I hear something very similar from parents and other loved ones of transgender and nonbinary people who come into my office, “I can’t use they/them pronouns, it isn’t how I was taught and I can’t wrap my mind around it.”
Have you ever said or thought anything similar?
If so, it’s okay, you aren’t the first or last person to do so.
I’m here to say with the utmost confidence that even though it can be difficult, you already use the singular they/them language.
Have you seen this adorable new short film called, "In a Heartbeat,", yet? If you haven't take a look below. Once I saw it I knew I had to post it on my blog.
Media representation is few and far between for the LGBTQA+ community that when something, especially a cartoon, is released it is important that it is seen.
Imagine growing up and not seeing yourself reflected in movies, TV shows, books, and music. Imagine growing up an only seeing yourself. Lack of diversity in media can lead to feelings of isolation and being "less than." On the flip side only seeing yourself reflected can lead to feelings of superiority and privilege.
Locating a gender therapist in an ocean of psychotherapist’s can be tricky. Knowing what to look for and how to determine fit can also be tricky. Below I have 3 tips (and a bonus tips for parents) on finding a gender therapist.
Using your “Google Foo” skills can come in handy. Below I will review some great resources to use when searching for a gender therapist. When you search a phrase such as, “gender therapists austin,” or “transgender counseling austin,” more than likely the first couple of results will be from Psychology Today.
Psychology Today is a great tool to use for locating psychotherapists in your area. When searching Psychology Today begin by using your zip code or city.
Another local, and amazing, Gender Therapist, Lindsay Legé has created an amazing podcast which focuses on all things transgender, genderqueer, non-binary, intersex, and some things sexuality!
I was asked by Lindsay to be interviewed for the podcast which I did, even though I was very nervous. You would think that speaking in a microphone would be more comfortable for me than speaking in front of people, nope, not the case for little old me.
"Gender Born, Gender Made," by Dr. Diane Ehrensaft is an amazing resource for anyone wishing to expand their knowledge on gender and children. I recommend this book to all of my client's parents who bring in their children for "gender issues."
Gender can be scary and complex, especially when you're the parent and you just want what is best for your child. Allowing your child to explore and express their gender is healthy and helpful in their development.
I encourage everyone to read this wonderful book and her follow-up, "The Gender Creative Child."
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you."
I love this quote from Maya Angelou. Stories have power and everyone has a story to tell. As humans we crave to share parts of our life with each other and when we can't we feel silenced and often forgotten about. This is when an agony begins to shape inside.
One thing I have all my transgender, gender non-binary, LGBQ+, and youth clients do is journal, blog, vlog, letter writing, or something of this variation. I always start out by asking them to write to themselves. If they are youth I have them write to their future selves. If they are a young adult or an adult I have them write to their past and future selves.
Gender is a hot topic today and I get a lot of parents asking me how they should go about letting their child explore their gender. My answer is always the same: children are already exploring gender and every other aspect of their existence. As the adults in their lives we play an influential part in encouraging, discouraging, or destroying this natural exploration.
This blog isn’t dedicated only to parents with transgender and gender non-binary children. This blog is for all parents because all children explore their gender.
I promise that these four steps are not difficult and that they can be applied to many different areas of parenting. Take a moment to read this blog and then I encourage you sit with your thoughts and feelings.
I've spoken with many of my clients and their parents since the election on Tuesday. Many of them share common thoughts and feelings concerning the results and what they mean for the future. I have sat and processed with them and I have found myself repeating the same thing to many of them,
"Like many others you feel scared and that's okay, but it is very important that you always remember that you are strong, you are worthy, and you are not alone."
The term catches your attention doesn’t it? Maybe it causes you to start thinking about what it could mean. Or maybe it makes you laugh or roll your eyes. I first encountered this term while reading Dr. Diane Ehrensaft’s book, “The Gender Creative Child: Pathways For Nurturing And Supporting Children Who Live Outside Gender Boxes.”
Dr. Ehrensaft defines Gender Ghost as “internalized thoughts, attitudes, feelings, beliefs, and experiences that draw us toward culturally defined binary gender boxes and make us anxious when we or anyone else strays from them.”
I remember one of my first clients like I saw them yesterday. They were 18 years old and seemed extremely well rounded. The first thing this client said to me during our initial session was, “my parents don’t talk to me anymore because I’m broken. My friend’s mom is paying for me to come to counseling.”
Of course my first thought and questions were what the client believed was wrong with them. They told me that their parents were upset because they wouldn’t act like their son, or how they thought their son should act.
My client liked to swim, go to the gym, draw, design clothes, paint their fingernails in beautiful designs, read, and do many other things. Their parents were ok with the sport and the fitness but nothing else.
They didn’t Identify as a boy or as a girl, in their words, “I don’t know, I just want to be me, I don’t know what to do.” They reported feelings of stress, isolation, and depression.
So, I decided right then and there. I was going to allow all my clients to explore their identity and expression when they were with me in session.
About my Blog
I love providing people with information. So in my blog you will find posts on topics such as: community resources, media suggestions, parenting questions, and informational posts.