Resources For Transgender Youth and Their Families

Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine

Resources For Transgender Youth and Their Families

The Pediatric and Adolescent Transgender Health (PATH) Clinic in Madison, Wisconsin provides education about medical care options for gender-variant children and adolescents.

School-Related Resources

Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools (GSAFE): Committed to safe middle schools and high schools for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youths and all students. GSAFE provides leadership opportunities for students involved in a GSA or similar club at their school and hosts several activities and leadership conferences for students each year. GSAFE also provides training and online resources for public and private schools in south central Wisconsin.

Madison Metropolitan School District LGBTQ Resources: Services provided include participation in crisis response/intervention when requested, referral of students and families to appropriate community resources, and availability to individual GLBTQ students at each school. Also coordinates a group for parents of transgender children and adolescents.

UW-Madison LGBT Campus Center: Information and resources for transgender students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Includes information on name change in the UW system, health insurance coverage of transition, and further resources.

Welcoming Schools: Welcoming Schools offers professional development tools, lessons aligned with the Common Core State Standards, and many additional resources for elementary schools on embracing family diversity, avoiding gender stereotyping and affirming gender, and ending bullying and name-calling.

GSA Network: Gay-Straight Alliance Network is a national youth leadership organization that connects school-based Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) to each other and community resources through peer support, leadership development, and training.

Activities and Support for Transgender Youth and Families

Proud Theater: Middle and high school-aged youth come together each week to create theatrical vignettes and performance pieces, inspired in part by their own experiences as members of the LGBTQ community; youth with LGBTQ parents, family members, and friends; or those who are allies of LGBTQ persons.

OutReach: South Central Wisconsin’s LGBT Community Center: Outreach has community space as well as a LGBT library and switchboard to help connect LGBT persons with services (including medical and legal services) as well as local events and other information. OutReach has a presence in Rock County as well as a program for 18- to 24-year-olds called “OutThere.” Both OutReach Rock County and OutThere have pages on Facebook.

TransParent: Monthly support meeting for parents of transgender youth. Open to families in the Madison area (do not need to be in MMSD). Youth often meet separately in a group at the same time.

Transparent Families of Dodge County: E-mail or on Facebook

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) – Madison: PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through support, to cope with an adverse society, education, and advocacy to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. Monthly meetings (September through May) include an educational topic and a support session.

FORGE (Milwaukee): An organization whose mission is to support, educate and advocate for the rights and lives of transgender individuals and SOFFAs (Significant Others, Friends, Family, and Allies). FORGE offers monthly social support groups as well as resources for transgender persons who are survivors of violence. They also host a list of therapists and physicians throughout the mid-west who are accustomed to working with transgender persons on their website.

Howard Brown Health Center (Chicago): One of the nation’s (LGBT) organizations. The agency serves adults and youth in its diverse health and social service delivery system focused around seven major programmatic divisions: primary medical care, behavioral health, research, HIV/STD prevention, youth services, elder services, and community initiatives. HBHC coordinates support groups for transgender youth and has information about transitioning and hormone therapy on their website.

Gender and Sex Development Program, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago: Lurie Children's provides medical consultation, medical intervention (cross-sex and pubertal delaying hormones) and health research with gender non-conforming youth across the developmental spectrum of pediatrics and adolescence. In 2013, they expanded our program to include mental health services, non-clinical support services and capacity building with other youth-serving organizations.

Camp Ten Trees: Camp Ten Trees is a nonprofit organization located in Washington state with yearly summer camp sessions -- one week for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth and their allies and another week for children/youth of LGBTQ or non-traditional families. Camp Ten Trees is a place for diverse youth who share common experiences to come together and form a community that is truly their own.

Activities and Support for Transgender Youth and Families

Fenway Health HelpLines and Listening Lines: Fenway Health’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Helpline and The Peer Listening Line are anonymous and confidential phone lines that offer gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender adults and youths a “safe place” to call for information, referrals, and support. They also offer an online chat option.

Gender Spectrum Call-in Parent Support Groups: Monthly call-in support group for adults raising gender nonconforming and transgender children. Meetings occur from 5-7pm (PST) on the last Wednesday of each month and are free of charge. Call or email ahead of time for more information or to sign up.

Information and Additional Resources

Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Transgender Resources: List of resources for transgender persons.

Gender Spectrum: An organization that provides education, training, and support to help to create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for all children and teens. Gender Spectrum hosts a conference for parents and children and their website provides basic information about gender and challenges encountered by families of gender-variant children.

UCSF Center for Excellence for Transgender Health: Information and resources about transgender health.

World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH): Information and resources about transgender health, including guidelines and recommendations.

Books for Parents

  • The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals, by Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper
  • Transitions of the Heart: Stories of Love, Struggle and Acceptance by Mothers of Transgender and Gender Variant Children, by Rachel Pepper
  • Transgender Rights, edited by Paisley Currah, Richard M. Jung, and Shannon Price Minter
  • The Transgender Teen, by Stephanie Brill 
  • Booklist:

Books for Transgender Children (Pre-K and Elementary School)

Books for Transgender Pre-teens and Teens

Books for Transgender Teens

In the Media

  • "Becoming Me:" In this Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) documentary, eight families with transgender and gender non-conforming children ranging in ages from 5 to 25 share their stories. With the healthy development of their children at stake, parents must confront binary perceptions of gender, widespread transphobia and controversial parenting decisions.
  • Growing Up Trans: A PBS Frontline special that provides an intimate look at the struggles and choices facing transgender kids and their families.
  • "Two Families Grapple with Son’s Gender Identity" (NPR): Doctors Ken Zucker and Diane Ehrensaft have different approaches to treating kids who identify themselves more with the opposite sex.
  • "Parents Consider Treatment to Delay Son’s Puberty" (NPR): Doctors Norman Spack and Polly Carmicheal on medical treatment for trans youth
  • "Transgender Kids" NPR Forum with Michael Krasny: Diane Ehrensaft, a developmental and clinical psychologist working with transgender families; Joel Baum, director of education and training for Gender Spectrum; and Rachel Beckert, mother of a transgender 7-year-old discuss the experience of being the parents of a transgender child.