Please note that Brave Space has a waitlist for counseling. We are accepting new clients for medical assessments for support letters regarding gender-affirming surgeries and hormone therapy.
ADULTS: WELCOME TO CARE THAT KNOWS YOU.
Engaging in social services can take bravery. You may wonder if we know how to meet your needs, if you'll have to educate us, or if you will have to hide vital parts of yourself to get the care you need.
Brave Space means that all of you is allowed to show up. We know some things about what you may have been through, and what is still to come. We understand how to treat you and your family with dignity and respect.
We provide experienced transgender-specific care for all adult life stages: career building, child-rearing, relationship life cycles, re-transition, aging and increased medical and social support needs, retirement and assisted care, and death and dying.
We practice from trauma-informed, race-informed, and disability-informed models of care and are critically aware of our own dynamics of bias, privilege, and marginalization. We internally support our clinicians to continue personal work to expand our skillsets for being useful and present for a diverse community. We encourage your full expression of cultural self to be present in the room. We can help you get where you need to go.
PARENTS: WE'RE GLAD YOU'RE HERE.
Our value is to help families stay connected and resilient. We understand how gender identity can bring up lots of thoughts, feelings, and dynamics for families as they work through the changing nature of their relationships.
If you are a parent or family member of a transgender person, we understand that you have a process, too. We welcome you to our community of others who have your experience.
If you are a transgender parent, we are here for you and your family. We understand how gender and parenting interact, and can support your family's process.
YOUTH: WELCOME TO A FAMILY.
However you found Brave Space, consider yourself at home. We want to get to know you, and celebrate who you are. When you walk into Brave Space, you will be treated with respect and dignity, and will find people who stand on your side. You will find people who have fun, and can help advocate for your needs.
We know a lot about the types of things you might face: in your family, in your school, in your work, in your friendships, in your relationships, inside of yourself. Many times, we'll ask the question before you even have to tell us.
We can help you get where you need to go, and can be a useful guide along the way.
ASSESSMENT FOR MEDICAL CARE.
When supporting people seeking gender-affirming medical care, Brave Space practices from a “Trans Depathologization” model of care. This means that we actively resist the predominant assumption that we are “evaluators” and have any power to say “yes or no” to your care. Rather, we believe that access to this care is a human right and YOU are the expert as to whether you need it or not. We see ourselves as knowledgeable facilitators and advocates, and our primary duty is to be USEFUL to you as you navigate the challenges ahead and ensure you feel prepared and ready.
Using this model, we will absolutely write a letter for you, and you have say in when it is right for you to receive that letter. We will not expect you to give us the “right” story or “prove” yourself to us. We also will not require you to disclose your whole story to us, and we don’t believe we need to know your whole life story in order to help you access medical care. Rather, we will review the information that is relevant to your medical care. This includes: some details about your gender history; symptoms of gender dysphoria; your expectations for medical care; your housing, financial, and support network planning; any mental health or substance use that might make the next steps more challenging; any personal doubts or concerns you have about moving forward; and your requests and accommodations that we could advocate for. We are happy to spend as much time as you need to discuss and plan about the next steps ahead, and address any barriers to your care that might arise.
Further, we acknowledge that people can have an evolving sense of what medical care is necessary to affirm their gender. This can lead to feeling sure about a medical procedure at one point in life, then feel it was not the right decision at a later point, or regretting the outcomes of the procedure. Brave Space operates under the Trans Depathologization model because we hope it creates a trusting relationship in which you can share your doubts, your questions, and your regrets without the risk of “losing a letter.” We are here to discuss the many ways to affirm one’s gender, resist cultural norms of conformity, and weigh the many pros and cons of seeking medical care. We hope that you will feel supported in exploring these many processes, if they will help you feel prepared.
When working with families of trans youth, this model may feel frightening or too fast for cisgender loved ones. We recognize that the optimal time for a trans youth to access medical care necessarily balances the speeds of multiple people in the room: the youth, the parent(s), caseworkers, and the therapist. To do this, we will often slow down and spend quality time with all engaged parties to ensure that their concerns are addressed and they feel prepared to support the next steps for their trans loved one, while advocating for and honoring the urgency that might be expressed by the trans youth.