The Imperial Valley LGBT Resource Center in El Centro recently announced it has started offering a youth transgender virtual social and support group meeting for those ages 12 to 17 at 3:30 p.m. Thursdays, according to a press release from the resource center.
A national survey by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network revealed some 75 percent of transgender youths do not feel safe in school and, therefore, were more likely to be absent, causing their GPAs to suffer, according to the IV LGBT Resource Center. Not only are they not safe in school, many of them face challenges at home, in foster care, and in the juvenile justice system, the release states.
Although there are anti-discrimination laws and policies in place to help the transgender and gender non-conforming population, “the work is not complete until their stories are heard, and bigotry is put to rest,” according to the resource center’s press release.
Those who would like to participate in the support group will have a space to share their challenges, ask questions, encourage one another, and make friends. Sometimes guest speakers who understand the struggle will be invited to inspire the group. By invitation only, parents and guardians will be allowed to visit and participate.
This group is in addition to the trans support group offered on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. in Spanish and at 3 p.m. in English, where most participants in these groups are adults.
Anyone wanting to participate in these support groups can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 760-592-4066 to receive a link. The link is for GoToMeeting video conferencing and can easily connect them to the group.