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TYFA Brochure full text



Below is the full text of our TYFA Brochure without images.


Understanding Through Education

A guide for supporting transyouth and their families

For Parents & Caregivers

  • According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “A child’s awareness of being a boy or girl begins in the first year of life…and by age 4…they know they will always be a boy or girl.”
  • Trust yourself and your child. You are the experts regarding what your child feels and needs.
  • Knowledge builds confidence. Learn all you can.
  • Affirming your child’s gender identity builds healthy self-esteem.
  • Forced gender conformity may lead to anxiety, depression, even suicide, and is not likely to change your child’s gender identity.
  • When telling family and friends of your child’s gender variance, set the tone by being matter of fact and upbeat.
  • Gender variance is not caused by poor parenting. Seek support/therapy if you are struggling.
  • Treatment is available. Don’t let fear hinder treatment decisions.

For Healthcare Practitioners

  • Gender identity and sexual orientation are different. Gender identity is who you are and sexual orientation is who you like.
  • A child’s awareness of his/her gender identity begins in the first year of life and is typically stable upon entering kindergarten. (AAP, 1997)
  • Gender-variant and transgender youth face many social factors that put them at higher risk for self-destructive behaviors, including suicide.
  • Refer clients/patients to other resources if your personal beliefs are interfering with supportive care.
  • Treat the patient/client as a child first and gender-variant/transgender second.
  • Familiarize yourself with current treatment options and protocol. Share your knowledge with colleagues.
  • A support team consisting of the parents, child, medical and counseling practitioners is fundamental to quality care.

For Educators & Administrators

  • Transgender youth who are frequently harassed have lower GPAs than other students.*
  • One in four students reports physical harass- ment due to gender expression.*
  • Gender-variant children are not necessarily gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender and may never identify as GLBT.
  • Gender-variant/transgender students need to know that there are safe spaces, teachers and administrators available to them.
  • Removing gender bias and stereotypes from lessons, programs and everyday speech in the educational setting improves the safety of all students.
  • Children have the right to feel safe and supported at school. TransYouth Family Allies can provide education and tools to help you create an environment in which ALL children are respected and celebrated.

* Source: GLSEN 2005 National School Climate Survey.

TYFA Services


Parents, service providers, educators


Programs, seminars, workshops


Curriculum, policy, social equality


Web-based, printed, telephone

Ian Benson Project

The Ian Benson Project implements suicide intervention and prevention programs through education and advocacy, inspiring hope for today’s youth. The Project also focuses on support, awareness and acceptance for youth who do not conform to society’s expectations for their gender identity and/or expression.

  • Healing spirits
  • Overcoming despair
  • Preventing self-harm
  • Exploring each youth’s purpose

Back cover

TransYouth Family Allies (TYFA) empowers families with tools and resources to help their gender-variant and transgender children thrive.

Our vision

A society free of suicide and violence in which ALL children are respected and celebrated.

Our mission

TYFA empowers children and families by partnering with educators, service providers and communities, to develop supportive environments in which gender may be expressed and respected.

Difference isn’t wrong, it just is.

  • TransYouth Family Allies
  • PO Box 1471, Holland, MI 49422-147121
  • 1-888-462-8932 (888-IMA-TYFA)

TYFA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Your donations may be tax deductible.