I am writing this post to highlight my frustration with a lack of attention that has been given to the positivity that comes from identifying as trans.
I am a cis-gendered female who identifies as queer and as a trans-ally. I’ve been a therapist working with transgender individuals for years. We hear all about the difficulties in the media—and sure, these difficulties occur and are real—but there are so many wonderful aspects of being transgender that are not identified or celebrated. One of the basic aspects of being a therapist is learning how to provide and instill hope in our clients. It is very difficult to instill hope when there isn’t much positivity being publicized.
I got the idea to do a study on the positive experiences of transgender individuals after having heard story after story in therapy about how happy people are after coming out. The pure joy of people realizing that they can be who they are and that there were quite a few people out there who would support them through it is mind-blowing, inspiring, and amazing. In fact, I felt so lucky to experience this with people as a therapist, that I thought “Hey, other people should hear about this too!.”
So, I designed a study where we are interviewing transgender individuals (genderqueer, trans men, trans women, drag queens, drag kings, gender benders, trans* folks, gender fluid, to name a few) about their positive experiences and how they think about pride with their identities. We’ve had an amazing response from folks and it has been incredible so far. I am hoping that we can extend our study to people who are living in (or around Chicago). We’ve completed interviews in Evansville, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; Radcliffe, Kentucky. Anyone who wants to contribute to this cause would be more than welcome—the more voices that are heard about positive experiences, the better.
If you’re interested in contributing to the study—please contact me at louisvilletransgenderresearch at gmail dot com, or 502-852-0627. Individuals also receive $25.00 to participate in the interviews—which will last about 1 hour to 1 ½ hours.
Thank you for reading and wishing all the best,