Our meeting begins at 7:00 with announcements and introductions. We will have group sharing and discussions until 8:00. Depending on the size of the group, we may have one group discussion, or break into smaller groups. Michelle Fox-Phillips will be available to lead a separate Transgender Support Group during our group sharing from 7:00 – 8:00, if needed.
After our support session, we break for refreshments. Our speaker with begin at 8:15.
Our speaker will be Lisa Goyette, Stand with Trans board member.
Lisa’s caring, devoted and tireless efforts to help anyone in need were called upon when her own nuclear family found themselves in personal crisis. As an adoptive mom of a child from China, Lisa thought she was prepared to handle issues that could arise. Nothing, however prepared her and her husband Dave for the experience they endured with their own child. As her daughter began approaching puberty, life spiraled out of control and Lisa saw her happy child move into a place of depression, anxiety and intense anger at most everything. Lisa exhausted one resource after another in search of help. While feeling very fearful, she relied on her instincts and love to drive her forward in order to find answers and solutions. Lisa refused to stop searching until she knew what the root problem was and what could be done to help the situation.
The truth came in the form of a dual diagnosis. Her daughter suffered from something called “gender dysphoria” which is when the body you are born with does not match the way you actually feel about yourself. In other words, Lisa had a transgender child. One who was born a biological female but identified as being a boy. The second part of the diagnosis was identified as clinical depression with anxiety. While one of these would be significant on their own, two diagnoses were overwhelming and made a very difficult situation incredibly complex. Staying the course by getting the right diagnosis and the proper professional help along with the consistent unconditional love she provided throughout the whole experience, Lisa has helped her family move from a from a place of crisis into hope.
Lisa understands the pain, fear, grief, isolation, loneliness and intensity of emotions that families endure as they try to find work through the discovery of a diagnosis and the life altering change in course that occurs as a result. Utilizing both her professional and personal experience she and her partner John Ball have created a program through Celebrate Hope that offers the help those families so desperately need. From a female perspective, Lisa brings Celebrate Hope to anyone in need with love, commitment and passion. Life is too short to not reach for support when we are need of it most. In order to assist our kids, Lisa teaches parents and guardians to not only help their precious children but to also help themselves and in doing so find joy in life once again.
Lisa holds a Bachelors of Social Work degree from Central Michigan University and through her professional work she has been helping people and families in personal crisis themselves during the last decade. She runs a support group for parents of Transgender Youth. She is an Ally Mom through Stand With Trans (SWT). SWT is a non –profit organization to set up to educate, advocate and empower transgender youth. As an Ally mom she helps youth that need the support of a caring adult. She further is an advocate in transgender rights. She completed one of the first ever nation wide pilot programs hosted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Michigan on transgender issues/rights and dealing with state legislatures. In this capacity, transgender people and their allies were trained how to interface with legislatures in her state on issues related to the transgender community.
More than anything, Lisa is simply a mom who loves her son. She cares deeply about others and wants to help move families from a place of crisis into hope. She is passionate, energetic and devoted to helping those in need.
Our meetings end at 9:00.