Ep 51: Transformed with Wendy Jones
Supporting families, even under the best circumstances, can be challenging. So what happens when we need to support families when the world is not set up for their kids to succeed... or even survive?
I had the opportunity to sit down with author Wendy Jones to discuss what it means to show up not only as a therapist for our young, trans clients but also what it means to show up for their parents.
Not unlike any other new or different experience, folks benefit from getting support from those who have a similar thing happening in their life. And that's exactly what Wendy has set out to do with her new book, Transformed.
In our conversation, we dive into our shared experience as moms to trans kids. We share stories about what our kids said and did that helped guide us in understanding their truth. For us, it looked similar; for other parents to gender non-conforming kids, it can look different. But one thing remains true; the value in following our kids' lead, in each singular moment, as they show up in front of us.
And, for a therapist, or any other adult in a trans kid's life, it's the same strategy.
Did you know that 41% of gender non-conforming individuals will attempt to take their own lives? That's 10 times higher than their cis-counterparts. And, trust me, I know that's a harrowing statistic, but there is good news.
Wendy helps us understand the power we hold as therapists and how gender affirming adults are a key piece in the preservation of young, trans lives. Studies show that with at least one supportive adult, suicide rates decrease.
How powerful is that?
With research like this growing rapidly, it's clear that it's time for clinicians to get trained in how to offer gender-affirming care for trans and gender non-conforming clients.
Y'all, Wendy and I get vulnerable in our conversation. We talk about how we tried, and sometimes failed, at finding resources, how we grieved the loss of the futures we had visualized for our kids, and how we navigated losing friends and family members who just couldn't get on board.
I'm feeling empowered to share this with you and my hope is that you'll listen, learn and grow with us.
Gender non-conforming kids are a gift to the world and if as therapists, parents, and adults we can begin to educate ourselves on how to affirm their identities, we're one step closer to understanding the beauty that lies within their lived experience.
Listen to our podcast episode today because, if you haven't already seen a trans client, it's going to happen sooner than you realize. And being prepared is going to be the difference in saving someone's life.
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Learn more about today’s spotlight guest:
As a gender therapist and mom to a transgender child, Wendy felt there was a strong need in the world to support parents of trans kids.
She knew that her own journey was challenging at first, and finding support wasn't always an easy thing. As she had been working with transgender people and their parents over the past five years, Wendy came to find that the parents were oftentimes scared and felt alone in the process of accepting their child's gender identity.
Due to the time constraints of therapy, she wanted to find a way to reach more parents with her own hard-earned strength and wisdom. Writing seemed to be just the right medium to accomplish this goal. Books were one of the main ways that her family got the necessary knowledge to start their gender journey eight years ago. However, there weren't many books out there that offered both lived/personal and clinical experiences.
Wendy hopes that her book can reach parents around the world that are in need of education, support, and encouragement. Her overreaching goal is to help trans kids by helping their parents and to be a strong positive force in today's gender revolution.
Get Wendy's book here.
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With a Masters in Education from Vanderbilt, Kambria has been creating trainings and teaching adult learners for 20 years. As Director of Education and Quality Improvement at Stanford Medical School, her job was to decomplicate and consolidate complex systems and topics, thereby giving medical trainees successful learning experiences. Now, as a busy mom of fraternal twins, dedicated business owner of Zero Disturbance, and EMDRIA Approved Consultant, Kambria knows what it means to do things efficiently, effectively, and in a learner-centered way.