A Chinatown health nonprofit is working to raise awareness about gender identity in Chicago’s Asian immigrant community.
The Midwest Asian Health Association recently hosted their first workshop aimed at addressing the challenges trans youth face at home. The workshop was co-funded by Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, according to ABC 7 News..
Ailin Chang, a mental health counselor at the nonprofit, said though the turnout was low, the workshop made a huge impact.
“At least one of the parents asked a lot of good questions during the workshop,” said Chang, adding, “People are getting more comfortable with listening to our workshop so this knowledge, this information could be spread to more people.”
The workshop comes as nearly 1 in 5 transgender and non-binary youth attempted suicide in the past year, according to a 2022 national survey Trevor Project. The survey also found that LGBTQ youth who felt high social support from family were less likely to attempt suicide.
“Parents’ role is to be there and support them and provide as many resources as they can to support their child,” said Chang.
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance Executive Director Kenrick Ross said parents of trans kid can help build bridges between their children and their community.
“There is a sense of loneliness and vulnerability that you have to choose between your culture and your sexuality, your gender expression,” he said.