People coming out on the trans spectrum often struggle to find safe and affirming spaces – and the same is true for their partners. To fill this need, Fenway Health is now offering the Trans Partner Support Group. The group is open to anyone 18 years or older who identifies as non-trans and is in a relationship with a trans-identified person or persons. This can mean any sort of dating relationship, long-term or short-term and open or monogamous.
The group sessions will cover a variety of topics, including shifts in identified communities, how to support a partner while handling one’s own reactions to their transition, coming out and disclosure to friends and family, coming out in social situations, changes in attraction, internalized transphobia, and sexual intimacy. The group’s goal is to build a strong community and forge connections and a reliable support network.
“It’s often that non-transgender people who are supporting their partners through a gender transition are dealing with their own emotions and reactions around the changes that are happening to their partner, in their relationship and around their own sense of who they are,” said Sarah Eley, group facilitator. “The experience, for some, can feel lonely and isolating.”
The opportunity to meet and interact with other people in similar romantic partnerships has the potential to positively impact both the individuals and their relationships, she added.
“For some non-trans partners, it is helpful to have a space to be able to share questions, thoughts, feelings, and worries, away from their partners,” Eley explained. “Taking part in a confidential group where there is guided support and where partners can share experiences and strategize around them can help build connections, a sense of community, and take away some of the feelings of isolation and loneliness. It can also help people become a better support for their partner along the way, because some of the burden has been lifted by feeling less alone.”
If you’re interested in joining or would like more information, please call Sarah Eley, LICSW at 857.313.6551 or email Seley@fenwayhealth.org.
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