Transgender Support Group says don’t let the unfamiliar scare you

Transgender Support Group says don’t let the unfamiliar scare you

St. Stephen’s, Hurst, is hosting a monthly Transgender Support Group on the last Sunday of each month. The next meeting is at 3 pm Sunday, June 24, Village Plaza Shopping Center, 463 W. Harwood Road, Hurst.

The meetings are held in a safe comfortable environment so transgender issues can be discussed openly. Transgender individuals are invited to attend along with family members and friends.

While transgender people represent a tiny segment of the population, they and the entire LGBTQ community are in the news almost daily. Most are not happy stories. Last year, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, a small, neighborhood church where all are welcome, sponsored a community-wide event, “Try Being Me: I’m your LGBTQ neighbor.”

The program featured a panel with a lesbian Latina military veteran, the father of a gay child, a gay minister, and a transgender man. Common pleas from attendees included “I need a friend who will listen to my spiritual questions; I need resources to help with my transition; I don’t understand what my teen is telling me.”

St. Stephen’s congregation responded with an idea for a forum of friends who could help with these questions and others being asked by transgender people, their families, and friends.

The news release stated, “When we encounter the unfamiliar, it makes us uncomfortable. Meeting a person whose gender identity or sexual orientation is unclear can be unsettling. When you learn that someone you know as male or female was not born with that same sexual identity, it can be confusing, but transgender people are just people. All humans long for love, acceptance, trust, and respect. Taking time to get to know a person’s hopes, dreams, and values reduces fear and helps find commonality. Meeting others who are different from us in a safe, nonjudgmental small group is the perfect place to explore our feelings and those of others we perceive to be different from ourselves,”

Lisa Daly, one of the organizers and a PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) leader for more than ten years says, “We invite anyone who is transgender or has a trans family member or friend. Come, ask questions and hear from real people with personal experiences. We welcome, love, and will support you and your family in any way we can. There are no fees to participate and no professional counseling offered. We will share resources, offer spiritual support, and be a friend.”