INDIANAPOLIS, Ind – Simple things like going to the store to get new clothes can be a stressful and scary for people transitioning to a different gender.
The Indiana Youth Group has started a new program to provide more support for transgender youth. They say mental health is a big issue for transgender people and having a strong support system is essential.
A study done by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force found 41 percent of transgender people had attempted suicide. When looking at the overall U.S. population, that number is 4.6 percent.
“The reason for this arose out of that it is a literal mental health issue for our youth,” Youth Development Specialist Kaylee Sink said.
The Transitional Apparel room is full of donated bras and wraps. They also provide educational supplies to ensure safety.
“One of the items that our youth often access are binders, a lot of our youth who identify as trans men access these to flatten their chest and make it more comfortable for their gender expression,” Sink said.
The room is something that local transgender woman and advocate Jacqueline Patterson is excited to see.
“About 30 percent of us one of the biggest parts of discrimination that we experience is in retail establishments such as department stores or groceries,” Patterson said.
IYG has already helped more than 10 transgender teens and plans to help many more. Anyone who identifies as LGBTQ between the ages of 12 and 20 or is a straight ally can participate in the organizations programs and events.
For more information on IYG and how to donate, click here.