Since 2015 Stand with Trans has been dedicated to developing programs, Educational Events and Support Groups to serve the Transgender Youth. Our mission is to provide the tools needed by transgender youth so they will be empowered, supported and validated as they transition to their authentic life.
When our son, Hunter, came out to me in early 2013, I knew we had to do something. There was very little out there in the way of resources. I really had no idea what it meant to be transgender. Of course, now, there is something almost daily in my news feed, on social media and in the evening news about trans* individuals; albeit not all positive. However, the awareness is growing and that is a good thing.
Stand with Trans was founded in February, 2015. As a federally approved, not for profit, all donations are tax deductible to the extent the law allows.
Board of Directors
Founder, Board PresidentI am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, and advocate. My son is in the throes of transitioning from female to male (FtM). We are navigating the journey together and doing our best to spread awareness and ultimately, gain acceptance regarding what it means to be transgender.
My son tells people that I “am obsessed” with all things trans. That’s not exactly true — in fact, not even remotely true. The fact is, however, that I am interested in educating myself and have jumped in feet first so that I can help my son be the best, authentic version of himself.
I love social media. I blog. I run a marketing business. I struggle to stay fit. I like good food. I love my family. I am OBSESSED with my dog. I care about others. I would do anything for my children. I believe in community. To contact me, feel free to email email@example.com.
Vice PresidentI am a proud Dad, husband and ally to my son, Hunter. It’s a privilege and honor to be a part of this journey, along with my wife, Roz.
It has been a learning experience, and like any worthwhile learning experience, it forces us to grow, both in knowledge and love, as well as in our willingness to look beyond our bias and pre-conceived notions. We are dedicated to guiding “Stand with Trans” to a place where transgender youth and adults can find the resources and support they need.
I am a Creative Director, dedicated dad and dog lover… I love exercise, writing poetry and watching movies. While living in NYC I served as a Self-Esteem and Substance Abuse Counselor and studied martial arts. I am presently a Certified Radix Practitioner.
TreasurerI am a native of Bay City, Michigan. I graduated from Bay City Central High School before obtaining a degree in accounting from Alma College. After spending five years working at Domino’s Pizza’s world headquarters in Ann Arbor, I now work at Ally Financial and live in Detroit.
I’m here because I have a deeply held belief and faith that our beautiful trans youth will live in a world that describes them as mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, neighbors, artists, doctors, and lawyers before it defines them as transgender. I’m here to empower trans people to follow their dreams and make the world a better place.
I happen to be a trans woman, but I am also so much more than that. I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a Godmother, a college graduate, an analyst in Corporate America, and the Treasurer of this amazing organization.
Tejinder K. Gill
I am a Certified Dream Builder life coach helping people architect the life they love to live. I am also an engineer serving the automotive sector for past 27 years. I am a proud mom, involved in multiple projects that are aimed to give back to the community. I strive to be the change that I wants to see in the world – ‘accept everyone as they are’.
I am the proud mother of a wonderful transgender son. I’ve worked in the nonprofit field for 10+ years, mostly writing grants and donor outreach materials. I am also a journalist and fiction writer. Themes of social justice around race, LGBT equality, protecting the environment and women’s rights are central to my personal and professional life.
In 2016, I started a support group for transgender youth and their families in Ann Arbor with two other mothers. In 2017, we merged with Stand with Trans and I became a board member. I bring my knowledge of fundraising to help Stand with Trans stay sustainable.
In my free time, I launch online research jags about any and everything from plant species to historical events to archaeological sites. I am a huge political junkie and enjoy watching smart people analyze the issues of the day. I am also an amateur herbalist and really enjoy cooking.
Board MemberI hold a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Central Michigan University. I have worked at Lake Orion United Methodist Church since 2008 where I am involved in community outreach and oversee a program to provide one on one support for men and women going through a difficult time in their lives. I am the co-owner of Celebrate Hope which partners with parents who have children who have received medical diagnoses that are life altering. The goal is to bring them from a place of crisis to a place of hope.
I run a support group for parents of transgender youth in Lake Orion under Stand with Trans. In February 2016, I completed a 6-month training program through ACLU of Michigan. Through this training, I learned how to interact with legislatures at a community and state level to discuss issues the transgender community deals with on a daily basis and to help advance the community’s need for rights and protections.
Board MemberI hold a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University. I have been employed with Ray Electric for 33 years as an electrical wholesaler. I am involved in volunteer work at my church and am an avid outdoorsman who loves to hunt, fish, golf, boat, bike, run, and swim. I am the proud father of a transgender son.
Antonia Caretto, Ph.D.
Clinical PsychologistAntonia Caretto, Ph.D. is a fully licensed Clinical Psychologist and a graduate of the University of
Michigan and the Alliant International University California School of Professional Psychology. Dr.
Caretto’s 1991 doctoral dissertation research was on “Familial Homosexuality Among Women and It’s
Relationship to Childhood Gender Role Non-Conformity and Adult Sex Role.”
Dr. Caretto has a solo private practice in Farmington Hills, Michigan and gender identity development
continues to the focus of much of her work. Dr. Caretto presented her research on transgender youth at the
WPATH Symposium in Bangkok Thailand in 2014 and recently co-authored an article: “Initial Clinical
Guidelines for Co-Occurring Autism Spectrum Disorder and Gender Dysphoria or Incongruence in
In addition to treating gender diverse adults, teens, and children she provides training on transgender
identities to a variety of consumer and professional groups including medical professionals at Henry Ford
Health System and the University of Michigan, University of Toledo, and Oakland University Medical
AttorneyJay Kaplan is currently a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan’s LGBT Project, which was founded in 2001. He advocates for the LGBT community on a number of issues, challenging current laws and moving for reforms.
AttorneyDeb Kovsky is a partner in the Corporate Restructuring and Bankruptcy Practice Group of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Detroit office. She focuses her practice on bankruptcy and out-of-court workouts. Deb also works with the ACLU and other organizations on a pro-bono basis in areas including LGBT and prisoners’ rights. Deb is the proud parent of a wonderful transgender son.
Dan Shumer, M.D.
Pediatric EndocrinologistDr. Shumer is a pediatric endocrinologist at Mott Children’s Hospital, and the founder and medical director of the Child and Adolescent Gender Clinic at Mott. His research has involved the mental health vulnerabilities of transgender youth. His medical degree is from Northwestern University, and he also has a Masters in Public Health from Harvard University. He and his husband are the proud parents of a 9 month old, Charlie.
Sara Wiener, LMSW
Director of Mental Health Services within Child & Adolescent Gender Services at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Director of Comprehensive Gender Services at Michigan MedicineSara Wiener specializes in children and adolescents who identify with a gender that is different than the sex they were assigned at birth, with specific clinical interests in prepubertal children and families who are growing in their support of their transgender or gender creative child. Sara has presented nationally about working with transgender people across the lifespan, and she is a member of the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH).
Former Board Members
Board MemberI am a husband, step-father, brother and son who is passionate about many things—geology, archaeology, nature, ancestral health, and rewilding to name a few. I hold a B.S. in Geoarchaeology from Utah State University. I was labeled female at birth, and raised in the Mormon faith which I didn’t leave until my thirties. Since then, my life has been one incredible transition after another. I regularly speak on transgender and LGBT panels throughout Michigan, and have hosted “Trans 101” presentations for government and private organizations. I am working towards a future where children are allowed the space to live their lives authentically, and society doesn’t blink an eye when someone says the word “transgender.”
Past InternBrittany Rutland (she/her) is currently a student at Michigan School of Professional Psychology where she is studying in the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D) program. She graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and received her Master’s of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Michigan School of Professional Psychology. Brittany has had a longstanding passion for mental health and youth advocacy. She has experience in child, adolescent, and adult psychotherapy as well as working in community mental health and autism programs. She has been volunteering with Stand with Trans since February 2018.
Past InternYoni Weiss (he/him) is a theatre artist, historian, and activist currently attending Pace University for Directing as part of their International Performance Ensemble. He graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy having received the Upstart Crow Award and a Fine Arts Award for Excellence in Theatre. He has worked with Stand with Trans since 2015. He is the Co-Artistic Director for Doghouse Ensemble Theatre, whose theatrical productions have raised over $5,000 for the It Gets Better Foundation and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, among others.
Stand with Trans is a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to provide the tools needed by transgender youth so they will be empowered, supported and validated as they transition to their authentic life.