First meeting of support group for parents of transgender children

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT/KKCO) -- We've all heard the saying, "it takes a village to raise a child." And when that child is gender transitioning, parents need just as much, if not more, support.

For the first time ever, the First Congregational United Church of Christ hosted a meeting for parents with trans children. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young adults between the ages of 15 and 24.

LGBTQ teens are often at greater risk.

In a report released by the Surgeon General, more than 60 percent of high school students who identified as LGBTQ said they felt hopeless. A staggering 42 percent said they’d considered suicide; almost 30 percent actually attempted suicide.

The statistics also show family support makes a huge difference. That’s the idea behind a brand new support group, founded by parents, for parents. Heather White organized the support group on Saturday.

She said, she'd rather support her child than lose them, but even that choice to be supportive of a young person in transition can be isolating.

"When we have a child who comes out and they decide to transition, there's a lot of things as parents we go through too," White said, "It's the start of a journey, The whole family transitions too. We become marginalized too, by our family members and society, so we just wanted a place to talk about those tough issues."

She wants parents to know they are not alone, and to have a safe place to gather. Saturday's gathering was designed for parents only, and organizers hope, it will not be the last of its kind.

Find more on the support group on their Facebook page, linked next to this article.