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    Trans Pride

    By Dr. Marcy Adelman–

    If it hadn’t been for COVID-19, my family would have celebrated my great nephew Elijah’s 13th birthday two years ago with a large family bar mitzvah, a Jewish coming of age ritual. Elijah’s parents finally decided they didn’t want to put it off for another year and that the combination of smart precautions and vaccines would keep everyone safe. They planned a small family and friend event and sent out the e-invitations. 

    When I received the invitation, I hesitated to accept it. I was nervous about flying to the East Coast. I hadn’t taken a plane trip since the beginning of the pandemic. But Elijah’s bar mitzvah was special, not just because he was 15 years old but because he is the first trans man in my family. My wish to support him and his two moms outweighed my COVID-19 concerns. 

    It was a beautiful service. Elijah being 15 years old and not 13 wasn’t awkward or shy but rather poised and mature. What a difference 2 years makes in teen development! It was a joy to see him surrounded by the love and support of his family, friends, and community. This is the way it should be. But more often than not, it is very different for too many of our kids. 

    On the trip back to San Francisco I kept thinking about all the trans kids that don’t have the support of their family and friends and all the crazy, cruel anti-trans legislation that the right wing is trying to pass. Trans kids and their families need to know that the LGBTQ community is there for them and that we will fight for them.  

    Across the country there are proposed laws that would limit the rights of trans students and their families. In Florida, for example, the so-called Don’t Say Gay Bill would prohibit “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity.” In Texas, doctors and other licensed professionals are required to report parents of transgender minors to state authorities for child abuse if they attempt to arrange gender-affirming medical care for their children. 

    In Alabama, it is now a felony to provide children with gender-affirming care. There are also laws that ban the use of school bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with a student’s gender identity, and there is a law, similar to the one proposed in Florida, which bans conversations in the school about sexual orientation and gender identity.

    We are fighting back. The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, The Trevor Project, GLAD, Lambda Legal Defense, and Equality California are just a few of the organizations that are on the front lines fighting for LGBTQ and Trans rights. 

    We are fighting back and I believe we will win. But it will take time, resources, and commitment. If you haven’t already, make this Pride the moment you say enough is enough and commit whatever time and resources you can to help our kids and their families be safe and to be able to grow and thrive in a world that welcomes and respects them. Support national organizations that fight right wing legislation. Support local organizations that provide services for LGBTQ youth, such as s LYRIC, Larkin Street Youth Services and the Family Acceptance Project that supports LGBTQ youth and their families. Do it today.

    LYRIC Center For LGBTQQ Youth:
    Larkin Street Youth Services:
    The Family Acceptance Project:

    Dr. Marcy Adelman, a psychologist and LGBTQ+ longevity advocate and policy adviser, oversees the Aging in Community column. She serves on the California Commission on Aging, the Board of the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California, the California Master Plan on Aging Equity Advisory Committee, and the San Francisco Dignity Fund Oversight and Advisory Committee. She is the Co-Founder of Openhouse, the only San Francisco nonprofit exclusively focused on the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ older adults.

    Published on June 9, 2022