Significant Others Program

At Esprit we realize the difficulty our Significant Others face in coping with a transgender partner in a committed relationship. How many young girls do you know of with a burning desire to spend their lives with a partner who wears their clothes? We also realize that the health of the relationship, as well as the mental health of the partners in many cases, depends upon the ability to smoothly assimilate this unusual behavior into the relationship. For this reason, Esprit demonstrates a fundamental commitment to our wonderful Significant Others and to couples. At Esprit the Significant Other Program is a fundamental part of the conference and educational program and this program is recognized as the best program of its kind in the country, if not the world.

We are pleased to announce that Dotti Berry returns again to facilitate and teach during this year's SO Program classes. Sharon Babcock returns again as the SO Program Coordinator with her personal insights on what it's like to be in a relationship with a transgender Significant Other.

Many of the scheduled classes are restricted to only the partners of TG attendees. These classes are designed to ensure your privacy and comfort. We make every effort to provide a safe place to share feelings, ask questions and discover that you are not alone. These classes are "closed door" and are conducted with the understanding that what is said in the room, stays in the room! It is important to note that the door will be LOCKED. This insures that the group process is not interrupted. Please arrive early and ready to join in the discussions. Our classes are led by professionals with many years of experience.

Room 248 is a large and comfortable room reserved for the SO Program. This room is where all the classes will take place and is reserved before and after classes for SO's to rest, relax, and regroup. You can scan the schedule for the retreats and classes you are interested in and read the detailed class descriptions in the facilitator's biography. The SO Program Coordinator can be reach by using the Contact Us Page and will be glad to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

A message from the Esprit Chairwoman

Esprit works with the transgender at many levels, and one of the most important elements of the conference is in reaching out to you, our lifetime partners and friends. We welcome you and hope to provide you with presentations and events to meet your needs. Over the course of the week, our intent is to provide a comfortable and trusting environment that will allow you to raise questions and share your experiences with others. Although our hope is to provide you with some answers to these questions, we also want you to enjoy the week. We have events planned where you will be able to leave the seminar setting, have fun and relax while meeting new friends. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to enhance your experience. Welcome, and thank you for sharing your time with us at Esprit.

Suzanne Adams
Chairwoman
Esprit Committee


Message from Dotti Berry (SO Program Facilitator)

The SO program at Esprit is invaluable for significant others, as well as couples who attend together. Whether you are attending for the first time or have attended multiple times, constantly creating your relationship in the “now” is essential to its success and its ability to thrive in the midst of whatever obstacles you encounter.

Facilitating the SO program isn’t about doing “presentations.” The descriptions below merely serve as the foundation for the particular session. I facilitate the process, and we work with what each of you brings into the group session. YOU are the reason the groups work because it is the information and insights you share about your own personal journey that are key as others witness your process and vice versa. When you ask your personal questions and share your personal story, you enable others to tap into the reservoir of insights that are yours.

If you’ve participated in the past in as a SO or as a couple, please join us again. Each year is new because you are constantly re-inventing yourself if you are alive and growing. You are not the same people as you were last year. You are like any any person/couple in relationship. You have new issues/situations which come up on a daily basis.

And if you think you have “done that already” because you already participated in the SO/Couples program at Esprit in the past, all the more reason to attend. Why? Because you haven’t. :) You could have “done it already” in a past year, but because you haven’t yet attended Esprit 2015, you haven’t addressed your relationship in the present...and that is what keeps it alive and vital.

The nuances of each relationship is different, adding texture and meaning to life in an expanded way as they are explored. Refuse to succumb to the ordinary and simply “survive” as an individual or as a couple in your relationship. Commit to examining and bringing to light all that is and relish the opportunity to discover how to thrive vs survive, whatever it takes!


Comments from Significant Others attending Esprit in previous years:

I had a great time. I am so glad to have other SO support.

D. Knudson, Clackamas, Oregon

 

I had an excellent time. I learned a lot. I made many new friends. I want to come back next year!! Thank you for making me feel very welcome. It was nice meeting other wives in the same boat. The immediate connection was like meeting members of your family you didn't know you had.

N. Coleman, Aldergrove, British Columbia, Canada

 

I had a wonderful time. This was one of the most important experiences of my life. It deeply affected me. It also had a profound and positive impact on my marriage and the marriage was very good already!! Thank you for setting up the SO options.

S. Nelson, Spokane, Washington