coming out, TG Innerselves, transition, transgender, trans, community organization, preferred name, preferred pronouns, gender identity, gender expression, support, advocacy
Tara: What do you think helped those teachers at Chase’s school to be prepared to give him that kind of support?
Syn: There was a very open door between me and the school and me, Rita, and Vincent, that they could contact whoever they needed to pull them back in, and we kept checking in.
Syn: So that, you know, weekly I would--well, I was checking with Chase all the time. But on a pretty regular basis for the first couple of months, we would meet up again and see how it was going.
Syn: Um, so I think that helped a lot, because they weren’t just trying to figure out how to do it, they were being told, “Hey, do it this way, this way, and this way.” Like, we figured it out with them. We made a plan.
Syn: So, it wasn’t, yeah, it wasn’t something they had to do by themselves.
Tara: So, the, uh...a powerful model is teachers working with parents who understand their kids the most and who have ideas about what their kids need, uh, and then working together to ensure that things go smoothly.
Syn: Yeah, I would say that’s probably about half of it. The other have would be TG. So TG Innerselves is a Sudbury-based trans organization. So, originally, back when we got involved it was still volunteer-run. We actually...they just got funding in March. So, they were volunteer-run. This was three trans people and a person who had been involved in the trans community as an ally and a partner of somebody who was trans prior, um, and they started this whole thing. So they’re, they did a police training video with the police here in Sudbury. They’ve done a lot of work, uh, advocacy-wise, and they would run free events for the public, like, the movie screening we went to with Chase for the first time.
Syn: I’m now working direct client services with TG Innerselves instead of nursing.
Tara: How does that feel?
Syn: Uh, it’s very rewarding.
Syn: Um, but scary at the same time because I don’t have,I have a nursing background, but I don’t have social work, so I’m, I’m doing everything that’s social work without the social work training. So, there’s a lot of self-learning I guess.
Syn: But it’s really rewarding to be able to help families that are going through the same kind of struggles as we did when we came out. And, that’s pretty much the reason why I’m involved with TG, it’s because it’s a very personal, I guess, very personal. How would you say that? It’s not a struggle, it’s like… it’s really close to my heart because it’s not only part of my life, so I can really identify with people when they are coming out...are going through, but it’s also my son’s life. So, when parents come to us and they don’t know what to do, to be able to be that person that helps them through that is really...it’s really rewarding and really powerful, and there’s a lot of, um, yeah, I don’t know. You feel like you’re making a difference, I guess is what it comes down to.