5 Online Transgender Support Groups to Visit in 2021

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Transgender people are individuals whose gender identity is different from the one they were assigned at birth. (Cisgender people are those whose gender identity is what is assigned when they are born.) All transgender people, including both binary and nonbinary individuals, can experience significant stress moving through a world that treats being cisgender as the norm and lacks understanding about what it means to be trans. Having other people to talk to can make a big difference in your ability to cope. 

It is essential to know that many online transgender support groups are closed or restricted. You may be asked to affirm your identity before joining one of them. Additionally, some groups are by invitation only and may require networking for accessibility.

We've rounded up the best online transgender support groups so you can find the right one for your needs.

If you need immediate support in a time of crisis, please contact Trans Lifeline - 877-565-8860 or the Trevor Project Lifeline - 866-488-7386

The 5 Best Online Transgender Support Groups of 2021

5 Online Transgender Support Groups to Visit in 2021
5 Online Transgender Support Groups to Visit in 2021

Best Overall : Trans Lifeline

Trans Lifeline

Trans Lifeline

Trans Lifeline is a peer-support service run by trans people for trans people. All of the operators who work for the hotline are transgender.

While it started as a service for people in crisis, that is no longer the case. Trans Lifeline still functions as a crisis and suicide prevention hotline. However, it also serves as a space for trans people who just need someone to talk to.

Trans Lifeline provides live, one-on-one phone support, as well as large numbers of online resources for transgender and gender-questioning individuals. The hotline is open 24 hours a day. It is only guaranteed to be staffed from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time, but operators are often also available at other times. 

In addition to information resources, Trans Lifeline offers microgrants to individuals who need financial support when updating their name and gender on their legal documents. They accept a limited number of applications each month. However, they will pay the entire fee for most document changes other than birth certificates. 

Best for Young People in Crisis : The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project began from a film, the Academy Award-winning Trevor.

When the movie was released, the creators soon realized a need for resources to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. To address this need, they created The Trevor Project.

The Trevor Project offers several support resources for LGBTQ+ youth. There is a crisis hotline called TrevorLifeline and a secure instant messaging service called TrevorChat. The site provides access to trained specialists via cellphone using TrevorText. Finally, the Trevor Project offers TrevorSpace, a social networking site for LGBTQ+ individuals under 25, as well as their friends and allies.

Also, to support resources for LGBTQ+ youth, The Trevor Project offers educational resources for teachers and other professionals who work with youth. They also provide materials to help schools develop comprehensive suicide prevention policies that address kids' needs.

Best for Support Around Surgical Transition : Transbucket

Transbucket

Transbucket

Transbucket is primarily an online resource for learning about gender-affirming surgery. It is restricted to only members of the transgender community. Transbucket is inclusive of both binary and nonbinary trans people.

On Transbucket, you can find stories about people’s experiences undergoing various types of gender-affirming care. You can learn about different surgeons. You can also see photos that people have shared of their results and ask questions about their experiences getting surgery. 

Although it is not a traditional support group, Transbucket is a great place to learn about gender-affirming care. While not a substitute for a doctor’s advice, Transbucket can give you a window into what it’s actually like to get different types of surgery. It may also provide a broader range of good and bad results than you are likely to see at a surgeon’s office. 

Best for Teens and Their Parents : Gender Spectrum

Gender Spectrum

Gender Spectrum

Gender Spectrum is an organization built to “create gender-sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens.”

The service is best-known for its annual conference and its extensive selection of training and other resources for youth, their families, and the professionals working with them. However, Gender Spectrum also offers online groups for pre-teens, teens, parents, caregivers, and other family members. Even better, Gender Spectrum offers a Spanish-language support group for parents of Latin trans youth. 

Gender Spectrum primarily offers generalized support groups for transgender youth and their families. However, the organization also occasionally offers topic-specific support groups for caregivers.

To participate in a group, you will have to register. Groups are held at specific times and take place over one or more sessions. For some groups, you can attend once or multiple times over a month. For others, you are expected to attend for an entire series. 

Groups are organized by population. They are generally facilitated by one or more trained staffers who may or may not be part of the transgender community. All pre-teen groups are led by trained volunteers or Gender Spectrum staff. 

Best for Mental Health : The Tribe - LGBTQ+ Group

The Tribe - LGBT Group

The Tribe - LGBT Group

There aren’t many transgender-specific support groups for people looking for help dealing with mental health concerns.

However, lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals face some of the same issues moving through the world, as do their transgender counterparts. Therefore, sometimes an LGBTQ+ support group can be a good option. This is particularly true for individuals whose concerns are less about their gender and more about other stress types. 

The Tribe offers an LGBTQ+ peer-to-peer support group, and by using this site, there are several ways of getting support. You can either post in a group forum, or you can chat live with other members of the group. You can also participate in a range of wellness activities. While not transgender-specific, these activities can help you develop coping skills and otherwise work to improve your mental health and wellbeing.

Most of the resources from The Tribe can be accessed either on a desktop or a mobile device, which makes it ideal when you’re around and about. 

FAQs

What Does It Mean to be Transgender?

Gender identity is a person’s internal sense of themself as male, female, or a different gender. People sometimes refer to the “transgender umbrella” as including all individuals who have a gender identity separate from that which would be expected for their assigned sex at birth. This includes individuals who have a binary identity, such as transgender men assigned female at birth. It also includes people who are non-binary, genderqueer, or agender.

What Do Transgender Support Groups Offer?

Transgender support groups offer people a chance to connect and discuss similar life experiences and challenges. Sometimes, when you are a member of a minority group, it can be helpful to talk to people who will understand those parts of your life without needing an explanation.

Transgender support groups can be a great place to find people who understand you and make you feel less alone. They can serve as resources in a time of crisis or just a place to find a sympathetic ear if you’re having a bad day.

How Can Transgender Support Groups Help You?

Transgender people may experience somewhat unique challenges to others who share a similar gender identity or life stage. That is true whether you’re a teen just trying to figure out how to come out to your parents or an older person struggling to fit into an assisted living community.

Being a part of a support group can help you find resources to cope with problems, whether large or small. They can also help you feel useful and needed by giving you a chance to support others. Everyone has different experiences, knowledge, and skills. A transgender support group can be a way to feel better about your life, not just by getting help but by helping others.

Why Do Transgender People Have An Increased Risk of Mental Health Problems?

In general, transgender people have an increased risk of mental health problems. This is not because being transgender is bad or wrong. It is because people who are transgender often experience stigma and or discrimination. These experiences are associated with an increased risk of depression and anxiety. They may also increase a person’s risk of developing problematic coping skills such as smoking or substance use.

Why You Should Trust Our Recommendations

The author of this guide is a licensed, independent clinical social worker who works in a hospital-based transgender health program. She has published extensively about gender health and routinely provides online supports to her patients. The resources included in this guide were selected to include the most-respected, publicly available online support groups. 

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