EL CENTRO – The Imperial Valley LGBT Resource Center announced this week that it was establishing a new virtual program for Youth Trans ages of 12 -17. In an emailed statement to the Blade, the center’s Director/CEO Rosa Diaz, noted that the new program is set to commence in November.
“Youth Trans Virtual Social & Support group for ages of 12 -17 will meet weekly on Thursdays at 3:30 PM. Participants will have a space to share their challenges, ask questions, encourage one another and make friends,” Diaz said.
“Sometimes guest speakers who understand the struggle will be invited to inspire the group. By invitation only, parents and guardians will be allowed to visit and participate,” she added.
According to Diaz, approximately 10% of the population between the ages of 12 – 25 who visit the center identify outside of the male and female binary. They come to the center for support, guidance, encouragement, and community. These youth need a space where they meet others who are facing similar life experiences.
According to the national survey by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) 75% of transgender youth do not feel safe in school and, therefore, were more likely to be absent causing their GPAs to suffer. Not only are they not safe in school, many of their challenges are also faced at home, in foster care and the juvenile justice system.
To help the transgender and gender non-conforming population, anti-discrimination laws and policies have been put into place, but the work is not complete until their stories are heard, and bigotry is put to rest.
The specific purpose of the Imperial Valley LGBT Resource Center is to provide charitable, literary, and educational programs for the health and well-being of the LGBT community, their family, and allies.
This is accomplished through, but no limited to the recruitment of volunteers, student interns, licensed professionals and activist which are necessary, suitable, or convenient for the accomplishment of the stated purpose.
This new Trans Youth group is in addition to the Trans Support Group offered in Spanish at 2 PM and in English at 3 PM on Tuesdays. Most participants in these groups are adults.
Anyone wanting to participate in these support groups can email the Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 760-592-4066 to receive a link. The link is for GoToMeeting video conferencing and can easily connect them to the group.