Attending Atlanta Pride and WPATH

 

Over the past two weekends I have been able to participate in Atlanta Pride as outreach to the transgender community and LGBTQ community. I also went to Ohio to attend the Transforming Care conference and WPATH GEI certification training. It’s been a busy two weeks, but I have learned so much about the Atlanta community and new research.

Atlanta Pride and WPATH Conference

Atlanta Pride was fantastic. I put out the gender unicorn for people to explore and color. I saw the Trans March and all the participants. I met so many community providers like Atlanta Pride School, and providers for reproductive fertility, housing and HIV testing.

Transforming Care provided educational classes on using theories with clients for mindfulness and working with substance use. I took classes on consensual non monogamy and BDSM and kink within the transgender and LGBTQ community. There was an excellent panel on intersectionality with members of several communities.

The WPATH conference allowed to hear up to date research on transgender care and community. I listened to doctors, attorneys and mental health professionals discuss working and helping children and adolescents and adults. I learned about using puberty blockers, surgery techniques and overview of using sex hormones. While at WPATH, we discussed that gender identity starts at age two and a half. I hear that question from parents often.

Where to go next?

I also learned what other cities provide for LGBTQ centers and gender identity centers and affirming programs.   In other states there are Trans programs and centers with teams of therapists, psychiatrists and doctors all working together with clients under the same roof.  It is my hope that the south, particularly Atlanta and Georgia will have those opportunities as well in the future.

Education never ends though and there is always something to be learned.  In this field, more research is needed so there will be more opportunities to keep learning as new research and ways to show affirmation to the community come about.

Next weekend, I am sponsoring the THEA conference and moderating a community panel on staying married during and after transition.

Advocacy is also important.  There are marches to participate in, policy changes that need to occur and other ways to be an ally and advocate. I am excited, as a gender identity therapist, to have more opportunities for education, being and ally an advocacy every day.

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