Trans Family Support Services is excited to announce phase one of our newest program, Kyler’s Konnections! The program is designed to offer support to trans and non-binary youth and young adults as they navigate transitioning to their true selves. The staff at TFSS is committed to finding positive matches for our mentees with mentors who have already transitioned and/or have been integrated into the world as trans or non-binary.
Kyler’s Konnections honors the memory of Kyler Prescott who, despite having a loving and supportive family, took his life in 2015 at the age of fourteen. Kyler’s family was loving and supportive of his gender identity, but after aggressive bullying from his peers and intense distress, Kyler was unable to keep going. He was a talented pianist, poet, and artist who lit up the world with his smile, and he showed endless compassion in his short life, championing animal justice and LGBTQ rights.
Why Do We Need Mentor Programs?
Stories like Kyler’s are not unique, but with more trans representation and education our society is becoming more accepting all the time, and Kyler’s Konnections aims to provide an extra level of support. According to the National Mentoring Resource Center, transgender youth who have access to nonparental role models are less likely to suffer increased levels of psychological distress and show more resilience. Simply put, when trans youth have an adult in their life that is traveling the same road that they are on, it can be reassuring and life affirming.
While there are many types of mentor programs out there, there are few in the United States that serve the trans community specifically, and that’s where Kyler’s Konnections comes in. During activities as simple as getting a meal together, filling out job/school applications, or just taking a walk, our mentees will be given the space to ask the questions that are on their minds. Be they questions about how a mentor came out to resistant family or the steps they took to initiate a name change, it is so helpful for them to have contact and open communication with someone who can share with them first-hand knowledge and experience.
Calling All Mentors!
We want to do all we can to lift up our youth, and that takes community involvement. If you are a trans or non-binary adult with the time and desire to make a difference in our community, please fill out an application HERE or find us at a community event for a paper form. All mentors will need to complete the necessary background checks and attend Kyler’s Konnections training before being matched with a mentee. Matches will be based on but not limited to factors like experience, personality, age, interests, and location, and mentors will be expected to make a weekly commitment to the program.
Kyler’s Konnection is currently only able to serve trans youth in the San Diego County area.
If you or your child are interested in being a mentee, we will be announcing phase two of the program after we have finished training our first group of mentors, so be on the lookout for more exciting announcements!