Erasing the Stigma Surrounding Transgender Identities

with Roz Gould Keith

When originally confronted with the news that her daughter was going to transition, Roz admits she was clueless about what this meant for her child. The word transgender wasn’t even part of her vocabulary. What she did know was this was not a phase. Now, as her son, Hunter was going through something really big that would change the course of his life, and she was going to do everything she could to help him. That’s when Roz started her own research to find resources for Hunter and was approached to share her story.

The floodgates opened. Parents came out of the woodwork to talk; they felt their children were all alone in this journey, and they had nowhere and no one to turn to for advice until Roz unlocked a huge door of opportunities for these kids.

Telling the world you have a different gender identity than the one assigned at birth can seem an impossible task.

In this Smart Sex, Smart Love podcast, Joe Kort, PhD, psychotherapist, certified sex therapist and clinical director of The Center for Relationship and Sexual Health in Royal Oak, Michigan, talks with Roz Gould Keith about her journey as the parent of a transgender child, which led to the beginnings of Stand with Trans, a federally approved, not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing programs, educational events and support groups to serve transgender youth. As Executive Director and Founder of Stand with Trans, Roz hopes to provide the tools and resources transgender youth need so they will be empowered, supported and validated as they transition to their authentic life.

Just because you are immersed in this life as a transgender parent, doesn’t mean you are knowledgeable, and Roz has been determined to provide education so trans identities are normalized. She also wants to create more positive awareness around transgender youth. Roz reports that the rate of suicide for transgender youth who have no parental support is alarmingly high. It is critical that trans youth have at least one supportive adult in their life. These kids need to be validated, they need to feel loved, they need support and resources. That is why Stand with Trans was established. The organization is an accepting, supportive place for youth and families to connect and learn from each other.