Thank you! I’ll be happy to connect. I actually run one of them myself!
When I couldn’t find exactly what my child & I needed after about 7 years of searching, and then my state’s governing GOP became more and more corrupt and made the transphobic bathroom bill HB2 in 2016, I was pushed over the edge & into action.
I did some research and that same year founded a program called S.E.A.R.CH. (Safe Environment for the Acceptance of Rainbow CHildren), that serves as a playgroup for trans and gender nonconforming kids ages 12 and under, and discussion groups for parents.
I was ready to open up my home to strangers to make this happen, when fortunately, someone approached me to suggest reaching out to my local LGBT center. So I did that, and it was perfect timing because they had actually been receiving calls asking if they had anything like this for kids.
After a 3 month trial period with great success, we became an official program of my city’s LGBT center, which is a HUGE and thriving center with over 30 diverse, active weekly & monthly programs.
I also have a secret Facebook group for S.E.A.R.CH., for parents of TGNC kids of all ages and stages, and a few trans adults who provide incredible insight and cheer us on when we most need it. Because it’s secret, it’s not “searchable” on Facebook and we only get members through a recommendation process and word-of-mouth.
The reason it’s secret is to maintain everyone’s privacy, and we have a heavy vetting process to weed out trolls. At one point in time we were a closed group but we were getting too many potential trollish requests, and then there was a period of time where the larger Facebook support groups had some serious security breaches. That was about 2 1/2 years ago and we had made our group secret by then.
We only have about 315 members, but they’re from all over the country, with a few outside the country. We have several folks in very rural areas with no support anywhere except our little group.
I am also a member of a few of the other really big groups on Facebook that serve much the same purpose, and I’m so thankful they exist. Since my child is now 13 and on blockers, those groups have been extremely helpful with all the combined experience!
But I’m also glad to be able to offer an alternative for parents with younger kids who are either “stealth” or not “out.” And getting to meet in person every month w/our local members is a nice bonus!
Thanks for everything you do. I look forward to reading more of your work!