UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) – A Marquette County woman is putting forth an effort to start a support group for transgender youths in the Upper Peninsula.
Kristianna Harris Pfaffle is a mother to a transgender son. But living in a rural area, she noticed there was a lack of community for trans youths.
“[Transgender youths are] not necessarily out there because there’s not a whole lot. You know, they’ve got a lot of non-acceptance issues. They don’t necessarily want to come out but they’re here they just don’t have a place to gather,” said Harris Pfaffle.
Until she found Stand with Trans, a non-profit organization founded by another Michigan mother.
“My inspiration was my own family because when 7 and a half years ago my younger child told me he was transgender. That he didn’t identify as a girl but identified as a boy,” said Roz Keith, the founder of Stand with Trans. “It was really isolating and lonely. There were no resources for him for me, for the family. So once we were able to get him on his way and figured out where we could cobble together some plan for him. We started hearing from our families who were in the same situation. We just knew we had to do something.”
Stand with Trans offers virtual programs, educational events, and support groups to serve the transgender communities in the state and across the nation. Keith and Harris Pfaffle are working together to help build this support in the U.P.
“It’s fantastic. I feel for them because I knew what it was like seven years ago when there was not support down here. They have to travel several hours if they’re going to come down to U of M to go to the clinic there. The fact that they’re really excited to start this and get this going and their local resources behind it is fantastic,” said Keith.
Beth Millner Jewelry in Marquette is selling Stand with Trans masks to support the effort for a U.P. group. You can click here for more information.