Photo courtesy of Kathie Moehlig
As the executive director of TransFamily Support Services and parent of a transgender son, Kathie Moehlig knows a thing or two about the challenges families with gender nonconforming members face. Her mission as an active trans advocate is to help others navigate that journey with education and support, ranging from training for schools and health professionals to mentoring programs and working with insurance companies to draft trans youth care policies.
Even with huge wins like a 100-percent success rate on insurance approvals, Moehlig prefers to talk about the human connection in her work. "I think the biggest success...is the amount of families that have become accepting [through family coaching services] and the level of love and compassion within those families now. It's important to know that there are people out there that are willing to help, come alongside them and partner with them so that they're not alone in this struggle."
Moehlig has some advice if you're personally connected to the trans community, are a policy maker or wish to know more about what you can do to become an ally.
"If you have encountered someone in your day-to-day that is trans or is gender nonconforming, sit down and have a conversation with them," she says. "Ask if they're willing to share, and educate yourself that way, by actual individuals—not the rhetoric that we hear in the media. A little bit of knowledge goes a really long way."