In 2005, Brian and Kim Hutton were navigating uncharted territory with their 2½-year-old child. Assigned female at birth, 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 the 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. They granted her request, and in 2015 TransParent was awarded community partner status.
In 2013 TransParent invested in a website 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 significant 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 sixteen chapters in nine states. Our mission is to normalize this naturally-occurring human experience and to empower children to live authentically.