Legal Blog

Aspects of Affirmation: Week 1 An Overview of the Experiences and Needs of Transgender and Non-binary Youth

On March 7th, we launched week 1 of the Aspects of Affirmation webinar series taking place on Tuesday nights throughout the month of March, in anticipation of International Day of Transgender Visibility on March 31st.

My special guest for week 1 was Celeste Fiore (they/them), Esq., an out non-binary transmasculine attorney and activist who is the founder of Trans Affirming Alliance, a New Jersey Non-Profit Organization that thrives on connecting members of the transgender and non-binary community with necessary resources. TRANS AFFIRMING ALLIANCE –

In our webinar, Celeste and I shared with the audience the challenging experiences of LGBTQ+ youth, the importance of representation and creating a sense of belonging.  We discussed The Trevor Project’s 2022 Survey on LGBTQ+ Mental Health and shared staggering statistics associated with Anxiety, Depression and Suicide rates for Trans and Non-binary kids, and even for cisgender kids and the extreme difference that it makes to have supportive systems in place.  The Trevor Project: 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health

We shared the Movement Advancement Project’s equality map of Gender Identity safety across the United States and were horrified by the concept of being trapped in affirming states due to the growth of anti-transgender legislation in so many states and talked about how to protect and help our gender-diverse family members stay safe and how to discuss safety with cisgender relatives. Movement Advancement Project | Snapshot: LGBTQ Equality by State (

Celeste shared their personal experiences as a gender-diverse adolescent and we contemplated the extra stressors carried by transgender and non-binary youth compounding the stressors present for cisgender youth.   Celeste shared that it is the adults’ jobs to help our youth be affirmed and to make their lives easier – not that the burden should be on the youth to explain and educate the adults around them.

Our guests had great questions that spurred additional conversations and had questions about the trauma experienced by trans and nonbinary youth and about the uptick in anti-transgender legislation around the country.   I promised that we would address those issues in upcoming seminars!

You can find the recording of the Aspects of Affirmation Webinar Week 1 here.


MARCH 14th: Dr. Philippa Connolly (she/her) talks about complex trauma experienced by gender-diverse youth and the importance of affirming family systems!  Register here.

 MARCH 21st: Shannon Cuttle (they/them), Founder of Safe Schools Action Network, discusses the political environment, laws around the country, and the protections for children and challenges for children within school environments. Register here.

MARCH 28th: Rebecca Stahl (she/they), LLM, Former Executive Director of the Meyerson School, talks to us about the impact of the court system on our youth and how interdisciplinary training and acknowledgment of trauma is changing the landscape of legal work. Register here.


Headshot of Attorney Jodi Argentino | 973.245.9929

Jodi Argentino  has over two decades of experience in NJ and NY Family Law, with specialty focus on LGBTQIA+ community, non-biological parents, special needs children and neurodiverse individuals. Jo also has her Masters in Child and Adolescent Developmental Psychology, which informs her work as a litigator, mediator, Guardian ad Litem, and Parent Coordinator.

Jo is an active and passionate volunteer within the legal and LGBTQ+ communities and has written extensively on the subject of Family Law and LGBTQ issues. She has been a speaker for organizations in NY and NJ, as well as for various national venues. Her latest publication, “Affirmation is Essential for LGBTQ+ Youth in Family Court” can be found here.