ROCHESTER, Minn. – Rochester Public Library is working to fill a need in the community by offering new programming for transgender families.
“Studies show that transgender and gender non-conforming kids that don't feel loved and accepted and seen in their community are much more likely to face depression, risk of ya know substance abuse, suicide, and those sorts of things later on,” Sarah Joynt, the teen librarian, said.
Joynt said the library already has a couple support groups set up for LGBTQ teens and parents, and has recently partnered up with Transforming Families to offer a support group for transgender families. The group will meet the third Saturday of every month from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the library.
“You know five or ten years ago, you had to go all the way to Minneapolis or St. Paul to find any sort of resources for kids and so we really want to make sure people know and are aware that we have resources here in Rochester too,” Joynt said.
Joynt said the library will also bring in a speaker to discuss how laws in the U.S. about transgender people have changed over the years. Phil Duran, Outfront Minnesota’s legal director, will present “Trans Lives and Emerging Law” on Monday, Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. in the library auditorium.
Joynt said the library wants to be an accepting and welcoming place for all.
“It's just a way to you know come together as a community and to realize that maybe you're not the only family that has a transgender youth in your family,” Joynt said, “and meet some other people and talk about things that you know you might be going through.”