TransParent Organization Supports Families of Transgender Children


Credit to Photo submitted by Kim Hutton

TransParent exhibited and presented at the Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference, the largest transgender health conference in the world. This free conference offers three full days of workshops and activities focused on the health and well-being of transgender people and their communities.

By Ray Hathcock

More people around the world are becoming accepting of transgender people. A transgender (trans) person is described as a person who does not identify with their birth sex. 

“I remember being four years old, and I have an older brother,” Daniel Hume, a trans FHN graduate said. “I remember that he was allowed to run around without a shirt on and I wasn’t, but in my mind I saw us as the same, but I just didn’t have the language to understand. It wasn’t until probably junior year when I kind of was [realizing] what is going on here.”

TransParent is a national non-profit organization that started in St. Louis in 2005, and now has 25 chapters (places in which the meetings are held). Since there have been so many places, this resource has aided people like Polly Mae Phillips, a mother of a trans child.

“We could tell that this was something very emotional and something very real,” Phillips said. “And [his dad and I] made sure to stop and listen to that. To start educating ourselves to help him understand. We felt like we were doing the right thing. But sometimes, it’s nice to just hear someone else. It was nice to finally fall into a group of people.”

A huge struggle with trans people is that families may not be understanding of them. To spread more awareness to parents, TransParent has made a safe space to help out any confused or concerned parents. 

“TransParent is a national support group for parents who are raising a transgender, or what I call gender independent child of any age,” Kim Hutton, founder of TransParent, said. “When you come into the meeting everybody sits down in a typical circle, just like what you would imagine in a support group meeting. There is a leader at the meeting who reads our confidentiality statement to ensure that the people that are in the meeting know that they’re safe and that they can say whatever they need to say. We’re all at different places in our journey with our children.”

Reasons why many parents struggle with accepting their trans child is because they may be misinformed, they’re confused, or they may even worry about how their child is going to live their life.

“The binary gender model is so ingrained in us as a parent, you start just planning out all these big happy moments that you imagine will come,” Hutton said. “It’s a problem, we have this binary gender model. We know that it’s not correct, it’s broken. I call it the ‘broken gender model’ because gender really is a spectrum.”

On the TransParent website, there are resources for chapters, trans youth healthcare, and youth visibility. This organization helps parents and their children alike. 

“To parents in general who might be going through a struggle with their kids or have questions about their own kids, I think really that our biggest act of love that we can give them is to listen to them,” Phillips said.