'I'm the father of two sons… one was born a girl': Father opens up about LGBT+ charity helping son's transition
PUBLISHED: 15:35 02 December 2019 | UPDATED: 17:05 02 December 2019
A father-of-two from the Fens has opened up about the support his family received from a LGBT+ charity during his son's gender transition.
Terry Furlong has spoken of how Cambridge-based "lifeline" charity the Kite Trust helped him and his son, Noah, through a "crisis".
Mr Furlong said: "I am the father of two sons and always have been. The only difference between me and every other dad of two boys is that one was born a girl."
"About ten years ago, my eldest [child] wrote me a letter explaining why he had been so sad and troubled.
"Whilst we had asked for help from our GP and the NHS, nothing much had changed.
"We found the Kite Trust like everyone finds everything these days, on the internet. We did not know what to expect and our first approaches were uncertain and, frankly, doubtful."
The Kite Trust has been helping LGBT+ young people in Cambridgeshire for over 25 years.
The trust runs youth groups across the county. It also provides one-to-one support, a summer residential and youth leadership programme.
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The Kite Trust offers training for schools, the public sector and businesses across the county.
Noah said: "My initial contact with The Kite Trust has had a positive domino effect on my entire life.
"At the time, going to a summer camp seemed inconsequential, just something to fill the calendar. Now I can see that it was, and continues to be, life-changing for me."
According to the trust, Cambridgeshire has one of the largest LGBT+ populations in the UK along with London, Brighton and Manchester.
Lara Jaffey, executive director of The Kite Trust, said: "The LGBT+ sector is desperately underfunded, only getting 0.004 per cent of all charitable funds.
"Yet LGBT+ people make up 4 per cent of the population. This means that as a charity we are always looking for innovative and new ways to bring in funding.
"Every year we see more demand for our services and every year we know we save lives, young people tell us this.
"The Kite Flyers really is such a simple way to make a big difference to young people."
For more information on the charity, visit: www.thekitetrust.org.uk/kiteflyers/