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Extension > Family Matters > CYFC Team to Take Lessons from the Field on the Road to Address Transgender Youth Issues

Monday, October 24, 2016

CYFC Team to Take Lessons from the Field on the Road to Address Transgender Youth Issues

Judy Myers, Extension Educator — Children, Youth & Family Consortium


Beginning in January 2017, the Children, Youth & Family Consortium (CYFC) will host a number of Lessons from the Field seminars on the topic of transgender youth, featuring CYFC's resident visiting scholar.

Transgender youth live throughout Minnesota, in rural and urban communities alike. CYFC educators and staff believe that addressing the issues that transgender youth face in Minnesota is critical to improving both their health and the health of communities in which they live. CYFC is in a unique position to address these issues in collaboration with our Scholar in Residence, Jenifer McGuire, Ph.D.

Dr. McGuire, associate professor in the University of Minnesota Department of Family Social Science, is an internationally known expert in transgender youth research. Her research spans three unique domains:
  • Clinic-based research with children and adolescents.
  • School-based research with middle and high school-age youth.
  • Family-based research with adolescents and young adults.
In lieu of a broadcast conference this year, the Lessons from the Field seminars will be held at various locations around the state. During these visits, Dr. McGuire and a team of graduate students and Extension educators will meet with professionals and families to discuss topics relevant to transgender youth. The team will host the first seminar January 24 in Andover, with subsequent seminars planned for Minneapolis, Bemidji, St. Cloud, and Morris.

During visits around Minnesota, Dr. McGuire and the CYFC team will discuss gender as a spectrum and where transgender youth fit on that spectrum. The team also will address topics such as:
  • Why discussion of challenges faced by transgender youth is relevant for both urban and rural communities.
  • Definitions and vocabulary around transgender youth, including how terms show up in everyday interactions.
  • Standards of practice for professionals who work with transgender youth.
  • The stages of development for transgender youth, as well as how the medical system and mental health community care for them.
  • How communities can support families and families can support their transgender youth.
In conjunction with the Lessons from the Field seminars, Dr. Vanessa Laci, a researcher from Ireland, will spend two weeks visiting and talking with professionals and parents in the Twin Cities in February 2017. She will discuss the innovative work being done with transgender youth internationally.

While in Minnesota, Dr. Laci will meet with individuals and groups such as educators, parents, community agencies, and others providing support for transgender youth. Those meetings will address transgender youth-related issues, such as creating a supportive school climate and ensuring these youths’ safety; finding and using appropriate and effective community resources, and equipping families (of transgender youth) with education and support that promotes resilience and mediates stress. CYFC educators will use information from Dr. Laci’s meetings to inform our work on transgender youth.

To learn more about Dr. McGuire's work, visit the CYFC Scholar in Residence web page.
To learn more about the physical and mental challenges that trans youth face, read Transgender Youth: Breaking Down the Challenges blog post.
For more about CYFC's work with trans youth, visit the Tough Conversations: Issues Facing Transgender Communities website.

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