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A Virtual Welcoming Home

A Virtual Welcoming Home

Michael Adee, Erin Swenson, Mac Schafer, Katy Schafer, Dominick Petitto
  • Location: Zoom
  • Starts: September 12, 2020 10:00 am
  • Ends: September 12, 2020 12:30 pm
  • Tickets: Varied Pricing
welcoming home image

Details & Online Registration

Program information

At Kirkridge, we believe that all families deserve to experience care, respect and support. Several parents with gender diverse children have shared with us that they experience little to no support from the places families can typically count on in their communities — churches, schools and medical offices. 

So, we heard these parents and decided to find ways to offer support to families like theirs through a series of four virtual educational programs followed by the offering of virtual circles of support.

The Welcoming Home: A Space for Families with Gender Diverse Children
Gender diverse children and youth may identify as transgender, gender nonconforming, non-binary, gender fluid or gender creative.

Our original design was a weekend retreat at Kirkridge. The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the necessary shift to virtual offerings.  These virtual programs will be led by transgender leaders with professional backgrounds in counseling and spiritual care. Parents of a transgender child will share their faith and family journey.  Plus, the virtual conference will feature Jacob Tobia, the author of Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story and actor with his TV debut as the Double Trouble, the non-binary character in She-Ra and the Princess of Power at Netflix.

The first four virtual programs are Saturdays from 11:00am – 12:30pm ET

June 20: Trans 101 led by Dr. Erin Swenson. This program will offer the basics of gender and what it means to be transgender or a gender nonconforming person. This program has passed; however, if you are interested, you can sign-up on our waitlist for the next scheduled program. Click here for the waitlist registration form.

The next programs are open to families who have a trans and/or gender non-conforming family member.

July 11: “Transgender Questions within the Family” led by Dr. Erin Swenson, a marriage and family therapist and pastoral counselor specializing in transgender issues.

July 25: “Being in my family — trans+ youth led by Dominick Petitto, MS NCC, a mental health counselor specializing with children and youth in schools.

August 8: On Being Parents of a Transgender Child” led by Mac and Katy Schafer, a Presbyterian family with four children.

September 12:  The virtual conference “The Welcoming Home: A Place for Families with Gender Diverse Children”  featuring Jacob Tobia is from 10:00 am – 12:30 pm ET. This conference will include conversations facilitated by Justine Johnson and Michael Adee with Erin Swenson, Dominick Petitto, Mac and Katy Schafer. Information and registration will be shared shortly.

Advance registration for each program is required so that we can be in touch with you about the digital platform and the technology for your access to each one.  Please visit our website for more information and to register. We will update information as we confirm it.

If you know families with gender diverse children, please do share this information with them.  We look forward to the participation of parents, grandparents or guardians of gender diverse children as these programs are designed with you and your children in mind.

As Kirkridge, we are delighted to be offering The Welcoming Home: A Space for Families with Gender Diverse Children.

Until we can gather again in person on the mountain, Kirkridge will be offering free virtual programming that is open to all.  Your support of Kirkridge helps sustains us.  We will be grateful to receive donations in any amount. Click here to donate.

To register and to find more information per event, please visit the Kirkridge Retreat & Program page. If you have additional questions, please email Jean Richardson, Executive Director, at

We are grateful for The Carpenter Foundation’s support of this program.