” way.
Assume positive intent. We assume all parents and caregivers love their children and want what is best for them. We also assume that our staff and volunteers will do the best job they can. The practicalities of implementing these assumptions are where differences of perspective may occur. If we start from a place of positive intent, then we have a shared foundation from which to build.
Very few people can step into the support of a gender diverse child’s journey with ease and confidence. None of us did so, at first. We needed information, support, and a place to share our fears, hesitations, and concerns – especially with others who better understood. Compassionately meeting others where they are (as we hoped others would do for us) with kindness is a value we deeply embrace.
We are learning. You are learning. Supporting the gender identification of trans and nonbinary youth – even if it changes over time – requires us to humbly acknowledge this learning. Centering this value in Trans Families means that our learning is a source of strength, not an expectation of perfection.
We strive to be trustworthy in our actions and our intent.
We are all human and we know that when differences of opinion, perspective, and experience show up, so to can heightened emotions and conflict. We know this will be part of our Trans Families community experience. Our commitment is to regularly, humbly engage in self-reflection and that is our request of others as well.
We believe that learning is a life-long process. The needs and experiences of gender diverse children are something that our society is collectively pondering. We know that we will continue to deepen our learning as time goes on. We openly embrace that learning as a source of growth and creativity and we look forward to doing that with the entire Trans Families community.
Trans Families inspires hope, increases understanding, and creates a visible pathway to support trans and gender-diverse children and all those who touch their lives.
Racism dehumanizes every person it touches. Racial bias, therefore, must be acknowledged to be combated. As an organization dedicated to human dignity, Trans Families is committed to being anti-racist in both principle and practice. We strive to identify, challenge and correct inequities of race, color, and ethnicity within our organization. With ongoing courage and humility, we resolve to challenge ourselves, and the communities we serve, to dismantle racial prejudice, bias and its devastating impact on our society.
At Trans Families, we believe in equity and access. Therefore, a member is a member! Our families come from all socioeconomic circumstances. We do not believe that those with greater financial privilege should be the ones to get the greatest degree of support and resources. All members will have full access to TF offerings.
We have a commitment to compassionately meet you where you are. We know that you and your family are unique in both experience, identity, and perspective. Therefore, we ask that members share from their own experience. We do not prescribe any particular path – except that of honoring and supporting a child’s gender journey – and know that family situations vary when considering how to best do that.
We make room for all emotions including confusion, joy, frustration, grief, anger, and celebration. Do not assume that all members have shared experiences. There are many factors that can influence a child’s journey including racial and socio-economic differences, diverse geographic and political regions, religious and cultural differences, family composition, and more. Yes, there will be some common threads amongst all but, we at Trans Families, strive to create an environment where our divergent experiences are seen, heard, welcomed and respected.
At times the information shared in meetings can feel overwhelming. Sometimes you may hear values expressed that differ from your own. It may take several meetings to find your footing. Remember, each of us is here to support a child’s gender exploration!