A recurring theme in this dialogue concerns the difficulties trans people face in explaining their journey to the people
they care most about and how the significant others, family members, friends and allies of transgender persons
process their own journey when coming to terms with the transgender status of a loved one. It was out of these
discussions that the idea emerged for an anthology to guide family and friends of trans folks through their own
transition process. It all came together when Cam and Eleanor discovered the term SOFFA, which means Significant
Others (SO), Family members (Fa), Friends (Fr), and Allies (A). We would gather and document their personal
narratives, thought-provoking stories and the individual journeys of those with transgender loved ones. We have called
these people Trans-Kin, the kinship of the transgender person.
Trans-Kin tread much of the same ground as transgender persons do: they experience an assortment of feelings as
they come to terms with the transgender status of a loved one. This process is exemplified by their own coming-out
experience where they divulge the transition of a loved one to others around them. As their loved one transitions
physically, as well as emotionally, psychologically and spiritually, Trans-Kin often experience a need for a safe space
to explore their own emotions and potential identity challenges. Our society has provided few such places. As
resources grow and expand for transgender members of our society, so too must the resources for their Trans-Kin.
This is our intention for the Trans-Kin anthology.
Copyright 2012 Eleanor A. Hubbard and Cameron T. Whitley Design
A Guide for Family & Friends
of Transgender People