Elijah C. Nealy is a licensed clinical social worker, a transgender man, a dad and, lucky for all you New York City dwelling LGBTQ parents and parents-to-be, he's offering a free workshop on parenting as a transgender or genderqueer parent this evening! Trans/Parents and Our Children takes place at 6:30pm on Tuesday, March 12th, at the Institute for Human Identity in Chelsea, Manhattan.
The world is definitely moving forward when it comes to the whole "treating LGBTQ humans like humans" situation, but like it or not we have to admit that parenting as an LGBTQ individual can be tougher at times than it would be for our heterosexual peers. I'm not a parent myself — I'm just a queer twentysomething wannabe someday mama — but I do work full-time at a [not-queer] parenting magazine, and from what I've been told, parenting is both a joy and a challenge. Parenting as a queer and/or trans* person carries its own challenges, I can say with certainty that connecting with other humans who are going through similar life stuff is super important. That's where family Q workshops come in!
What's family Q? Great question.
family Q [is] a ground-breaking support program of free workshops and counseling for LGBTQ parents and prospective parents. While LGBTQ persons now more freely contemplate marriage and family life, they still face more difficult challenges than their straight counterparts. The family Q workshops alert the participants to the emotional issues they and their children will face and gives them the insights and tools needed for productive family-building.
family Q grows out of the earlier and ongoing efforts of such organizations as the LGBT Center's Center Kids, COLAGE, and the Family Equality Council [to fulfill] the unmet needs of LGBTQ folks in the parenting realm by providing a safe, congenial ground to explore difficult emotional issues. The workshops are led by esteemed experts in the field, most of whom combine their expertise with their own practical experience of being parents themselves.
Previous family Q workshops have included subjects such as "What to Expect When You Are a Queer Family: Dealing with Children's Developmental Issues," "When Parents Come Out of the Closet," "Interracial LGBTQ Families: The Challenges Ahead" and "When Q Families Break Up." family Q workshops began in October 2008 and are scheduled from October to May through 2014.
The Institute for Human Identity (IHI) is New York's #1 LGBTQ affirmative psychotherapy and training center and its goal is to "foster personal growth, free of traditional gender sexual orientation or cultural bias." Anyone who attends a family Q workshop at IHI is eligible for two free follow-up family therapy counseling sessions. After those two sessions additional counseling is available for a sliding scale fee.
Trans/Parents and Our Children takes place at 6:30pm on Tuesday, March 12th, at the Institute for Human Identity, 322 Eighth Ave., Suite 802 in New York. The workshop is 100% free but reservations are required. Email ihicenter [at] gmail [dot] com or call 212-243-2830 to reserve your spot. All workshop attendees are eligible for two free counseling sessions at IHI.