A chat with Caz about our Trans Group Workshops

Introduction to Caz:

Hi, my name is Caz and my pronouns are she/her. I am the LGBTQ+ Young Person and Family Support Worker at The Brunswick Centre. I have over 12 years experience as a teacher and have been working exclusively with LGBTQ+ young people for 4 years.

My first experience of working with a transgender child was in 2008 when I was a trainee teacher. Throughout my teaching career I continued to work with students who came out as Trans whilst at school.

What are the Workshops?

The workshops are structured 2 hour sessions delivered over a 6 week period to provide information and emotional support for parents/carers of young people who identify as transgender, non-binary or genderfluid. When a young person first comes out it can feel like a scary minefield to those around them who might have many questions and fears. The workshops are designed to inform families so that they can feel more confident to support their young person.

Who are they for?

The Trans group workshops are for parents/carers of young people living in Kirklees who are age 24 and under and identifying as transgender, non-binary or gender fluid.

How far along does my young person have to be in their transition for me to attend the workshop?

Any stage at all. They may have just come out and made no changes yet or they might be further along with their transition.

How were the sessions made?

From information gathered from discussions with parents and carers and anonymous surveys with transgender young people and transgender adults about what they felt was important to include in the course. We start with the basics of explaining the definitions of what LGBTQ+ acronym means and then look at gender identity, biological sex and gender expression. We cover a wide range of topics such as coping with the initial shock/grief, telling family, getting used to a change of name/pronouns, coming out at school, dealing with bullying, school trips, toilets, P.E, changing names, understanding the teenage brain, navigating relationships, gender clinics, binding, tucking, mental health and more.

The sessions are delivered in an informal and non-judgemental setting where parents/carers can have a safe space to ask questions and talk openly with peers who might be going through the same experiences.

Can we bring our young person to the workshops?

No. The workshops are designed to be a safe space for parents/carers to speak openly and ask questions that they might not feel ready to speak to their young person about. Young people can access support from our weekly youth groups and/or 1-to-1 sessions with a support worker if needed.

What happens when I finish the course?

You will meet other families and hopefully make new friendships that will continue after the course. Many choose to stay in touch and there are parent/carer Facebook and WhatsApp groups that are used and managed by parents/carers. We also have quarterly family socials. If parents/carers want further support we can offer support via phone calls, emails, video chats, 1-to-1 meetings or family together sessions with one of our workers.

When do the courses run?

They run quarterly in a Huddersfield location that is disclosed when parents/carers register.

Can I start a course late that has already started?

No. The course is structured in a way to give you as much information as possible and each session is built on information from the previous one. To get the most out of the sessions it is best to attend all 6.

How can I find out more or register?

You can email me at caroline@thebrunswickcentre.org.uk or click below stating you would like to attend the Trans Group workshop on our referral form. Once your registration is received, I will be in touch with the details of the next workshops.