Mentors are adult volunteers based in the California Bay Area who have experience negotiating life as a trans or gender diverse adult. It is this personal understanding that makes mentors particularly well suited to help others.
What to Expect
The coordinator pairs mentors and mentees based on shared identities and interests, in respect of special requests when possible.
Monthly Mentor Meetings
Receive support in navigating your role as a mentor at monthly meetings with a mental health professional and fellow mentors. Mentor meetings are 1pm-3pm on the second Sunday of each month in Oakland.
Mentors and mentees meet once every two weeks in public places for about an hour. Meeting times and activities are flexible in order to accommodate both mentors’ and mentees’ interests and schedules. Mentors and mentees may attend community events or workshops with guardian approval.
Mentors and mentees discuss issues of interest to the mentee. Often discussions center on self-acceptance, coming out to friends or family, dating questions, religious conflicts, multiple identities (e.g. being trans and a person of color). They can also focus on academic or professional issues related to trans or queer identity.
What Mentors Say
When I was growing up, there really wasn’t a lot of representation. When you’re young and figuring yourself out, it’s really important to have people you can see yourself in.
Being trans forces you to know yourself at such a deep level that I think a lot of cis people don’t realize.
The Impact of Role Models on Health Outcomes for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth (Bird JD, Kuhns L, Garofalo R. 2012)
This exploratory study describes the presence and availability of LGBT affirming role models and examines the relationship between the accessibility of role models and health outcomes among a community-based sample of LGBT youth.
Teacher-Mentors and the Educational Resilience of Sexual Minority Youth (Gastic B and Johnson D. 2009)
This is the first study to examine the benefits of informal mentoring on the educational resilience of sexual minority youth.