NEXT SANTA CRUZ MEETING:

Our next TransFamilies of Santa Cruz meeting is Sat., Nov. 4, 2017, from 3-5 pm in Santa Cruz. Please call 831-818-2253 for information and location details. As always, if you have questions or concerns that need more immediate attention before our next meeting, call us at 831-818-2253 or 831-251-7749 or email: TransFamiliesofSantaCruz@gmail.com

Thursday, September 28, 2017

TransFamily Support Group of Santa Cruz County is offering a workshop for parents and caretakers of gender expansive children of any age:

Working with Grief 
to
Create Space for the Joy of Change 

"Grief is an emotional, physical, and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve." -Earl Grollman

Date: December 2, 2017
Time: 3 to 5 pm
Location: TBA
Order your tickets through Eventbrite.

Grief occurs when an individual responds to any kind of loss, whether it be unmet expectations, a missed job opportunity or a change in relationship status. Change, however big or small, often elicits grief - we mourn the loss and welcome the new. Families supporting gender-expansive children of any age often experience an incredible amount of change in a variety of unique forms. This change can look like anything from different name and gender markers, to shifting family dynamics, to a shift in how a parent views his child's future. This workshop is designed specifically to create space for family members to share their stories and to explore the grief that may arise as they work to support their gender-expansive child. Participants will leave the workshop with a wealth of resources and tools to support them in processing their personal experience of grief.

Ben Geilhufe, MA, LPCC is a licensed therapist, trainer, and consultant. He is the co-founder and Director of Train the Gap, a group of mental health and medical professionals who provide gender specialist clinical training for a variety of organizations. He is on the Leadership Team of the Gender Specialist Clinical Team of the Central Coast, and is an active contributor to Mind the Gap, the Bay Area gender specialist team. He has contributed to policy reform for higher education institutions, non-profit organizations, school systems, and larger corporations around gender identity, awareness, and inclusivity.

Micah Hammond received a masters in Counseling Psychology from Naropa University in 2013. She is the Assistant Clinical Director at The Lotus Collaborative providing counseling for people with eating disorders. Micah is an Ally and has presented at conferences and trained professionals on supporting gender expansive identities in treatment settings. 



Things to Know:
Ben Geilhufe presented this workshop for TransFamily Support Group members in 2015. It was a significant support resource for those who attended. We are so pleased to offer this workshop once again, and our only regret is that we did not do it sooner. Do not miss this opportunity; register today. Keep in mind, this event is not for our gender diverse children.  It is for parents, grandparents, adult siblings (18+), and other caregivers of gender diverse children of any age.

$15 for one parent/caregiver ($16.82 with Eventbrite fee)
$25 for two parents/caregivers ($27.37 with Eventbrite fee)

Our workshop presenter and facilitator, Ben Geilhufe, does not want the cost of the workshop to inhibit anyone from accessing this important source of parent support. If the cost of attendance creates a hardship, please use the scholarship option at check out. For those able to support the scholarship program, a donation option will be available during check out as well.


Please order your tickets through Eventbrite as soon as possible, so we can determine the appropriate venue size.  We will email you the final location once it is determined.

Feel free to call or email with any questions.

Warm regards,
Dina Oskiera
831-818-2253
TransFamiliesofSantaCruz@gmail.com
                                                                          

Saturday, September 16, 2017

CA has Sent New Gender Bill to Gov. Brown. Urge Him to Sign!

This is super important!
SB-179 the CA Gender Recognition Act Sept. 14th passed both houses in CA legislature and is now in the final stretch and needs your help by calling or emailing Governor Brown to urge him to sign SB-179 which he must do by Oct 15! Call him at 916-445-2841 or email directly from his website at email Governor Brown Here where there is an easy drop down menu and SB-179 is on it near the bottom. He has not indicated yet if he will sign it or not so everyone of us are needed to urge him to sign this!!

What is SB-179? 
It is a bill that Sept. 14th  finally passed the CA legislature authored by Senators Wiener and Atkins and co sponsored by our own Mark Stone and Equality CA and the Transgender Law Center. SB-179 changes 3 things:
* creates a 3rd nonbinary gender option on all CA documents including drivers licence and birth certificate.
* removes the current requirement for anyone changing gender and name to have a court appearance with a judge, it will become easy paper filing only.
* removes the current requirement for minors 16+ seeking gender and name change to have both parents agree and sign, one parent will be sufficient.

If signed by Gov Brown by Oct 15 2017 it will become law Jan 2019

I've been traveling multiple times to Sacramento to lobby for SB-179 accompanied by our own Dina Oskiera and Sara Kelly Keenan who is a SC intersex activist who has received a lot of press internationally for being the first person in CA to get her ID changed to non binary through a court fight and also the first person in the US to change her birth certificate to Intersex. ( she uses she/her pronouns and identifies as non binary) 
SB-179 will make it so in CA there will be a third gender option box to check that might say "other" next to male and female. We have been lobbying the legislature along with the Intersex and Genderqueer Recognition Project to testify before several committees both in the Senate and Assembly to fight for passage and after clearing 6 committe votes and then the entire Senate and Assembly we are now at the final hurdle, Gov. Browns signature!

Here is a great news piece from Buzzfeed that came out Sept. 14th about this (and features Sara Kelly Keenan)
Calif is Now One Step Closer to a Nonbinary ID Option

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Pajaro Valley Pride Aug 20th 2017


TransFamily Support group had a table at this year's Pajaro Valley Pride, Aug 20th, in downtown Watsonville, CA.  It was a cheerful and family-oriented, small crowd gathered to celebrate Pride for only the 2nd year in south county, Santa Cruz. 

So many people stopped by our booth to stock up on pins, flags, bracelets and purple Hurshey kisses. It's good to know our swag is out promoting trans awareness in the community. Our biggest regret was not having a Spanish speaker at our table but we surely will not make that mistake next year!





Saturday, July 22, 2017

UPDATE:  My daughter and I attended "The Future of LGBTQ Rights" presentation.  We didn't learn anything new, but we did participate to help clarify the discussion around Trans vulnerabilities and also contributed by pointing out that ACA (Obamacare) is a critical resource for the LGBTIQ+ community. This tells me we are on top of the current issues. The ACLU has our backs, but they can't initiate court cases unless they have plaintiffs.  This means they NEED stories from people being impacted. Spread the word...tell your story and contact the ACLU.

Today's world for TransFamilies presents challenges all round. But shutting down, turning off, and/or tuning out are not really options if we want a better future for our children. How do we sort through everything insisting on our attention and resources to discern where our input is needed most and would be most effective? The following presentation will attempt to answer that question.  It's on my calendar.  Hope to see you there. For those who can't make it, I'll do my best to report back to our families. 

Peace,
Dina Oskiera






Rainbow Speakers Presents “The Future of LGBTQ Rights” with Michelle Welsh, July 27, Marina


Michelle Welsh, Esq – Local Attorney, board member of ACLU Northern CA and the Monterey County Chapter and Constitutional Law teacher at Monterey College of Law. With changes in the Bench of the Supreme Court and Trump’s Agenda, it is a wise advocate that knows where to focus time and energy. Michelle Welsh’s talk will help give us insight to which LGBTQ rights are stable, in play or needs our immediate advocacy and support.



Where:   Epiphany Lutheran & Episcopal Church, 425 Carmel Ave., Marina

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Transfamily at Pride June 4, 2017


Pride Santa Cruz 2017 was June 4th, and Transfamily Support showed up in force! We had our largest contingent ever in the parade with not only us parents but several of our kids who showed up and marched with us. This was a huge step forward for these kids. We can all be so proud of them!

After the parade the festivities of the day continued with music and food and information booths. Transfamily had a booth which was very popular this year! Our outreach felt more productive than ever before. We passed out hundreds of cards, gave away hundreds of bracelets, and answered a barrage of inquiries from kids and parents about our services.


We shared our booth with The Intersex and Genderqueer Recognition Project (IGRP) whose mission is to help non-binary identifying people who want to change their document gender markers to allow for a third gender option complete the difficult gauntlet for doing so.

The IGRP's presence at our booth was quite popular especially with the youth at Pride. Having them there with us created more opportunities for conversations between us from Transfamily and some of the youth who shared their stories of parents not accepting them as they truly are.

Pride was a blast! The parade seemed to be the longest ever with Dykes (and allies) on Bikes, marching bands, cheer leaders, the library drill team, faith groups, and several groups from the Diversity Center including the Triangle Speakers of which I, as a parent,  am a panel speaker. After the parade there was a stage with great music and dancing. There were several food trucks; lots of information and sales booths; and a ton of freedom to be who you are!

                                                         Happy Pride!

                                            Video of Transfamily in the parade







Thursday, April 27, 2017

Transfamily Mom Attends CA Senate Hearing for SB-179


Photo op at the capitol with Senator Weiner who co-authored SB-179
with some of us from The Intersex and Genderqueer Recognition Project


On April 25th I took my second trip to Sacramento to help advance SB-179 through our California legislature to hopefully see it become law later this year. I wrote a previous blog on April 13th after our first trip to Sacramento April 4th detailing our adventure. I hope you'll enjoying reading it as well.

 SB-179 will provide 3 things:
* A third gender option "non-binary" on driver's licences.
* Will remove the current doctor letter requirement in order to receive a court order for legal name and/or gender change.
* Will allow minors 16+ to apply for a legal name and/or gender change with only one parent's approval. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Transfamily Mom at March For Science Santa Cruz




Today April 22th, 2017 was the National March for Science and I wanted my participation to talk about the science surrounding transgender identities. I made a dual sided sign which I proudly held high as I marched along with 4000 other attendees, a large crowd in our relatively small town of Santa Cruz.