“Gender is just one of many systems of oppression. The ultimate goal is to see how all systems are tied in a knot with the others and untie, unravel the knots of oppression. It’s a spiritual journey more than a governmental one. It’s about asking ourselves, ‘Is this culture stopping me or anyone else from the free expression of sex and gender?’ and if so, we have to act.”

Kate Bornstein – Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us

Coming out as transgender or gender non-conforming (GNC) can be a painful and scary process for individuals and their loved-ones. How do you tell people? How do you present? How do you unpack the messages of transphobia and heteronormativity that have criminalized queer identities for centuries? How do you understand intersections of racism, classism, and xenophobia within the context of the LGBTQIA+ community? It’s a lot.

Even though these questions may never go away (even for cisgender, heterosexual allies), we as a proactive community can take steps to take care of ourselves as an act of defiance and self-love. Out of Yer Shell is a resource for queer folx and their loved-ones to make the transition process less cumbersome. While many of the interventions and resources on our site are backed by research, existing studies don’t always take into account LGBTQIA+ experiences, and therefore don’t translate as well as researchers would like them to. Therefore, all of the research is reinforced with lived experiences and best practices for practitioners. For more information about the current state of research as it relates to the LGBTQIA+ community, check out the Research tab.

Out of Yer Shell is just the beginning – you’ve just taken your first step on the Yellow Brick Road toward self-discovery. We can provide all of the resources in the world, but most of this process will be on you – and that is a beautiful thing. We hope this website helps you find what you’re looking for, and remember, YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL SNAIL WHO DESERVES ALL THE LOVE IN THE WORLD.

Photo by Zackary Drucker as part of Broadly’s Gender Spectrum Collection. Credit: The Gender Spectrum Collection. Made available to media outlets via Creative Commons. No derivatives, no commercial use. See guidelines here: broadlygenderphotos.vice.com/guidelines
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