Gender Spectrum is a national organization committed to the health and well-being of gender- diverse children and teens through education and support for families, and training and guidance for educators, medical and mental health providers, and other professionals.
What We Do
Gender Spectrum facilitates social groups for parents, guardians, grandparents, and other family members and caregivers, providing them a space to explore their own feelings, and to find a community that can support them as they navigate their child’s journey. In conjunction with outside partners, we connect young people to similar spaces, where they can be seen and validated for who they are. We regularly host educational events for both young people and parents. And our Annual Conference is one of the oldest conferences for and about transgender youth and their families in the United States. Our groups and events attract participants from all 50 states and even other countries.
For professionals, we contract directly with schools, school districts, camps, medical clinics, and other organizations to provide training for staff. We host a series of open training institutes for individuals to attend. And our Professionals’ Symposium annually attracts more than 500 people, who hear from up to 60 professionals in the areas of Education, Medicine, Mental Health, Law, Social Services, and Child Welfare.
We envision a world that is affirming and inclusive of children and teens of all genders.
Gender Spectrum is a national non-profit and a longtime leader in the work of gender diversity and children. The Gender Spectrum of today came out of the work that Stephanie Brill began in 2002 with families of gender-expansive children and the trainings of the professionals who worked with these children in different capacities.
Stephanie’s work began in the Bay Area with a parent support group out of Children’s Hospital Oakland and the first trainings for local elementary and pre-schools that transgender and gender-expansive children were attending. From there, trainings expanded to Head Start programs, Public Health departments, Grand Rounds, mental health provider trainings, medical and nursing school trainings, and community center talks for the public.
In 2007, Stephanie and Aiden Key started the first conference for families raising gender diverse children and teens. That same year, Gender Spectrum was incorporated as a 501(c)(3). In 2008, Stephanie and Rachel Pepper wrote the groundbreaking book, The Transgender Child.
Over the years, Gender Spectrum has expanded its reach and evolved its programmatic offerings in line with evolving science and the experiences of an increasingly diverse group of youth and adult participants. One thing, however, remains constant: the adults in children’s lives – teachers, pediatricians, mental health providers, camp counselors, lawyers and judges, clergy, and coaches – can have a lasting impact on young people’s development and wellbeing. For that impact to be a positive one for transgender and gender-expansive children, all youth-serving professionals should be trained in the needs and experiences of the gender-expansive children in their care.
Upstream — Our framework for understanding gender, which we call the Dimensions of Gender, has become standard in the field. We hold over 200 trainings each year, for more than 20,000 professionals, whose students, patients, and clients number in the millions.
Downstream — Our most direct impact is on the young people and the families we work with. Gender Spectrum provides support to between 100 and 150 new families raising gender diverse children and teens every month.