All across this country, thousands of parents are taking action to support and protect their transgender, non-binary, and gender expansive children. They are urging school leaders to implement gender inclusive policies, they are meeting with elected officials, they are sharing their stories with neighbors, friends, and other community members with the hope of changing hearts and minds. Some parents do this very quietly, others take to a larger stage; no matter what steps parents and other caregivers are taking on behalf of their children, it is life changing and world-changing, and we applaud you for your unconditional love and fierce determination to create the kind of world trans, non-binary, and gender-expansive children deserve to live in, and thrive in.
HRC’s National Parents for Transgender Equality Council represents a small but mighty, diverse segment of those parents out there who, every day, are modeling love, acceptance, and affirmation for their trans children, and by extension, all trans children. Not all parents are able to be public in their advocacy, or there may be limitations to how much and how loud their advocacy can be. There are many ways to engage in our work, and we invite you to fill out the form below to receive occasional updates on local and national initiatives for parents, for example, we sometimes reach out to our database to identify parents in a particular state, or with a particular story of experience, or a particular professional or skill. Please utilize any and all of our resources that can help you and others in your network, and let us know how we can help you.
Stephen Chukumba (he/him/his) is a single father of four children, Asha Ming, Chima, Hobbs and Nokosi. One of Stephen’s children identifies as a transgender boy and since his son’s coming out, Stephen has made it his mission to disabuse the world of its ignorance and intolerance of LGBTQ people and the issues they face.S tephen is a scrum master at Capital One, where he is an active member of several business resource groups devoted to assisting the members of minority and disenfranchised groups. As a member of the Human Rights Campaign’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council, PFLAG and GLAAD, Stephen leverages his membership in these powerful advocacy platforms to speak and educate about the unique challenges faced by people of color raising transgender youth.
Rachel (she/her/hers) and Frank Gonzales (he/him/his) are advocates and allies in the movement for transgender equality. As the parents of a transgender child, they fight to ensure that other parents are able to advocate for their transgender children and that all transgender people receive the love and support that has allowed their trans daughter to thrive. Rachel and Frank have testified multiple times at the Texas Capitol, and have been an integral part of blocking Texas’s anti-transgender bathroom bill in 2017, and the many bills proposed in 2021 and continue to push for trans equality across Texas and around the country.
Keisha (she/her/hers) and Sean (he/him/his) Michaels are the parents of two children and live in suburban Maryland. Both are originally from Massachusetts, they met while attending the same HBCU and have since enjoyed the Mid-Atlantic region for most of their adulthood. Keisha practices medicine full-time and is an avid reader. She co-moderates a Facebook physician group that supports parents of children who identify as LGBTQI. Sean is an entrepreneur and stock market trader. Keisha and Sean are the parents of a transgender child and have committed to helping other families love and accept their children and family members who are gender atypical.
Sonia Murphy (she/her/hers) is the proud mother of two daughters, and “Auntie” to countless children, including her transgender nephew, of whom she has full custody. She is inspired by her nephew, who is a Champion (transgender youth advocate) with The Gender Cool Project, a youth-led movement that works to replace harsh and misinformed views regarding transgender youth with positive and uplifting messages and stories. In her professional capacity, Sonia is a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice and a former President of the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia.
Mikael (he/him) and Melissa (she/her) live in central Ohio and have identical twins. Their daughter socially transitioned at the age of 4 after several years of telling her family that she wasn’t a boy like her brother. Mike and Melissa have been educating others ever since. Their family spoke at the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 2018 annual conference about affirming their transgender child’s identity and the positive impact on their family to an international audience of medical providers. The McLaren family have been public advocates for transgender youth and have taken part in educational conferences, radio and television news media, and worked with organizations such as HRC, Equality Ohio, TransOhio, ACLU and others. Mike and Melissa have testified in front of the Ohio State Board of Education and the Ohio General Assembly to advocate for transgender youth against bills that would ban them from playing on sports teams, bans on gender-affirming medical care, and curriculum bans. Melissa is a nurse of 18 years. She currently works in higher education to open the doors for more individuals to pursue a career in healthcare. Mikael, originally from Buffalo, NY is a manager in customer service whose job has led the family to Minnesota, Florida, and Ohio, which is Melissa’s home state. Melissa was a founding board member of the Rainbow Alliance of Fairfield County and currently serves as the Vice President. She is a board member of Equality Ohio. Both Mike and Melissa are active in the Trans Allies of Ohio, an organization of parents and allies fighting for the transgender community. They are excited to continue serving the needs of parents, family members, and caregivers of gender-diverse youth through the work of the HRC Parents for Transgender Equality National Council.
Reema (she/her) and Rahul (he/him) are immigrant parents of color who are raising two beautiful children, one of whom is transgender. Our journey towards becoming allies began by helping our young child learn to navigate and live as their authentic self. As parents, we knew that we had a responsibility to support and love our child unconditionally. We are focused on better understanding our child’s needs and how to advocate for their rights. We want to raise our child to be proud of who they are. Our dedication to our children’s well-being extends beyond our family. We are active members of Desi Rainbow, a South Asian LGBTQ+ organization aimed at promoting family acceptance in the Desi community. We also engage in community outreach to educate people on LGBTQ+ issues and provide resources and support to families and individuals in need. As immigrants of color, we understand what it’s like to feel marginalized and discriminated against. Oppressive systems can harm individuals and communities. Fighting for social justice and standing up for the rights of all people is something that has always been important to us, and more so for the marginalized LGBTQ+ community. We believe that being a strong ally means listening, learning, and taking action. We will continue to educate ourselves, challenge harmful beliefs and behaviors, and advocate for policies that support the LGBTQ+ community. Through powerful national platforms like HRC, we hope to inspire ourselves and others to become strong LGBTQ+ allies and work towards a common goal where everyone can live with dignity, respect, and acceptance.
Luchina Fisher & David Parr
Vanessa & JR Ford
Amber & Adam Briggle
Hillary & Jeff Whittington
Pete & Sarah Tchoryk
Priya Shah & Jaspret Brar
Ea & Louis Porter
Mimi & Joe Lemay
Kamela and Kole Heyward-Rotini
We are proud to partner with Trans Families, the national premiere resource for parents of trans children to find support. Trans Families inspires hope, increases understanding, and creates a visible pathway to support trans and gender-diverse children and all those who touch their lives. If you are a family member who needs information and support regarding your child's gender expression or identity, Trans Families can help. Click here to learn more.