As the Fairfax County School Board weighs adding optional gender identity and sexual orientation education to its health curriculum, one local group is working to support transgender youth and their families.
"We created a place and an environment that is safe for people to share their deepest truths," said Roxanne Edwards, who founded Fourth Fridays with Rev. Emma Chattin.
A local mother and her 17-year-old transgender son recently attended the group. Born female, the child named Natasha began living as Nathan in sixth grade. Nathan and his mom said they're grateful to have a network of support.
"Having friends and family that accept me for me is amazing," he said.
"You realize that you haven't lost anything at all, and I think in our journey, I've gained a lot," Nathan's mother said.
Despite the support of the group, Nathan said many people still aren't accepting.
"No one should be called an 'it thing' or a 'she/he," he said.