In 2005, Brian and Kim Hutton were navigating uncharted territory with their 2 ½ year old child. Born a biological female, she began stating that she was a boy. Confused and afraid they weren’t able to share this information with family or close friends. The feelings of isolation were overwhelming. Kim searched the internet looking to connect with other families on this journey without success.
After years of struggling to connect and without local experienced professional resources, they met the Copeland family in 2009 who were raising a teenager who had lived a very similar experience. Kim immediately began urging Laurie to partner with her to form a support group so that no other family had to struggle in the same way.
In 2011, Kim secured a rental contract with St. Louis Ethical Society to use their facility for monthly meetings. Laurie joined her effort and they invited six families. With a simple, static website the group began to grow. Families shared experienced medical and therapeutic resources as well as books and videos.
Realizing that credibility and legitimacy would be hard won in 2012, Kim reached out to St. Louis Children’s Hospital, one of the top ten children’s hospitals in the United States, and requested meeting space within their facility. Her request was granted and in 2015 TransParent was awarded community partner status.
A website investment was made in 2013 that allowed them to organize local professional resources like pediatricians, endocrinologists, therapists and surgeons as well as transgender friendly schools, news stories and events. Another important milestone occurred in 2014 when TransParent launched the Gender Independent Kids Club for children aged 5 to 12 also in the St. Louis Children’s Hospital complex. Recently the age limit was raised to 17.
Today TRANSPARENT is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization with chapters in St. Louis, Missouri, Rochester, New York, Tallahassee, Florida and Kansas City, Missouri. A Washington DC chapter will launch in the Fall of 2017. Our mission is to normalize this naturally-occurring human experience and to empower children to live authentically.