Martial arts class specializes to help nonbinary and transgender teens
A new martial arts class in Goshen is helping teenagers who identify as nonbinary or transgender.
Master Emily Marmo at Family Martial Arts has a growing group of kids she sees every Friday after they’re done with school.
"Body dysmorphia was really a challenge,” she said.
Marmo, who isn’t LGBTQ+, noticed some of her students were uncomfortable training and wanted to try and help.
"The reason behind it was watching them struggle,” she added.
The National Center for Transgender Equality says more than one in four trans people has faced a bias-driven assault with rates even higher for trans women and people of color. Nearly half of LGTBQ youth seriously considered committing suicide in the past year, according to a Trevor Project survey.
"I get stressed out very easily with things,” said attendee Maggie Van Regenmortel. “I come in here and all of it goes out the door and my brain is just in here."
The classes are not meant to teach kids to fight, but instead to learn confidence, discipline and camaraderie.
"We all want our children to feel empowered and comfortable and confident and secretly, we want them to really be able to defend themselves if we need to,” said one parent of a child taking part in the class.
Those interested in joining a class can find more here.