The People with Trans Parents (PTP)?Leadership?Team was?created to elevate the voices and leadership of people within our community who have one or more trans or genderqueer parent(s). This group of amazing individuals offer support, education at National conferences, program and resource development and act as media representatives. Please read below about their amazing stories.
Stacey Washington?/ Ann Arbor, MI
I am a 53 year old African American woman born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. ?I am a practicing attorney and currently live in the Ann Arbor area. ?I have a daughter in college. ?When I was 4 years old, my mother came home dressed as a man and told my brother and me we could no longer call her “mama.” ?My questions were barely answered as I grew older but she was certain that she identified as male since the age of five. ?I was taught to keep it a secret because “others would judge me.” ?I’ve always thought it was a secret because she was afraid of being outed. ?It was confusing to say the least. ?I have spent most of my life trying to understand what happened and why I no longer have a mother. ?Since I never knew my father, I have always felt abandoned especially at times where a parent would be greatly needed and appreciated. ?I stopped referring to my parent as “he” in my early 20’s. ?I had a strong need to be authentic and true to myself especially since I was never given an adequate explanation and didn’t choose to lose my mother. ?After my parent began to display signs of mental illness and violent tendencies, I cut off all contact more than 20 years ago. ?I don’t have many answers but I do know how it feels to suddenly be thrust into this situation and to feel alone. ?I hope I can help others by listening and sharing my own experiences.
Gam /?St. Louis, MO
My name is Gam and I am 16 and live in St. Louis, MO. My dad became a woman, Sandy, when I was 6, although when she told me that she was changing her gender, it didn’t entirely come as a surprise. Though it was challenging for my family at first, Sandy and I are very close and spend a lot of time together traveling, hiking, and learning French! Her love of learning and traveling has been an inspiration to me . . . and she has taught me that anything is possible.? I am also fortunate to have a mom and a step-dad who are accepting of Sandy, involving her in holidays and other events that are important to me.? I love to talk with people, and I strive to connect with, help, and learn from other PTPs in situations similar to mine.
Jackie Tabor / Indianapolis, IN
My name is Jackie. I?m in my late 20s, finishing my Ph.D. in Sociology at Indiana University. I?m so happy to be serving on the PTP Leadership Team! My biological father began transitioning to a woman when I was four, and for a long time, my siblings and I felt like we were the only ones in the world with a transgender parent. There were few resources for LGBT families at the time, and our conservative environment meant that we kept my dad?s identity as a family secret. It could be very isolating.
Up until I discovered COLAGE, I had never met other people with transgender parents. Even though my dad transitioned long ago, it feels good to be part of community of similar others whose experiences validate my own. Most importantly, for me, is the opportunity to be a source of support for others whose parents are newly transitioning.
This desire led me to the subject of my Doctoral Dissertation, which focuses on the perspectives of those who have a transgender parent. When a parent transitions, the whole family does, and understanding how PTPs experience a parent?s transition (with the unique benefits and challenges that come along with that) can guide us in shaping resources for the next generation of transgender families.?Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions, comments, suggestions, or just to say hi!
Kellie Olsdatter?/?Western Michigan and Minnesota Metro
I am a twenty something currently pursuing social justice as a career while working towards attaining a degree in Psychology with a Women Gender Sexuality Concentration and Anthropology minor. At the tender age of nine it dawned on me that my mother was not really a woman but rather a man years before my parent came out. I was the first one my mom came out to five years later and ended up helping advocate for him within the family. It wasn?t until college that I started to understand how deeply his transition effected me and sought out a safe space for children with transgender parents, which is how I found COLAGE and the PTP Facebook group. COLAGE and the PTP group has really acted as an emotional home for me and helps me deal with the everyday challenges of having a transgender parent. What matters most to me though is helping others come to terms with their parents transition and making the outside world a safer place for trans families. Feel free to contact me with questions/comments/anything related to trans families or being the child of a transgender parent.
Danielle Laferriere /?Massachusetts
My name is Danielle, I’m 30 years old & I live in Western Massachusetts. ?I work at Amherst College where I am an active supporter of our Queer Resource Center and serve as chair of our Employee Council. My parent began her transition when I was 17, and at the time there were very few resources available for PTP’s. It was a very isolating period for both my sister and me, even though we live in a few LGBTQ friendly area, most folks just didn’t have much knowledge of the transgender community and support systems were not readily available. About 3 years ago, I discovered Colage and the PTP group while doing an Internet search. I instantly felt welcomed and like a weight was lifted off my shoulders, ?I finally had found a group who understood my experiences of being a PTP. I am so excited to be a part of the PTP leadership team, and look forward to many awesome things to come. If you ever have any questions, comments, or just want to talk about being a PTP, please don’t hesitate to email me.
Megan Modes/?Southern California