Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Trans Youth Homes

It's no secret that I don't want to have children...yes, that might change in 5+ years but I'll still shank anyone who patronizes "oh once you get older blah blah blah." Many personal reasons that I won't describe here, but it honestly just doesn't make sense for me. Any care-taking calling that I might have would not involve bringing more people into the world.

There are homes, mostly in metropolitan areas, for transgender youth who have been kicked out by their families. Homelessness among trans youth, particularly of color, is horrifically common. Prostitution and/or drug dealing are generally the only means of survival...if you can call it that. Group homes provide shelter, rehab, connection to medical care, education, job training, etc. Generally, these homes are pretty strict regarding curfew, drugs, chores, etc. - you know, like a PARENT would be. Also importantly, the communities provide personal validation and assistance in passing (or not, depending on the individual).

The need for trans youth homes won't go away anytime soon and they're always short-staffed and short-changed. As someone with knowledge, experience, and understanding, I'd enthusiastically give my help to such a home.
I interned at Milwaukee's Alliance School - an alternative high school for LGBTQ kids. The work itself was ok, teaching is not my forte, but talking with the students was fantastic. Many of them came to the school mainly for the warm meal (don't get me wrong, they loved the school too - these were kids who had been bullied out of standard schools and appreciated having such a welcoming place) and when they went home at the end of classes, you never really knew whether you'd see them again or not.
To provide a place for kids like them to call home is what I want to do. Maybe that will involve a group home, maybe that will involve adoption, I don't know yet. This idea has been developing for years and it will probably continue to do so until I'm ready to take on a care-taking role.

Related reading: "Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers" by Cris Beam

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