Hello everyone! By now many of you have heard that we're re-launching Genderlines and that it is becoming a 501c3 non-profit. So, you're probably asking, "What does this all mean?"
Originally, I founded Genderlines back in 2014 as a simple peer support group. It was meant to fill a gap left by the absence of the former Charlotte Gender Alliance. The group grew a bit and we carried on with twice monthly meetings until last year. Group sizes had dwindled until only a couple of regular folks were attending. It was decided then to terminate the support group.
Over the past couple of years, in addition to the support group, my wife, Jennifer, and I were doing trans trainings and advocacy in the area. We've continued to do these trainings and have seen an uptick in demand (and need) for these services. I've been approached recently about re-starting the support group. Jen and I discussed and felt we would like to do that but we really want to do things the RIGHT way this time. We felt we should enlist the help of other folks and morph Genderlines into a non-profit transgender service agency.
Our plan for Genderlines for the first year goes something like this:
1. We will re-launch our peer support group. It will be initially a once a month meeting and we are going to implement (and ENFORCE) some rules to avoid some of the problems that led to attendance dropping off in the prior group. It is paramount that group space remain a safe and supportive environment so we want to make sure that no one personality dominates group and makes people uncomfortable.
2. We will do trans training and advocacy with local government, companies, and organizations.
3. We launch a therapist led trans therapy group once demand is established.
4. Provide referral services for local trans folks and their families.
Throughout the first year and based on the community feedback, we'll work on what other services to incorporate.
So, where are we now in the process? As of the date of this post we are officially incorporated, we've secured our EIN, and we have the 501c3 paperwork filed. We're also in the process of building out a working board of directors and an advisory board. We are making every effort to make our board as diverse as possible.
This is where we're at. We welcome suggestions and feedback along the way as we get things going again. If all goes well we will be kicking off Genderlines 2.0 at the end of the summer with a cookout.
Thank you everyone for your support! We couldn't do this without you!