🤗 How this nonprofit is helping trans families in Portland
Plus, yes way rosé.
By Cassie Ruud
Remember to keep sending in local LGBTQIA+-owned businesses and organizations to shout out in this Friday’s newsletter — just hit reply! And we’ve got a treat for you today, Portland. Normally, Thursday would be another edition of Did You Eat Yet? But this local story is too beautiful not to share.
In honor of Pride Month, we are covering things all about Pride in Portland — its history, its legacy, and where we go from here. We had the honor of interviewing one of our Bridgeliner Unabridged members, Rachel Bikil Langshall on their work with local nonprofit Trans Families. This organization provides resources for local trans youth and their families, creating networks of support and communication.
So what are you waiting for? Scroll on down.
🌈 5 questions with Rachel of Trans Families
Trans Families is a local nonprofit providing resources to trans youth and their families. (🎨: Bridgeliner illustration)
Tell us a little bit about yourself as a Portlander — how long have you been here and what do you like to get up to?
I’ve lived in Beaverton for almost four years now. My family and I moved here from Utah because of my Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder (and various other reasons) and wow has it helped my health! We love exploring amazing food places, checking out parks (Tualatin Hills Nature Park and Washington Park being two of our favorites), and (pre-COVID) hanging out at the beach.
Tell us about the work you do with Trans Families — what’s your role and what’s your favorite part about your work?
I love my work so much! Trans Families is a nonprofit organization that supports transgender and gender diverse youth and their families. Trans youth are under attack all over the US and need our support. Because trans youth depend on adults to affirm and advocate for them, we also support parents and work to help professionals in all kinds of fields understand how to care for them.
Trans Families has a virtual platform that provides online support groups for parents, groups and mentor opportunities for trans youth, parent forums, access to vetted resources, and more. I help facilitate some of the groups for parents and youth, but the main part of my job is to fundraise and write grants. I adore being able to help families like mine. One of my favorite parts is running game nights for our youth. I love hearing them be happy and open and just BE!
What are the main goals and services Trans Families works to provide and how do they help families here in Portland?
Our main goal is to make the world a place that accepts and loves trans youth. I mentioned the support groups for youth and parents. All of these are virtual, so anyone can access our services. We have a lot of families in the Portland area and beyond who come to our groups.
What exciting things are coming down the pipeline for Trans Families and how can Bridgeliner readers best support the organization?
One of our big Pride events is a benefit concert put on by The Doubleclicks happening this Saturday and whose proceeds will go to us — the concert is called Roaring Rainbow and it’s amazing.
Other exciting things coming for us, including a workshop on Relationships, Dating, and Sex for trans youth later in the summer. We also have more groups for more folks as our numbers are growing. We piloted the virtual platform for a couple years, but officially launched in Fall 2020. We’re getting 80+ families joining us every month and we’re expanding so that we can help every family that comes to us. We have lots of ways people can support, you can go to our website to find out more.
What is a local LGBTQIA+-owned business or organization here in PDX that you would like to give a shoutout to?
I have to shout out the Q Center, they have really helped us find community here in Oregon. Also super shoutouts to Books with Pictures our favorite queer comics store and Fat Fancy another queer-owned store that sells consignment clothing and sundries for people of a glorious size. There’s also Optimystical Studios who are the sweetest people ever and sell fabulous hand-crafted jewelry that is beautiful, nerdy, and prideful.
Thank you to our Bridgeliner Unabridged members (and to you, Rachel 🤗) — your support makes stories like this accessible and free to our readers.