Transparent support group sponsors trans youth awareness day

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - At an art gallery Thursday evening, a group of St. Louis-area residents gathered to listen to a public reading of a book titled, “I Am Jazz.”

Kelly Storck is a psychotherapist in private practice who helps people and families dealing with trans-gender issues.

“I Am Jazz,” said Storck, explaining the significance of the book.  “It came from Wisconsin last year, when a school canceled a reading after group of concerned citizens threatened a lawsuit.  So others held a public reading in same community and had an incredible turn-out.”

Kim Hutton is executive director of St. Louis-based TransParent.

“The biggest struggle,” said Hutton, “is for people who don`t understand the experience.  Maybe they don`t know much about it, or there’s a lack of education.  Sometimes kids are clearly misunderstood and mis-gendered frequently.  Maybe some kids aren`t having great experiences at school due to lack of knowledge & education.”

Sarah Garver is with the Human Rights Campaign.

“Human Rights Campaign called for a day of action for all these ‘I Am Jazz’ readings across nation,” said Garver.  “They were started after an incident in Wisconsin where an anti-LGBT hate group issued threats against a school that was planning an ‘I Am Jazz’ reading in support of a trans-gender student.  After that, a concerned parent organized another reading and more than 600 people attended.  This day of action was announced at Human Rights Campaign as a way of bringing everybody together to make sure all trans-gender children know the world is a loving and inclusive place.”

So what can a parent do if they suspect their child is struggling with gender issues?

Storck said, “The most important thing is know where your kid is.  Follow them; let them lead.  If we give them space, these kids will tell us who they are.”

Hutton added, “I would say follow your child`s lead.  They know who they are, get them some support.  Come to TransParent.  We will help you.”

TransParent’s website is http://www.transparentstl.org/.

Elizabeth Schlesinger is also a representative of Human Rights Campaign.

“We just hope to bring more awareness to the community,” said Schlesinger.  “We’ve been working with TransParent this year, a great local organization getting ready to launch national chapters.  So we want to let people know about TransParent and the important work they do.”