A few months ago I was invited to host a workshop at LICAC (a yearly conference for Guidance Counselors on Long Island) about my story and LGBTQ youth. It was a fantastic experience, and I got to share my story and teach others about pronouns, the need for school groups like GSA, and why gender neutral bathrooms should be in schools. I made business cards for the event, and handed them out at the end of the workshop.
Not only did people love my presentation, but I also heard stories about their schools and issues they are having with paperwork for college applications, etc. I even got a note from one woman thanking me for being brave enough to share my story, and that one of her children is gender non-conforming and of course she loves them and supports them and loves that things are changing for the better. That is the reason I do this. For people who need to know that they are not alone, and that their kids are going to be okay. That they can make it and have a normal life just like anyone else. I want to help create a world that is accepting and equal and supportive.
I'm now working on how to do more of these events, and even turn it into my career. There is something to be said when I don't get bored of something - and I continue to learn and grow and stay passionate about something. This is it right now in my life. I want to educate and fight for these kids who need a voice that can reach administration and boards of education and PTA meetings. They need someone to walk into a room full of school administrators and tell them what "gender non-conforming" or "transgender" means, and why it's important that they cater to these kids, and what they can do to help them feel comfortable and safe in schools, where they often spend more time than at home.
I have a few more events coming up, and I'm excited to see how much of an interest there is for information like this, although I've already had a few people tell me that I can turn this into a real job since my timing is right. Legislation was just enacted recently regarding transgender students, and schools (and parents I'm sure) have questions, some of them personal, and they need someone they can trust to answer honestly.
So I'm interested to see where this goes... I guess we'll find out.