We Don't Do Pronouns Anymore

This workshop addresses the issues and challenges of parenting  transgender youth.  A parent and youth panel will have present their experiences and challenges and open the discussion to the audience to ask questions and deal with this very difficult parenting issue, made more difficult by foster care and adoption.

Lynn B. Barnett, LMSW

MidAmerica Family Treatment Center


Lynn Barnett is a licensed social worker who has been working in the field of mental health and child welfare for the past 20 years.  Lynn is also an adoptive parent of two children impacted by attachment challenges, fetal alcohol exposure.  Lynn comes to this conference as both a mental health professional and the mother of a transgender child who is meeting the challenges of transitioning from being a young lady to emerging as a young man.

Focus Areas:

Culture & Diversity

Level of Learning:


Learning Objectives:

1. Participants will learn the appropriate language in meeting the needs of transgender youth.

2. Participants will learn how to recognize transgender challenges and be able to help their youth through those difficult years as parents or as professionals with compassion and understanding. 

3. Participants will learn how to talk about the real and difficult issues these kids face and help the youth emerge into adulthood as a healthy, happy adult .

Description:  Since the late 1990's, increasing numbers of youth are coming out of the transgender closet and facing the very hard reality that they are neither gay or lesbian, but were born into the wrong body.  These kids struggle for years as being unacceptable on so many levels, they don't belong with gay men or lesbian groups.  Parenting youth with these issues also presents serious challenges and can lead some parents to completely reject their transgender youth, leading these teenagers to self harm or commit suicide at even higher rates than gay and lesbian youth.  This panel discussion brings out into the open these very tough issues and opens up the discussion to help foster and adoptive families talk about the tough issues and keeping these struggling kids in their homes.

Prior Presentations: 

This workshop has not been presented by me but last year, 2012.  I was the facilitator for the LGBT youth panel and felt very good about the feedback form that presentation.  I believe that this topic is current and very much needed in our community and it can't wait.  Transgender youth are coming out in increasing numbers and our foster and adoptive community needs to be ready to meet their needs.