Counseling transgender students can be a uniquely challenging and rewarding opportunity for any school counselor today. While transgender people represent some of the deepest roots of diversity, they can need a bit of help along the way, just like anyone else. For counselors wanting to be even better at helping this particular student, here are five great resources which can help you to better help them.
If I Was Your Girl
Reading about the transgender experience is a top way with which to become notably familiar and thus able to help and better understand transgender people. For school counselors in particular, Meredith Russo's If I Was Your Girl is a perfect example of such a resource. Here, the reader follows Amanda Hardy, an otherwise typical Tennessee high school student. Unlike other students, though, Amanda struggles with relationships to include the complicated one at hand of the self.
Should I transfer? What do I do when others want to get close to me? How should I act? This learning experience will teach anyone quite a bit about the experience of many transgender students in the world today.
Another great book for the counselor pursuing transgender-specific knowledge comes in the surprising form of a contemporary fiction piece called George. Written by Alex Gino, George is the delightfully uplifting story of the transgender platform in lower grade levels. While George really wants to be seen as a "she" rather than a "he", she finds a sweet way to directly face her dilemma at her school's Charlotte's Web play. Be yourself and enjoy it is the ultimate message provided here along with some incredibly invaluable perspective.
GLAAD stands for Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. GLAAD is also one of the more notably suited organizations for the entire LGBTQ community. Specifically to transgender people, the organization provides a wide array of resources, events, contact points, a blog, membership, and much more. At the organization's transgender resource page alone, one can find a noteworthy list of all of these resources. This is invaluable information for school counselors as well as the students they serve.
TSER, or the Trans Student Educational Resources Organization, is another great resource point for the school counselor working with transgender students. On one side, this organization serves as a basic resource and information point for all matters involving trans students today. On the other side, the organization acts proactively in student rights issues involving the education of those in the LGBTQ community. As a result, those seeking guidance in practical trans matters, student rights, and even activism are well served here.
Finally, those looking to do a more informed job counseling transgender students can also make substantial gains by simply watching a great movie. Transamerica is a comedic-drama made in 2005 which covers the tale of Bree, a transgender woman on a road-trip of the heart. One of the key themes throughout the movie is a the tale of self-discovery and understanding. This is a journey all must make despite their various orientations in life and a story any counselor can certainly grow from.
An effective school counselor is able to help virtually any student to some extent with their issues. To become that much more capable in the counseling of all students, a bit of a continuing education regimen is sure to help. These five resources definitely help shine the light on counseling transgender students in particular as well as understanding from where they come as individuals.