Transgender issues have been in the news more than ever lately.
From the President’s ban on transgender service members to the ongoing epidemic of violence against transgender individuals, that news hasn’t been good. So here at Compass, we are working to increase our support of our community members who are transgender, in a number of ways.
In 2019, our staff members provided inclusion and diversity trainings to 33 businesses and groups — more than ever before! These trainings, with a focus on transgender issues, are presented by Compass staff who have lived experience being transgender.
Their personal stories of struggling with their identity and expression have a powerful impact on those who attend the training sessions. Time is set aside for the audience to ask questions at the end, and this always leads to frank and open conversations.
Conversations like this are the key to understanding and acceptance. 2019 audiences included Starbucks’ regional managers, The Junior League of Palm Beach County, and the probation officers of the Palm Beach County Department of Juvenile Justice. We are already scheduling trainings for 2020! For information about scheduling a diversity and inclusion training for your workplace or organization, contact .
Also in 2019, two staff members responded to community requests, and started a social-support group for transgender children ages 3-11 and their families. This group, called Authentically YOUth, began meeting on a monthly basis in September, and already a core group of four to five families who attend each month.
The group has become cohesive very quickly, and is already planning cookouts and outings together. For information about Authentically YOUth, contact .
But that’s not all! 2019 also saw Compass’ first transgender seminar, in which three experts presented on different aspects of health for transgender individuals, including mental health, gynecological health, and plastic surgery. More than a hundred people turned out for this free, informative event.
On Jan. 25 we will be presenting another seminar, this time with a panel of experts speaking on legal issues that affect transgender people, from official name changes to housing discrimination to rights for students.
More of these seminars will be held, on various topics, throughout the year. All are free and open to the public. For information about the transgender seminars, contact
In 2019, a Transgender Advisory Committee was formed to help guide our programming in ways most relevant to the community. And from that committee came a suggestion for a Young Adult Trans and Non-Binary social-support group that meets on Friday nights from 6-8 p.m. For information about the young adult trans and binary group, contact .
To say we are excited about where we are headed with trans programming is an understatement, and we welcome you all to be a part of it!