Support for Navigating Unfamiliar Waters
Coaching Creates Clarity, Courage and Confidence
When you or a loved one comes out or transitions, everything changes—for everyone. Navigating these changes can be scary and challenging for you as a transgender, non-binary or cross-dressing individual, or for you as a partner or parent.
Hi, I’m Linda Herzer – and I understand the challenges you’re facing because I’ve dealt with some of them myself.
Along with being a certified coach, an inclusion trainer, a mom, and a former school librarian, I am also an ordained minister. In 2012, I joined the staff of a church where about 10% of our congregants were transgender, non-binary or persons who cross-dressed.
And back then, I was right where you might be–I knew nothing about gender diversity!
So I spent untold hours reading and researching. What I learned is that the understanding of gender we grew up with is no longer the view held by medical and mental health experts throughout the world. My research expanded my understanding of the complexity of gender and gave me the clarity I sought—clarity you may be seeking too. Now I knew with certainty that my trans, non-binary and cross-dressing congregants did not have a mental illness; I felt confident that they were not just “going through a phase.”
Having clarity about the complexity of gender was great. But as a person of faith, I still wondered, “What does the Bible say about gender diversity?” The urgency of this question was intensified by the heart-wrenching question I was often asked by my gender diverse parishioners, “Do you think God still loves me?”
These questions motivated me to do more research. In 2015, I left my position at that church to write a book on all I had learned. The Bible and the Transgender Experience: How Scripture Supports Gender Variance was published the following year by Pilgrim Press and has helped people around the globe.
My education about gender diverse people did not just come from books and online articles; it also came from the lived experience of supporting a close friend, trans woman Gabrielle Claiborne, through the social, legal and medical aspects of her transition.
Over time, Gabrielle and I both realized that we wanted to make advocating for gender diverse people and their loved ones our life’s work. In 2015, we co-founded Transformation Journeys Worldwide, an inclusion training and consulting firm with a trans and non-binary focus.
Our firm supports a wide range of clients–corporations, non-profits, small businesses, government agencies, medical and mental healthcare providers, and religious and educational institutions—on the journey of transforming their environments into fully trans and non-binary inclusive cultures.
To further my advocacy work, I served as co-facilitator of a support group for trans and non-binary youth and adults and their parents, partners and other loved ones. I have also supported a group for cross-dressers and their significant others.
In my work with both of these support groups, I received even more than I gave. While I was giving of my time and expertise, I received the gift of being entrusted with each parent’s, each spouse’s, and each gender diverse individual’s deepest fears and rawest emotions—along with their joys, celebrations and stories of success.
And that’s when I realized how I could be even more helpful—by using my pastoral training and coaching skills to support people just like you.
I have seen the many challenges you face on your journey as a trans, non-binary or cross-dressing individual, or as a parent or partner of a gender diverse loved one. I know that taking steps on this journey can feel scary, uncertain and even overwhelming at times.
But I also know–and share with my clients–that there are ways to work through your fears and access the resources you need to move forward with clarity, courage and confidence.
Click the appropriate link to learn more about what support for your journey can look like.
CLIENTS LINDA SERVES
Parents of Trans or Non-binary Children
Regardless of whether your child is 4, 14 or 24, finding out they are trans or non-binary gives rise to a tidal wave of emotions. You may be feeling overwhelmed, stressed, resistant, fearful, or confused. You may be experiencing guilt, grief, doubt, denial… or all of the above.
And you’ve got hundreds of questions: “Is this a phase? Are they just doing this to get attention? Could it be their depression talking? What does God think? How will the family react? Where do I even find a gender therapist?” And more.
Of course you want to be a good parent; to be there for your child and do what’s best for them… but what is that? There’s so much stuff on the internet… what sources are reliable? And where do you find time to do research in the midst of all your other responsibilities?
As you can imagine, it will take more than one 60-minute conversation to address all your concerns. But as we work through your questions, you will find your answers. In each of our coaching sessions you will receive:
Support for you; time to sort out all you’re thinking and feeling in a caring, non-judgmental setting
Research-based information to build your knowledge base
Support for your child; discussion of how you can meet their needs in the safest and best ways possible
Resources to access and use between our sessions
Reach out for a free 30-minute discovery call to see if what I offer can give you the clarity, courage and confidence you need to give your child the support they need.
Transgender, Non-binary or Cross-Dressing Adults
As a gender diverse adult, there may be points throughout your journey where you could benefit from a coach who listens attentively and provides informed and affirming perspectives. I offer this type of support as you:
Explore your gender identity – I understand that you may have many questions… “Is this just a phase? a fetish? a result of some past trauma? Does cross dressing work for me or do I need to transition? Am I transgender or non-binary? How do I even go about exploring all this? And how do I explore without hurting my loved ones?”
In our sessions together you will find answers to your many questions. I will support you in looking within and provide helpful resources and time-proven steps you can take to better understand your true gender identity.
Navigate coming out to family and/or friends – The paralyzing fear of losing the love of those nearest and dearest to you may have you feeling stuck. Together we will explore your fears, build your courage and develop a plan for coming out in a way that is supportive and respectful of both your needs and the needs of your loved ones.
Transition in your workplace – I know this can be a terrifying step. But as the co-founder of an inclusion training and consulting firm that helps employers create inclusive cultures for trans and non-binary employees, I can guide you through this process in a way that will be beneficial to you and your organization.
Explore your spirituality in light of your gender identity – If you are wondering what God thinks about all this and struggling to reconcile your faith with your gender diversity, I can help. As an ordained Christian minister and the author of The Bible and the Transgender Experience: How Scripture Supports Gender Variance, I am well-versed in what the Judeo-Christian texts say in support of gender diverse people. We can explore your personal relationship with God as well as how to find a supportive faith community, if that would be important to you.
Take steps to connect more deeply with your femininity (for trans women) or your masculinity (for trans men) – Once you have worked on your outer gender expression—found a wig or hairstyle you like, acquired a wardrobe, perhaps started hormones or had some surgery—you may find yourself wanting to explore your innate femininity or masculinity. What does it mean to be a man or a woman? How can you connect more deeply with your feminine or masculine energy? As someone who has spent a lifetime informally studying what makes women and men unique, I can recommend resources and provide insights as we explore these beautiful aspects of your truest self.
In our sessions together we can address one or more of the above topics—or other matters you would like to explore.
Please note: because I am a certified coach but not a licensed therapist or counselor, I can not provide the letter of referral that physicians require to prescribe hormones or do surgery. I offer support around your lived experiences as a gender diverse adult and can recommend resources relevant to physical aspects of transitioning.
Partners of Transgender or Non-Binary People
Learning that your spouse is transgender or non-binary can cause a riot of emotions: anger, fear, sadness, confusion, grief, betrayal. Or you may be so overwhelmed that you feel nothing; you’re just numb. If you have children, you’re doing your best to support them through your spouse’s transition, all while trying to keep your own head above water. And you may be doing all of this in isolation, feeling like there’s no one you can talk to; no one you can turn to who knows about gender diversity, who can listen with empathy and offer wise counsel.
But now there is. From my work with the spouses of other transitioning individuals, I am well-acquainted with what you are going through. Because I am an ordained Christian minister and the author of The Bible and the Transgender Experience: How Scripture Supports Gender Variance, I can support you in your faith journey with this as well.
Our sessions will provide you a much-needed space to share all that’s on your heart. It will be time set aside to have your feelings heard, acknowledged and attended to; a time to explore your truth, just as your spouse is doing.
We will also explore possible paths forward, recognizing that, while this is uncharted territory for most couples, others have traveled this path before you. I can share with you the wisdom they have learned.
To learn more about how I can support you, let’s schedule a free 30-minute conversation. I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Partners of Cross-Dressers
Finding out that your husband cross dresses can be quite a shock. It can also raise many questions: What does this mean about my spouse and for our marriage? Will he eventually transition? What, if anything, should we tell our children? And you might be wondering, “What does God think of all this?”
You may also be experiencing a wide array of emotions, regardless of how you learned about the cross dressing. Gratitude that your husband trusted you enough to share his secret—if he told you directly—or betrayal if you accidentally found his stash of women’s clothes. Either way, you may also be feeling hurt, angry and/or scared.
If your husband is in that “pink fog” phase, where all he wants to do is talk about cross dressing and buy shoes and women’s clothes and lingerie, then you may just want to scream in frustration! But there’s no one you can tell; no one you can talk to about all this.
Until now. Because I have experience supporting the wives of cross dressers, I understand what you’re going through. I know your worries and your sense of isolation so I can provide a space where you and your feelings can be seen, heard and honored. Because I am an ordained Christian minister and the author of The Bible and the Transgender Experience: How Scripture Supports Gender Variance, I can support you in your faith journey around all this.
Our sessions will provide an opportunity for you to share freely. Based on your needs, I will offer insights and perspectives on positive ways to move forward with your spouse and build a relationship that can be more life-giving, for both of you, than what you experienced in the past.
Connect with me to schedule a free 30-minute conversation to see if the support I offer is just what you need.