We’re living in a time of social upheaval, but through the efforts of brave individuals spearheading social change, members of the LGBTQ community are gaining recognition and rights. As a family member or friend of an individual with gender dysphoria or a transgender (initiating, transitioning, or having completed gender reassignment), you want to support your loved one throughout the transition process and beyond, but you might be worried about making an accidental blunder.
This can be a difficult position to find oneself in. You want to help, but you don’t know how. The good news is, there are many resources available to help you better understand gender identity, the transition process, and the complexities of what your loved one is going through.
Finding common ground begins with understanding someone else’s point of view, and while you may find the concept of gender reassignment surgery foreign, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn more in order to become an ally and provide love and support during the physical and emotional hardships of the transitioning process. Here are a few resources to get you started.
This is a great place to get started if you’re not familiar with the LGBTQ community. The PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) organization launched in 1973 to unite LGBTQ people with family members and friends, to celebrate diversity, and to promote respect, value, and affirmation, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Today, PFLAG boasts 200,000 members and 400 chapters spread across the country.
Human Rights Campaign
Sometimes understanding the experience of a loved one requires that you see the challenges their community faces. This offering from the Human Rights Campaign delivers reporting on issues like LGBTQ discrimination and transgender violence, the fight for equal treatment under the law, and instances of notable support for the LGBTQ community, and transgender people, in particular.
In short, it helps you understand the current state of affairs for the transgender community. If you find this resource useful, you may also enjoy additional resources provided by the Human Rights Campaign, especially those specifically geared toward parents, children, spouses, or other family members and friends of transgender people.
It may seem as though there are more LGBTQ people in the world these days, but the truth is that they simply aren’t hiding anymore, as younger generations become more open and accepting of gender fluidity than past generations. If you’re struggling to understand what gender, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation mean in this day and age, Gender Spectrum is an excellent resource to explore.
This organization is primarily geared toward creating a “gender-inclusive world for all children and youth,” so the website will be particularly useful for parents of transgender children or any parent that wants to discuss issues surrounding gender identity with their children in a positive and productive way. They offer many resources dedicated to helping parents and families understand and discuss gender-related topics.
Transgender Law Center
The fight for equality is ongoing, and you can play a role in promoting equality for your loved ones in the transgender community. Whether you want to learn more about current legal battles and legislation or you’re looking for a way to get involved in fighting inequality, this organization provides a place to get started.
The qualified and caring professionals at The Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery are proud to support the transgender community through top surgical procedures. Contact us at 410-308-4700 or online to schedule a consultation and learn more.