Online support | The Proud Trust

Online support can be useful for those who are either newly out, newly transitioning or do not feel that they are ready to meet people face-to-face. A lot of young Trans people feel that they are more accepted online because no one can see what they look like or question their look, name or choice of pronoun. Some of the online places will have regular meet-ups, or you can arrange to meet up with people offline if you want to.

Don’t forget! Be careful with your personal information when you are online. You do not have to give your age unless it’s necessary or you feel comfortable doing so. Don’t give out your address or phone number, and if you do meet up with people, make sure you tell someone where you’re going and always meet in a public place.

LiveJournal – www.livejournal.com
LJ is a blogging site with communities: groups where the members can discuss a particular topic. There are over 250 Trans-related communities on LiveJournal giving information and/or support, ranging from regional groups, transitioning issues/queries, hobbies/interests, jobs, religious groups and groups for SOFFAs; there is a master list of them all here.

Yahoo Groups
These are a combination of mailing list and forum. Messages can be posted and read by members either on the webpage or by e-mail. The mailing lists can be accessed by anyone with an e-mail address, however a Yahoo! ID is necessary to access the other features such as uploading photos. There are several Trans-related groups but some notable ones are:

Mermaids – www.mermaids.freeuk.com
Based in London, Mermaids provides support for Trans Youth up to the age of 19, and their loved ones. It’s the first stop for most Trans Youth and has been a great resource to many.

The Gay Teens Resources Centrewww.gayteens.org

GTR, established in 1996, is a international website for all LGBT youth. It has news articles, a support section and a forum.

IndividualiTy – www.belongto.org
Based in Ireland, IndividualiTy is a social group/forum for Trans young people and those questioning their gender identity. It aims to provide a safe, positive and fun space where they can relax, be themselves and make friends.

IRC
IRC is a form of instant messaging designed mainly for group chat in a channel. The channels below are all moderated and abuse is not tolerated so these are virtual safe spaces. None of them require you to have special software, you can access them all through your web browser; however the last two have instructions on how to join them with an IRC client such as PidginTrillianX-ChatX-Chat Aqua.

TGChat – webchat
A UK based channel that was set up to provide support, help and understanding for the Trans community.

T-Vox – webchat
A UK based channel where you can get help and advice (or just chat to people in a similar situation to yourself). It’s part of the T-Vox website that provides advice, support and information.

Yay for Queers – webchat
A more international channel but it has a large amount of young people as well as newly out Trans people. Part of the blitzed.org IRC network.