PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies.
Cultivating Pride and Joy with Families in Transition
Build the Future
Elijah C. Nealy, PhD, M.Div., LCSW, University of Saint Joseph and Metropolitan Community Church
Workshop Block 1: Saturday, October 21 - 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Navigating a child’s gender transition is uncharted territory for most families. Despite increasing trans visibility, few know transgender people within their personal networks and many parents and grandparents came of age when gender identity and biological sex were assumed synonymous. Coupled with lingering beliefs about trans identity as psychiatric illness or sin, stereotypes of trans people as unstable and unable to succeed in life, and fears about discrimination and violence, many families struggle when their transgender child comes out. Recognizing family acceptance as essential to young adult wellbeing, this workshop offers practical strategies for your chapter to support families of trans youth. We will also explore ways our own emotional reactions to the struggles of other parents can interfere with empathy and limit our effectiveness.
For the past 25 years, Elijah C. Nealy, PhD, M.Div., LCSW has worked extensively with LGBTQ adolescents and adults in both pastoral and social service capacities. Currently assistant professor of social work at the University of Saint Joseph, CT, he provides trainings in health and mental healthcare settings and clinical consultation around work with transgender and gender-variant children, youth, and adults. His clinical practice has focused on transgender and gender diverse youth and their families. Ordained with Metropolitan Community Church, Elijah also preaches and provides workshops for faith communities and other organizations. An out trans man and author of Transgender Children and Youth: Cultivating Pride and Joy with Families in Transition (2017), he lives in Connecticut with his partner and is the proud father of three amazing young people.