Next Transfamily Support Group of Santa Cruz County Meeting:
Sat., Aug. 5, 2017, 3:00 to 5:00 pm. Please call 831-818-2253 for information and location details.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Transfamily at Pride June 4, 2017

Pride Santa Cruz 2017 was June 4th, and Transfamily Support showed up in force! We had our largest contingent ever in the parade with not only us parents but several of our kids who showed up and marched with us. This was a huge step forward for these kids. We can all be so proud of them!

After the parade the festivities of the day continued with music and food and information booths. Transfamily had a booth which was very popular this year! Our outreach felt more productive than ever before. We passed out hundreds of cards, gave away hundreds of bracelets, and answered a barrage of inquiries from kids and parents about our services.

We shared our booth with The Intersex and Genderqueer Recognition Project (IGRP) whose mission is to help non-binary identifying people who want to change their document gender markers to allow for a third gender option complete the difficult gauntlet for doing so.

The IGRP's presence at our booth was quite popular especially with the youth at Pride. Having them there with us created more opportunities for conversations between us from Transfamily and some of the youth who shared their stories of parents not accepting them as they truly are.

Pride was a blast! The parade seemed to be the longest ever with Dykes (and allies) on Bikes, marching bands, cheer leaders, the library drill team, faith groups, and several groups from the Diversity Center including the Triangle Speakers of which I, as a parent,  am a panel speaker. After the parade there was a stage with great music and dancing. There were several food trucks; lots of information and sales booths; and a ton of freedom to be who you are!

                                                         Happy Pride!

                                            Video of Transfamily in the parade

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Transfamily Mom Attends CA Senate Hearing for SB-179

Photo op at the capitol with Senator Weiner who co-authored SB-179
with some of us from The Intersex and Genderqueer Recognition Project

On April 25th I took my second trip to Sacramento to help advance SB-179 through our California legislature to hopefully see it become law later this year. I wrote a previous blog on April 13th after our first trip to Sacramento April 4th detailing our adventure. I hope you'll enjoying reading it as well.

 SB-179 will provide 3 things:
* A third gender option "non-binary" on driver's licences.
* Will remove the current doctor letter requirement in order to receive a court order for legal name and/or gender change.
* Will allow minors 16+ to apply for a legal name and/or gender change with only one parent's approval. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Transfamily Mom at March For Science Santa Cruz

Today April 22th, 2017 was the National March for Science and I wanted my participation to talk about the science surrounding transgender identities. I made a dual sided sign which I proudly held high as I marched along with 4000 other attendees, a large crowd in our relatively small town of Santa Cruz.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Santa Cruz Transfamily Moms Lobby State Senate for SB-179

Dina Oskiera (mom), Sasha Buchert (Transgender Law Center), Andi Paradise (mom)

On April 4th , 2017 Dina Oskiera and I (Andi Paradise) traveled to Sacramento with Sara Kelly Keenan to the California state capitol to lobby senators on the Transportation and Housing Committee to vote in favor of state senate bill  SB-179. This bill was introduced by state senators Toni Atkins (D) and Scott Weiner (D) in support of the "T", "I", "Q" and "+" of the LGBTIQ+ community. You can view the bill here

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Thank you, Heidi Koronkowski

Heidi Koronkowski recently moved on from her primary leadership role in the Transfamily Support Group of Santa Cruz County. Since 2010 Heidi has been solidifying and building our group's mission to support trans youth by way of providing emotional and informational support to the parents and other family members of transgender children of every age. 

In a recent conversation with Heidi, she shared that of all the experiences she’s had leading the Transfamily Support Group, there was nothing more rewarding for her than providing that critical one-on-one support in person or on the phone taking calls any time of day or night (even in the bathtub) from local, national, and international family members in distress and needing support. Heidi never forgot the early days of her own child's transition, a time of isolation and fear, when she didn't have the answers she needed to support her child in the best way possible. Heidi’s motivation for everything connected with the Transfamily Support Group is made in an effort to spare as many families as possible from feeling that pain. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Clarifying Trans Civil Rights Current Events

The recent political events pertaining to trans civil rights have been difficult for many to follow.  I would like to offer these summary points to simplify what has happened and what it all means: 

A Mother's Response to Trans Phobia

In response to recent political events one of our members, a mother of a younger trans student, shares the following personal message.

“This bathroom thing.
For most of my friends, I know you understand. Here's the thing: 

Trans girls go to extreme lengths to make sure no one sees any private parts because they don't want to feel different from all the other girls. Same goes for trans boys. Forcing them to use a separate bathroom makes them feel like they're so different/wrong/shunned that they have to be separated from all the other kids, and it's a daily reminder to them and their peers that they're different, and different in a bad way. 

It also hurts the friends of these kids, who have no problem accepting their friend as one of the girls/boys and don't understand why adults are segregating them. (It's almost always the adults, not the kids, who have a problem with trans equality.) 

As for locker rooms, same deal. Most kids these days go to great lengths to not reveal anything when changing (ask your kids who are changing for gym in middle school). Stop sexualizing trans kids. They're not in the bathrooms or locker rooms looking to ogle bodies. (And some trans girls will be growing their own bona fide breasts and will be able to breastfeed if they choose, something most people don't know.) If that's what people were really afraid of, we'd be separating kids by sexual orientation, which of course is unthinkable. It's also unthinkable to force trans kids to use separate bathrooms. 
They're not harming anyone. Really, they're not. 

If you're an ally, please help educate those around you. It's our only way forward through all the ignorance.”