Pinwheels is a network of families embracing their children's and teens gender creativity in a kind and loving manner. Our support group focuses on providing a monthly meeting place for parents to connect with other families by sharing information and experiences.
There are two Pinwheels groups. In the greater Chicago area we meet in a Northwest suburb. There is also a group in the St. Louis area. Each meeting divides attendees into two groups; a parents' discussion group and a children and teens playgroup.
Monthly meetings are private to protect privacy. Meetings are only open to families that have already decided to accept and support their gender expansive children and teens and only immediate family members are allowed to attend.
The children's playgroup is designed to let our kids have some fun and get exposure to other gender expansive kids. Siblings are welcome to attend, and we find that the group is good support for them as well. The playgroup is not group therapy and there are no group discussions regarding such topics as gender, feelings or bullying. Instead, kids develop regular friendships through common activities, such as board games, painting, clay modeling, etc.
The parents' group is designed to let parents share their experiences of parenting gender expansive children and teens. Most issues encountered by newer members have been experienced and sometimes solved by other members.
We sometimes have guest speakers - therapists, physicians, gender expansive adults, support specialists, legal experts, school support, or camp counselors. On other occasions, we lead our own discussion on topics such as concerns about school, meds, health insurance, procedures, camp, safety, frustrations about family members not "getting it," or our own views on how we support our kids.
Parents that are on board for this journey or still struggling to accept and support their children's gender identity are encouraged to contact us to join our group. Please contact us using the form below. The information in this form will never be shared beyond the directors of this group.