You Should Go: Trans/Parents and Our Children Workshop

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.

Vanessa is a queer feminist writer and photographer currently based in New York. She really misses Portland. Find her on twitter and instagram.

Vanessa has written 323 articles for us.


  1. On the other side of the country, I want to mention the Trans Parent’s Support Group at the San Francisco LGBTQ Center (at Market & Octavia) on the third Saturday of every month between 10 am – noon. It is, to my understanding, the only long running (over 6 years), continuous support group in the US for trans people who are parents. And yes, the group is very much open to prospective parents and the non-trans partners of trans people and people pretty much anywhere on the trans spectrum.This is sponsored by Our Family Coalition, the largest advocacy organization for LGBTQ parents (COLAGE is great too, but it’s more targeted towards the needs of kids rather than parents).

    Trans parents have a lot unique issues which cis persons (even queer cis persons) don’t have to deal with in terms of transition and its impact on family, issues with school environments, how intense job discrimination impacts families and parenting and what the parental role is after transition. Most importantly, there are a lot of trans people (particularly trans women) who are even prevented from having contact with their children, and this is a serious human rights issue which the larger community needs to start acknowledging and prioritizing to change.

    • thanks so much for the extra info, gina. i’m becoming more and more personally interested in resources for lgbtq parents, even though i am a longggg ways away from even thinking about starting my own family, and it’s excellent to learn about more resources for our community (though of course you’re right, trans* parents certainly have unique issues that queer cis parents probably never even think about, and i do hope that’s something the community at large starts paying closer attention to moving forward.)

  2. Reading that there are resources/things like this happening in the US is so awesome. Like, yay! People acknowledge we are like other people but still face obstacles particular to our identity. Love it. And thanks to Gina upthread now I know where to send my lovely local friends. Everybody wins.

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