Stepping Stones - Parents of Gender Non-Expansive Kids

Stepping Stones is a network of families embracing their children’s gender non-conformity in a kind and loving manner. Stepping Stones provides a safe place for younger children and middles schoolers to play with and be among others with similar experiences.

Like PFLAG NYC’s other family support programs, Stepping Stones provides a meeting place for parents to connect with other families to share information and experiences. On a monthly basis, Stepping Stones hosts three simultaneous groups: a parent’s discussion group, a children’s playgroup, and a peer group for older children.

Unlike PFLAG NYC’s other groups, Stepping Stones meetings are private in order to protect the privacy and safety of the children who take part. The group warmly welcomes new families, but meetings are open only to families that have introduced themselves to the group leaders and gone through a short and simple intake process.

For Kids

During a Stepping Stones meeting, children of diverse ages up to 13 meet in two different groups — a playgroup for younger kids and a peer conversation group for tweens and young teens. The aim of both is to let kids have some fun and get exposure to other gender-expansive peers. Kids are given a safe environment to develop regular friendships through common playtime activities, such as board games, painting, clay modeling, etc. Both groups are overseen by experienced leaders.

For Parents

The parents’ support group is designed to let parents share their experiences parenting gender non-expansive children. It takes place at the same time as the children’s playgroup in adjacent rooms. The meeting sometimes hosts guest speakers — therapists, gender-variant adults, or camp counselors. The meetings are facilitated by member parents on topics such as concerns about safety, frustrations about family members not “getting it”, or parents’ own second-guessing how they support their kids. New parents are warmly invited to contact the group leaders to share questions on their mind.

For additional ongoing discussion, Stepping Stones maintains a closed Facebook group for ongoing mutual support and sharing.

Attending Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones is a members-only group. Parents who have accepted and support their child’s gender expression are warmly welcomed. If you are interested in learning more and joining the group, we ask that you contact the group leaders. They will make time for an introductory conversation and invite you to take the next steps. To introduce yourself to the group, please fill out this short, confidential form.

Steppings Stones Meetings

Steppings Stones groups meet monthly in Manhattan. Only children and their immediate family members are allowed to attend once approved by the group leaders.

Meeting Dates in 2020

From 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. on the 2nd Sunday of the month, except as noted:

  • January 12
  • February 9
  • March 8
  • April 5*
  • May 17*
  • June 14
  • July 12
  • August 9
  • September 13
  • October 11
  • November 8
  • December 13

* NOTE: During starred months, the Stepping Stones schedule is changed to a different day or location than the usual schedule. Always check the PFLAG NYC website to confirm the most up-to-date meeting schedule as dates sometimes change. You can also confirm details with group leaders at steppingstones@pflagnyc.org.

For Further Information

For further information on Stepping Stones and to introduce yourself so that you can attend, please complete this short introduction form and a Stepping Stones group leader will get in touch with you. All information submitted will be kept confidential.