Monday, January 6, 2014

Are you a transitioning person in the Erie area looking to get on hormone replacement therapy (HRT)? [UPDATED]

[UPDATE: We have received our funding to run the first shuttle to Pittsburgh, which we hope to do possibly as early as the end of the month. If you are interested in using the shuttle, please write us at ASAP so we can organize appointments. We are currently looking into working with Metro Family Practice, but that may change.]


As some of you may know, there is currently only one endocrinologist in Erie, PA that is willing to treat transgender patients, and we have heard from many in our community that this endocrinologist (who shall remain nameless) is not very competent or friendly.

Because of this, many transitioning people in Erie are forced to travel outside the city and sometimes the state to find a decent endocrinologist. Unfortunately, many in our community cannot afford to do so.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is considered medically-necessary care for transitioning people by the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association. When forced to go without it, transitioning people often suffer from intense gender dysphoria, severe depression, even suicidal ideation.

Many transitioning people, left with no other choice, turn to self-medicating with hormones purchased on the street or shady pharmaceutical websites based in China and India. Self-medicating is very dangerous and can lead to permanent liver damage, cardiovascular disease, blindness, or death.

Shuttle to Pittsburgh

Transfamily of Erie is currently looking into arranging a free one-day shuttle for transitioning people in need to reach a trans-friendly endocrinologist in Pittsburgh.

Transfamily will not cover any medical cost, though we are searching for an endocrinologist that will accept Medicaid and other forms of insurance and will be willing to work with low-income patients on financing.

[UPDATED INFO: Our initial cost would be $75 to pay for a rental car and gas to transport 4-6 people. Ideally, we would like to have the shuttle run once every three months, and would scale up our capacity as interest increases.

If anyone would like to volunteer their car (which would cut our cost significantly) or volunteers as our driver, please email us at and let us know.]

Would you like to help?

We will begin collecting donations for the shuttle at our next meeting.

If you would like to pledge money towards our shuttle or are a business that would like to sponsor the shuttle, please contact us at

Are you interested in a seat on the shuttle?

Please let us know at or leave a comment below.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Help Us Spread the Word with Our New Poster!

Transfamily of Erie has a new printable poster you can use to help spread awareness of our group. Post it at your school, workplace, church or anywhere else you think people who could benefit from our group might see it. (Be sure to get permission first, of course.)

The poster is in black and white so you won't have to worry about expensive color copies, though if you really want the poster to stand out, feel free to use color paper.

Transfamily of Erie is all-volunteer run and we need your help so that we can reach as many people as possible.

You can download the poster here.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this month's meeting one of the best we've ever had.

Special thanks to those of you were joining us for the first time. It takes courage to open yourself up to other people and you should be proud of the steps you've taken.

Our next meeting is on January 25 and we hope to see you all there. And if you know someone who might benefit from our group, please bring them along.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Reminder: Our Next Meeting Is on Saturday, December 28 from 2 to 5pm

Beginning with this meeting, we are going to try to be a little bit more structured than we have been in the past.

From approximately 2 to 2:30, we will have introductions where we will go around the room and everyone will say their name and preferred gender pronoun (PGP). (Ex. "Hello, my name is Jane and I use the pronouns she and her." or "Hello, I'm Bill and I go by he and him." or "Hello, my name is Leslie and I prefer the gender-neutral pronouns zie and hir.") If they so choose, attendants may also share a little bit about themselves.

(NOTE: It is very important to us that everyone attending a Transfamily meeting is referred to by their chosen name and pronoun, regardless of what they look like or any other factor. Please always exercise the utmost care in respecting others' identities.)

From 2:30 to 4, we will have open discussion on any topic our members need to talk about. For example, if you have been problems with your family and want to talk about it or wish to inquire about what resources others may know about, this would be the perfect time to do so. If someone is in crisis or has something urgent they need to talk about, this part of the meeting may be extended.

From 4 to 5, we will have a more organized discussion on a given topic. This month's topic will be "What would you like to see from Transfamily in 2014?" You may also contribute to this discussion in the comments section of this post or email us with your ideas at transfamilyerie[at]

Meetings are always completely free and refreshments are provided

As always, our meeting will be held at the Mental Health Association of Northwest PA building (1101 Peach St. Erie, PA, 16501). When you arrive, ring the buzzer and someone will com down to let you in.

We hope to see you there.

UPDATE: Our clothing swap won't begin until next month. Sorry.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Transfamily of Erie is a support group that sets out to provide a safe environment for all transgender, gender non-conforming, gender-questioning and intersex people. Attendance is welcome to all regardless of where they fall on the gender spectrum. Whether you are a trans man, trans woman, non-binary or genderqueer individual, crossdresser or someone just looking for a little information, Transfamily hopes to provide a judgment-free environment where you  can openly express yourself in whatever way feels right to you. Transfamily also welcomes people of all races, ages, religions, and sexualities* to the meeting.

We recognize that many people may not be comfortable with their status as a trans* individual being made public and exercise the greatest discretion toward the privacy of our attendants.

Topics regularly discussed in meeting include coming out, dealing with friends and family, handling depression, financial barriers to transition, discrimination, activism, and identity.

Transfamily also hosts a clothing swap where you can find free gender-affirming clothing in many sizes. Participants are encouraged to contribute items to the swap but there is no requirement for participation. Feel free to take what you want with no obligation.

Transfamily meetings are held from 2–5pm on the 4th Saturday of each month at Mental Health Association of Northwest PA (1101 Peach St. Erie, PA, 16501).

Meetings are always completely free and refreshments are provided. Attendants are encouraged to bring something to share with the group but this is not required.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at

*NOTE: Transfamily is not a dating service. If you are cisgender person looking to date a trans* person, we thank you to respect our attendants privacy by looking elsewhere for your romantic or sexual partners.