Local members of the trans community celebrated a milestone Saturday.
It’s the five-year anniversary of the TransFamily of Erie’s first support group meeting.
Organization leaders held a picnic to commemorate their growth over the last few years.
Coordinators told us, according to nation-wide statistics, there’s around 400 transpeople in Erie, but many will not go public about their transition.
Groups like TransFamily provide emotional and sometimes even legal support.
“It’s that fear of being discriminated against, losing their jobs, losing their families. That fear is real,” said Melanie Shubitowski, the president of Erie Sisters and Brothers.
“I’ve made so many great friends. We’ve had so many beautiful people and just start living their authentic lives and I can’t ask for a better gift than that,” said Caitlyn Strohmeyer, the president of TransFamily.
Coordinators tell us the Erie-area is one of the best when it comes to acceptance of the LGBTQ community.
TransFamily has grown to have support groups in Meadville, Warren and Titusville as well.