FFLAG News

FFLAG 2017 - becoming trans inclusive 

Historically Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays has, since 1993, been a charity dedicated to supporting parents and their lesbian, gay and bisexual daughters and sons.  We have mostly been parents of LGB children ourselves and, as such, have felt most able to support those whose experiences are similar to our own.

But times change.  

Recent LGBT legislation in the UK such as the Equality Act 2010 and the legalisation of same-sex marriages in England, Wales and Scotland in 2014 have been very welcome.  Also, society in general and younger generations in particular have become more inclusive in their understanding of differing sexual orientation.  However, along with these changes, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of young people being referred to support services for help with transgender issues.

At least half of the enquiries we currently receive from parents are from those with trans youngsters.  The difficulties trans youngsters face are not the same as those for LGB youngsters (who face issues relating to their sexuality), since theirs relate to their gender identity. However, the issues may indeed cross the boundaries of gender and sexuality which our society has so rigidly enforced. We have come to recognise that we are ill-prepared to provide the support for parents who this may affect and which we would like to do, but our desire is to work where the needs are greatest.

We have, therefore, decided to extend our remit to include support for family and friends of trans people.  It won’t happen overnight because we have a lot to learn and we want to get it right.  FFLAG has no paid staff and we are just seven trustees.  Local groups which are affiliated with us are becoming trans inclusive to varying degrees.

Initially we shall:

·       Update the FFLAG web site to include trans issues.

·       Work in partnership with trans organisations to avoid replicating their work.

·       Review and update our current literature and also produce new material, where appropriate, which will cover issues specific to trans matters.

·       Plan to appoint parents of trans youngsters to our Board of Trustees.

·       Allow inclusion of trans issues in our publications to be led by trans people themselves and their families. 

We are only too aware that we have been slow to respond to changing situations and apologise for that. We are not now setting ourselves up as the experts but rather are looking to those who have personally faced these situations themselves to work with us for the sake of those who are looking for help now.

If you would like to be a part of the work that FFLAG is doing, please contact us via the link on the front page. 

 

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