Not “Just a Phase”
Austin always identified as a boy. As a child, he resisted his mother’s attempts to force him to wear girly clothes and barrettes in his hair. His mother hoped it was a tomboy phase, or that he was a lesbian. Among family, his identity was unwavering, but it took him some time to come out at school. He finally shared his feelings with a friend - miraculously this friend also was wanted to transition! They supported each other with bravery and solidarity. Austin’s peers, teachers and family grew to to accept him over time. Now, his community views him as a pioneer and as a hero.
Sometimes all it takes is one person sharing their story. And Austin was ready to share his.
Austin is a proud and self-assured man and so obviously a role model, not only to the deaf and transgender communities, but to everyone he encounters. Michelle da Silva, The Georgia Straight
Be a Good Ally
We often wonder how we can be good ally to trans people. Known as SOFFAs (Significant Others, Friends, Family and Allies of transsexual, transgendered, or intersex persons) we realize we cannot tell the experience of a trans person, but instead act as role models of acceptance.
Austin Unbound is more than an intro to trans. Told from a Deaf perspective, the film…
Youth today are facing particularly challenging times under the new pressure of our political climate. Unprecedented social media use among kids present parents and educators with unique challenges as we try to make a safer community and help our kids feel loved and supported.
We must empower them with meaningful stories that provide context on how far we have come, so they can be prepared for the work ahead.
Already contending with shifting hormones, kids may be questioning their gender identity but may not have the vocabulary to assert their thoughts and feelings. A child picking the right time to come out may feel incredibly isolated and experience self-esteem issues. Your student may be well on their way with Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) or they may still be…
As we learn more about people with marginalized experiences, we often look back to someone we met in the past and realize how we might have been better allies. We are resolved to more respectfully use pronouns or learn some basic sign language.
Austin is an FTM trans guy who identifies as a straight man.
Austin’s grandmother has no problem accepting Austin’s identity and choice to get a gender-affirming surgery. His mother, however, admits she struggled with his transition.
Resource for your Trans* Student or Child
Austin’s story may be a good fit for kids who are:
- interested in learning sign language
- questioning gender or ready to begin transition.
- facing bullying
- struggling with bathroom privacy issues
- having suicide ideation
- experiencing gender dysphoria
Parents and educators worry about the safety and well-being of trans* children. Will school be a safe space? Will there be gender neutral bathrooms? Will they have access to gender inclusive educations and support systems?
They often feel helpless and must face hard truths about what it means to accept and love their child for who they are. Learning more about the stages of transition, they are tasked with finding an endocrinologist and are tasked with weighing out the associated health risks. These challenges often lead SOFFAs to reach out for support groups and resources such as those provided by PFLAG.
The perfect Sign language club activity!
A fun thing to watch with your GSA!
“Quote: So and so, EIPA”
After jumping through various hoops to legally change his name and gender, he and his community put on a gender-affirming fundraiser in the form of an ASL variety show. His mom agrees to lend him the balance, allowing him to finally access the surgery he has planned and saved for all these years
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Classroom versions available for younger audiences.
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