Can We ‘Fix Society’ Without More Death

The deaths of transgender teens are continuing to go in the wrong direction. I work with teens that are questioning their gender, wanting information about transitioning or needing direction on how to wait until they are old enough to transition. They battle social sets of fitting in; not just with clothes, personality, music, or age as most teens deal with but with GENDER.

 Which bathroom? Which outfit? Which team? Which dressing room?

 What if I fit into both genders or none????

 The desire to fit or to understand one’s self is what every teen deals with but we ask these kids to not explore that question. It is too weird or uncomfortable.  The messaging to these kids is you can think it and we can talk about it later but if you feel the need to say something or not wear what is fitting for your gender; we have a problem.

Transgender teens struggle with being able to do day-to-day activities because they can not get past the basics in their head.

8baf68e2ee56c2df1fc47f767219a225What am I???

 When parents and friends ask you to ignore who your head announces you are, it seems confusing. What are the guidelines to be who they want you to be? When a teen admits they do not know who they are in their own skin how are they to be someone they are SURE that they are not? Confused?

 Welcome to the world of gender questions.

 Tiptoeing around the question of gender is like tiptoeing around where people belonged on the bus. Maybe gender is becoming less of an issue in the younger generation. Years ago we decided that women could wear pants. Today we face can men wear a dress? Why is the reverse less important?

Healthy relationships are respectful and built on increased communications. It might not be the conversation you had hope to have with your child, but like sex, drugs, boyfriends, girlfriends, college, make-up, money or cars; gender is one we can not be afraid of. If you run from the conversation our teens suffer. Our teens make decision alone and from a place of understanding only at a cognitive ability of a teen.

 As adults, parents, or counselors we have to step just past our personal comfort zones.

 Much Respect,

Melinda C. Porter, LPC

817-733-7206

Melinda@MelindaPorter.com

Melinda@mcpcounseling.com

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Thoughts in a day: Transgender Teens

df7c489bed150386371a0988ac458763Climbing out of her bed to dress, the thoughts of school and friends rush around on top of goals, workouts, chores and clothes. Moments after rising she moves past the mirror and freezes. Her body is not a “her” but a “him.” Her day will not be filled with thoughts of what to get done or how to dress to express who she is. Instead, she looks for the outfit that hides the most; covering all the imperfections that she cannot workout to fix and study harder to change. She cannot dig herself out of her gender as one whom from poverty. Stuck. She sits. Looking in a mirror that keeps changing into what she does understand. Being asked to live a life that does not fit what is under her skin.

A yell comes from down stairs and now a girl who got up before it was time excited about her day, stands as a boy frozen in confusion and fear. The ‘late to school’ conversation that happens everyday starts as HE hits the bottom stair. His head fills with all the things he will have to do today. His conversations with friends that might not be friends ‘if they knew’ about the her that he is not suppose to discuss. He starts to question all his relationships, wondering if any are real. Isolating in his head and fearing to truly care about others he learns that self is the only person to trust and worry about. Moving from one class to another where they ask the boys and girls to separate for seating, restrooms, activities, sports, and/or games. Where does the Transgender teen stand? Where does she/ he fit in?

Transgender teens are being asked to ‘sit at the back of the bus’ and do as you are told. Where does it stop? Conform to societies standards of male/female. If your genitals determine who you are, what do we do with the intersex person? When do they get to move to the front and claim they are worth being respected? I work with teens that smile when for a moment in time they are seen from the inside out. Peace and respect sits with them as they talk and joy fills their face when their correct pronoun is used.

Just one. Condemning. Reaffirming. Little. Big. Powerful. Painful. Joyful. Word. 

He returns home, head down and moving on to homework. Then SHE smiles. In her room, she is real. She fits just fine into the clothes only she ever sees. She studies in the hat that makes her hair look longer. The words, the math is all making sense with room in her head. She draws hearts and a smiley to remember the steps to complete the problems.

In her room she is comfortable and safe for now. She knows the sadness that will come tomorrow when HE must return to the breakfast table and to school.

Parents. Friends. Counselors.

Read and learn about the transgender teen in your life. If you have questions, ask them, together is when family is the most effective.

I work with the LGBTQIA community and would be happy to help with questions or a direction for you to go in.

Melinda C. Porter, LPC

Melinda@mcpcounseling.com

817-733-7206

www.mcpcounseling.com

The Secret or Life.

As you move through your day, where is your focus?

"LIFE"
“LIFE”

Working within the LGBT community, I sometimes find that the focus is on secrets instead of life. This allows for the secrets to have all the power.

What would happen if you allowed life to be the focus?

The LGBT community is learning how to interact socially instead of locked behind closed-door. This is difficult but healthy. It is also a new level of responsibility. Don’t push issues under the rug because no one wants to even know who those issues are with. Hurting alone about relationships that no one even saw as real can be dangerous. It leads to confusion and minimizes the importance of your connections and processing the emotions. How will you move forward with all that pain wrapped around you?

Instead of all your energy being used to keep a secret, allow yourself to move pass the secret. That does not mean you have to blurt out, “I”M GAY”  or “SHE STOLE MY TWINKIE” or MY PARTNER IS GONE” but if the moment arises and you need to. then do so. It will be comfortable something and uncomfortable others.

Living in away that is safe and respectful of self is key!

Find the pieces of your puzzle that make your outside self and inside self congruent. Stay away from non-responsible statement. The government, your mother, your dad, or your boss do not determine how you treat your partner and children. Unless your goal is to put the focus somewhere other than where the real work is. Self growth. Self respect.

Families, friends, and pets do not just disappear anymore in the LGBT relationship breakdown. They are more present and feel the pain of their gay loved ones. They may not know what to say and you may not know how to answer but allow them to help you see the relationship as real and important to process.

In giving “life” the power instead of the secrets; you develop self-worth and growth!

Much Respect,

Melinda Porter

817.733.7206

Transgender Children

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Do you know the gender or the assigned sex of this child? Is there a difference in those?

Years ago I thought babies were born male or female.  I’ve learned over my life time that this is not the case.  A group called, “Gender Infinity” is doing an excellence job of educating  therapists and parents about what gender really means. I visited one of their conferences this week and am overflowing with information.

Gender Diverse children can also be referred to as gender non-conforming. Gender non-conforming children are gifted with an innocence in their processing; to them they can only be who they sense they are. Some feel they are internally different then the external picture, expressing a cross-gender identity. Can it be that simple?  It is when we, as their support system, confirm with actions of rejection or acceptance  that they connect the meaning of right or wrong. We create the environment for them to explore life in.

It is common for transgender children to come out as Lesbian, gay, or bisexual first trying to find the fit that they need. Many times feeling that the hair and clothes change is good but not enough. Hormone blockers are sometime used in pre-puberty to allow the child time to process what gender they are and avoid some possible future surgeries. Most people at this point just loss their breathe; it is ok!

These are REVERSIBLE. It simply pauses the onset.

I have worked with children for years now and knowing that they have the possibility to be comfortable in their own skin from the beginning is incredible!

As I learn, I will pass on the information! If you have time, look up the Group Gender Infinity~They are crazy wonderful! I’m here to help if you need more information.

We stand in the moment of our potential to move forward and ability to understand~ 

Much Respect,

Melinda C. Porter

Picture This. LGBT Family.

What does your family look like? IMG_5663

Do you have beautiful frames but not sure what the pictures should look like inside them?

The spirit of the LGBT community has always made me smile. As the years have passed,  I see families and wonder what will their frame look like? How will they put the family together? What if you decide to frame the pictures you see, the family you want to have?    ~I think it is possible~

Create pictures that fill your world with joy! As you walk around your house / look at your FaceBook; do you  confirm or deny who you truly are? A division of self can have a ripple effect on your ability to connect with new people. If you are always one of many versions of yourself then you are never just you!

Over two decades ago I started seeing me, not the me that other saw but the me that I can smile at in the mirror. As I have found her she has saved me.

Building relationships based on honesty and truth; not always exciting stuff but very real.

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What part of your picture do you see as you?

* Start to build the family you want. Start with just seeing the picture in the frame.

* What are the possibilities for you today to add to or create part of the frame? Build your frame with courage, strength, understanding, and flexibility.

* Not everyone likes their picture taken, so be patience with those you love. Maybe let them have a frame of their own for a while that is on the same table! 😉

* Your picture is beautiful~ LGBT families are full of love that needs to be hung up for others to see. Years of joy and happiness that screams, “Your Future is possible” to the next generation.

Much Respect,

Melinda Porter

What Does a LGBT Person Look Like?

How do you see yourself?

rainbow eye

What pair of eyes do you use to determine who you are?

With all that is going on in the LGBT community, I ask, how do you see yourself. What does it mean to you that in some countries, even a tourist can be arrested for being openly gay or how do you deal with legal issue about marriage from state to state in the USA. Over the decades, the world ebbs and flows, looking at one thing and seeing something different. History shows, we as the human race are continually redefining the understanding of what freedom is. Questioning why color, sex, sexual orientation, or shade of your hair has so much power. At the end of the day, what does a LGBT person look like?

Horns, pink, blue, worthwhile, sweet, mean, fem, butch, ugly, beautiful? When you look in the mirror, who do you see?

There is a person in there, in that face that looks back at you in the mirror. A being that holds the power to personal understanding and growth.

Strength, flexibility, patience…that is what I see! How many years did you live knowing the secret but told no one? How many uncomfortable situations where you placed in because of your sexuality ? How long have you waited to fall in love?

Find your you. What do you want in your life? YOU get to decide what a LGBT person looks like! If you are tired of living in fear of not fitting in, know that everyone does not fit somewhere~ so find your fit.

Some Thoughts to move you forward~

* Enjoy the places that work for you.

* Create your ‘self’ not as one single dimension but as you, wonderful from the inside out, not just a person that has a different sexual orientation.

* Start seeing the peace within yourself, there is enough to worry about in other systems that will be effecting you. Make seeking out peace for the inside a priority.

Much Respect,

Melinda Porter

Stepping "OUT" LGBTQ

IMG_0229When you step out~

Off with the ‘self’ people think they see and into the you!

What are some healthy ways that have worked to find the YOU that fits?

We have friends in the LGBTQ community that struggle to find their true self; a self that deserves to be loved. Many times the thought of being gay is seen as ‘wrong’ so ‘poor actions’ can be attached to it. Here are some healthy thoughts about coming out!

* Know that you know yourself best! If you are not attracted to the opposite sex then wait until you met the person that does put a tingle in your toes.

* Decide how you want to tell people; start with trusted family or friends.

* Respect yourself by giving yourself time to sort your thoughts and talk to someone. You don’t have to know all the answers.

* If you tell someone and the response is not going well; step back and give them room to think. You are not responsible for taking on their issues but you told them because on some level they were important to you. Giving them time to process may allow you time to reevaluate and modify the conversation. Hurting them is not the goal. Hurting you is not the goal. Starting a line of communication is.

* Talk to someone before having the really hard conversations! Walk through possible terms and statement that might be better for you.

Your path will look different from others and that is ok! Try to stay focused on the goal of connecting with people who you want as a part of your future; close, distant, periodically, or as a memory.

Stepping “OUT” as you ~

Much Respect,

Melinda Porter  817.733.7206