The research found that LGBT+ representation in the media makes people more receptive of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
RACINE — Elena Dominguez has a good job as an engineer and mechanical safety expert. Now in her 60s, Dominguez has three sons and two grandchildren, lives on the south side of Milwaukee, and is a board member for the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center.
She’s happy, and even happier to be living as herself.
What’s it like to raise a transgender child? In this Thrive exclusive, a father reflects on his experience.
For many young LGBTQ people, coming out to family and friends can be incredibly freeing and affirming. But that’s not the case for everyone, unfortunately. In fact, it’s estimated that about 40% of all homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, and that many of them became homeless because of family rejection based on their identity. For those who don’t have supportive families, seeking affirmation from others in the community can be so important. That’s exactly what one letter on Reddit seems to show.
“What an amazing feeling. It is the moment when someone addresses you with the correct pronoun, a ‘she’, or even a ‘miss’, or ‘ma’am’. It can be a ‘he’ or ‘sir’ for the guys or the more elusive ‘they’ for our non-binary friends. The feeling of elation we get from the validation.”
“For some, summer camp is a refuge from the rigors of daily life and school. For the estimated 1 in 500 significantly gender nonconforming or transgender children, escaping the trappings of everyday life and societal judgment can be life-changing.
That’s why the families of gender nonconforming youth joined forces nine years ago to create a summer camp-like experience where their loved ones could feel free to explore their authentic selves. Photographer Lindsay Morris, who first attended eight years ago with a loved one, documented this exploration over the course of several years. The result is a beautiful photo series titled ‘You Are You.'”
“Depends on the stranger, really.”
This has been my mantra for the past several weeks. I cannot even remember how many times I began writing this post just to end it without saving or publishing it. Somehow the words have never felt right.
Tonight I feel compelled to finish this, maybe then I can find my way forward.
I have been reading about self acceptance and I realize this is something I have yet to do. Truly, honestly, and completely. I also have come to understand that until I do so I can never move forward.
In many ways it is the same as my relationship with death. Once I loved it, embraced it, took it into my heart and refused to let it go. It was my trump card, my ‘get out of jail free’ card. As long as I held it, there was always a way out. An easier path to take. For so much of my life I kept it in play, an option as valid as any other. It wasn’t until one day I realized it was no longer an option that I have been able to move forward, even this small amount. I can’t tell you what changed or when, I just know one day it dawned on me I no longer felt the way I had.
The thing is, I have come to understand and accept death is no longer a viable option and this has forced me to face things I had fought so hard to avoid. Now I face another hurdle, another point of letting go. Of understanding there is no going back, no other option but forward.
As strange as it may sound, in this case it is accepting there is no going back to life as him. I know one would think this was a battle long over, but it isn’t. I have done nothing but avoid it, to dance around it, to put it off…
I can’t do it any more.
For the past three years I have been dancing on a wire, trying to maintain two lives. I told myself it was because it was easier for a number of reasons, work, my identification, insurance, and especially the family.
The truth is a little more selfish.
Deep inside I wanted to hang on the that persona. It was a safety rope, a security blanket. I could always step back into that old, familiar role if things became too hard… Or so I told myself.
The truth is, as long as I think going back is an option, I’m not going to be able to move forward. I know, have known, for a long time going that route is a death sentence and I don’t mean figuratively. The stress pushed me to the edge of having a stroke once and increased my chances of having a heart attack. As I have slowly worked my way toward acceptance, I have seen and felt my health improve. Unfortunately this hasn’t been enough to tip me over that final line.
I don’t know what I need to do or how to do it. I am trying to release the past and embrace the here and now. It is much more difficult than I ever thought.
“DETROIT — Roz Keith’s first inkling that her youngest child, the one who never liked frilly dresses or girly things, might be different came about eight years ago.”
(Via. USA TODAY)