In light of the recent article published in The Santa Barbara Independent regarding transgender teens, the Santa Barbara Transgender Advocacy Network (sbtan.org) would like to provide some clarification and resources for our local families of transgender youth, and to all those who are allies to our local transyouth and adult transgender community.
If you are the parent or caregiver of a transgender or gender creative child, transgender or non-binary teen, or trans or non-binary young adult, we have a support group for you and supportive spaces for your children. Please come meet other supportive families that share their experience, strength, and hope around the very unique experience of raising a happy, healthy transgender child or youth. We have many resources — referrals for doctors and mental-health clinicians, a lending library for families, youth art programs, a playgroup for the children, a clothing closet for all ages, and a mentoring program for teens and young adults. Wherever you are on the journey of understanding and acceptance, and wherever your child is on the spectrum of gender identity and expression, you are welcome.
If you are seeking information regarding hormone replacement therapy for transgender adolescents, or expert advice regarding younger transgender or gender creative children, please visit the website for the Center for Transyouth Health and Development, located at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles: chla.org/the-center-transyouth-health-and-development.
Please continue to be safe and well educated, and learn about the most up-to-date research regarding transgender youth and how to best support these children and teens. Access to supportive spaces and expertly informed providers is crucial to the mental health, well-being, and safety of our transyouth. Please find support for your child, support for yourself as parents and caregivers and find providers who are experts in the field regarding social transitions and hormones.
There is a thriving and loving community of transgender people and their families here in Santa Barbara to help. We want our transgender youth and their families to know — you are important and valued. You are not alone!
For more information, additional reading material, frequently asked questions, supportive spaces and other supportive local agencies, and trans positive medical and mental health providers, visit the Santa Barbara Transgender Advocacy Network — SBTAN — at sbtan.org.
Rachel Gloger is executive director of Santa Barbara Transgender Advocacy Network.