Local TransFamilies Meetings for Parents and Caregivers November 2018:

TransFamilies of Santa Cruz
Saturday January 5th, 3-5 pm
The Education Room of Calvary Episcopal Church
532 Center St, Santa Cruz, CA
Calvary Episcopal Church is an affirming church that welcomes people of all genders. TransFamilies does not have an affiliation with the church, beyond renting space for our meetings.
We will also be having a 2019 strategic planning meeting at 2:00, before the meeting. Join us and help decide priorities and direction for TransFamilies in 2019.

TransFamilies of Watsonville PV
Wednesday January 9th, 6:30-8:30pm
46A Brennan St, Watsonville, CA

If you have questions or concerns that need immediate attention before the next meeting,
call Heidi at 831-251-7749 or email:

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

National "I am Jazz" Community Reading

TransFamilies has joined forces with The Diversity Center and the Santa Cruz Public Libraries to host Santa Cruz's second annual "I am Jazz" reading.  Start you First Friday off with us at 3:30 at the Downtown library.  Check out Suki Wessling's companion article that she wrote for Growing Up In Santa Cruz:

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Chat with Renee Fleming
Law Librarian and Self Represented Litigant Coordinator
Santa Cruz Superior Court
Changes to the process of requesting a gender change court order
At our December meeting

Renee Fleming, Law Librarian and Self Represented Litigant Coordinator of Santa Cruz Superior Court will join us at our Santa Cruz meeting to share changes to the process of requesting a gender change court order that in accordance with California’s Gender Recognition Act (SB 179) went into effect on September 1, 2018.

We are excited to have Renee join us.  The advise that we have been giving TransFamilies members for many years has been: “talk to the law librarian in the basement”.  The librarian in the basement is Renee! and we are excited to have her come and share her knowledge with us. She met with TransFamilies representatives, Anne Lipman and Dina Oskiera in November of last year to clarify the process of applying for a name and gender change order in Santa Cruz County Superior Court and is joining us to update us on the changes that come with SB 179 going into effect for gender change orders.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Chat with Jen Hastings, MD on October 6th 3:00-5:00

The October meeting of TransFamilies of Santa Cruz 
will feature guest speaker 
Dr. Jennifer Hastings.

Jen is one of our professional allies and has joined our meetings on previous occasions to  update us on the best medical practices for our kids and hear our concerns about how the medical community can support our kids better. As the former director of the Transgender Health Care Program at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte jen has provided medical services for the Santa Cruz trans community, including a number of our kids, with a level of compassion that has made her universally loved and respected. In addition to being the founding director of the Transgender Health Care Program at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, Jen is an assistant clinical professor at the UCSF Department of Family and Community Medicine, and a member of the advisory board for Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, which works to increase medical access and understanding about the gender journey. Jen is actively involved in training providers of transgender services around the country and a leader in advocating for increasing the availability and quality of transgender care. Jen works closely with the Santa Cruz Transgender Therapist Team and is involved in the integration of behavioral health, primary care, mindfulness, and medicine.  We are thrilled to have jen available to talk with us and answer our questions about medical care for our children.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

TransFamilies of Watsonville PV

Our kick off meeting for the new TransFamilies of Watsonville PV is Wednesday September 5th. It will be the first Wednesday of every month from 6:30-8:30 at 46 A Brennan st. Watsonville, Located in Brennan Square, behind Tayo Day Spa. We are very excited to have a space available and a small group of parents. We put the word out at Pajaro Valley pride last month and are spreading the word through the Diversity Center's Watsonville Youth Meet Up and the local GSAs.

This is us at Pajaro Pride with the team from Big Brothers Big Sisters.  Big Brothers Big Sisters has a trans program to match trans kids with trans adults and has been an awesome ally:
Click here for more info

Monday, May 21, 2018


This blog post is long overdue. My apology for losing track of this important update for our TransFamiles. Last November 2017, Anne Lipman and I met with representatives at the Law Library of the Santa Cruz Superior Court to discuss how we can make information given to families more consistent when they are seeking legal name and/or gender change through the court. What follows are Anne's excellent notes from that meeting.

Dina Oskiera 
April 4, 2018

Notes for Meeting on November 8, 2017

Santa Cruz County Superior Court Law Library

Sasha Morgan and Renee Fleming of the Law Library
Anne Lipman and Dina Oskiera of TransFamilies of Santa Cruz

Self Help Center in Watsonville or the Law Library in Santa Cruz is the best place to start with the process of pursuing a legal name and/or gender change through the courts. Both can provide forms ($2.00 charge), and help you fill out forms but the Self Help Center in Watsonville is more comprehensive. Show up 1/2 hour before opening in the morning and at lunch for faster service, but plan on going when you are not in a hurry. You are encouraged to stay and fill out forms there, so bring along as much info as possible to help you with forms (birth certificate, Dr’s letter, Therapist letter, etc.) If you don’t know where to start then go and talk with them, and they can help you figure out which forms you need. You may need to go several times before all forms are filled out. Just think of it as part of the process. Keep in mind Watsonville offers free copies of documents, Santa Cruz charges for copies.

Go to one of the above offices as your first step. Do not take forms directly to the clerks to file because they do not know the law as well as the people in these two centers. When you do go to the clerks to file, and you feel you are getting the wrong advice, again, consult with Self Help Center or Law Library. They can intervene on your behalf and get things straightened out for you with clerks. There will soon be up to 6 forms to choose from for gender identity and name change. We highly encourage you to go talk with someone before you start to fill out the forms, so you get the right forms.

Sometimes forms can be accepted by the clerk, but are not filled in correctly. This can cause you trouble down the road such as when you go to get a passport or go to change your birth certificate. Fees can be waived even if you do not meet the criteria for wavers on the paperwork. Families can list their expenses to show that that they do not have the money for fees. This may require a little more paperwork but the court does not want anyone to delay this important process because they cannot afford it. Ask if you need help. They will help you!

The law and forms are ever changing. What I did for my child last year may not apply today. We can support you and guide you, but we cannot necessarily tell you what the exact law is or forms needed for each individual case. Only the Help Center or Law Library can truly give you the most up to date info. If you go and then delay filling in the paperwork, make sure to check in with them again before you submit so you can confirm that no forms have changed.

Important websites below:
Self Help Center, Watsonville:
Law Library, Santa Cruz:

Sasha Morgan
Santa Cruz Superior Court
Director of Operations
1 Second Street
Watsonville, CA 95076
Phone (831) 786-7335

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

I Am Jazz reading to support our youth

On December 7th communities across the country come together to read the book “I Am Jazz” In support of transgender inclusion in their communities. This year our community was no exception, as we hosted our first “I Am Jazz” reading.  Our own Mireille Gale organized the community reading in conjunction with Human Rights Campaign, Transfamilies, the Diversity Center and Luma Yoga.

We had a great turnout with a roomful of kids, parents and grandparents. Jamie Joy, one of the fabulous youth leaders at the Diversity Center, did the reading and lead us in an activity to get us all thinking outside the box about gender. The kids were very engaged, asking questions and sharing their stories about their own gender journeys.

“The National “I Am Jazz” School and Community Readings are an annual event hosted by HRC’s Welcoming Schools in recognition of the first “I Am Jazz” reading in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. In 2015 after a school in the Mount Horeb area cancelled a reading of the children’s book after the notoriously anti-LGBTQ group Liberty Counsel threatened the school with legal action, parents, children and school staff came together and filled the Mount Horeb Public Library with nearly 600 people who gathered to show their support for transgender inclusion.“I Am Jazz” was written by HRC Youth Ambassador Jazz Jennings and author Jessica Herthel and is a first-person account about being transgender. Jennings was one of the first trans children to talk publicly about her identity and the 
challenges she has faced as a trans youth. This groundbreaking book is often used by schools and families to help children understand transgender youth and adults.”

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Workshop: Working with Grief to Create Space for the Joy of Change

Order your tickets through Eventbrite.
Our Presenters:
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 works as 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 supporting gender expansive identities in treatment settings. 

Things to Know:
Ben Geilhufe presented this workshop forTransFamily 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. 

Feel free to call or email with any questions.

Warm regards,

Dina Oskiera