Martial arts class in Goshen specializes in helping non-binary and transgender teens

A new martial arts class in Goshen helps teens who identify as non-binary or transgender.

Master Emily Marmo at Family Martial Arts has a growing group of kids she sees every Friday after she finishes school.

“The body dysmorphia was really a challenge,” she said.

Marmo, who is not LGBTQ+, noticed that some of his students were uncomfortable in practice and wanted to try to help.

“The reason behind it was to watch them struggle,” she added.

The National Center for Transgender Equality says more than one in four trans people have experienced bias-motivated assault, with even higher rates for trans women and people of color. Nearly half of young LGTBQ people have seriously considered suicide in the past year, according to a survey by the Trevor Project.

“I get stressed out with things very easily,” said contestant Maggie Van Regenmortel. “I come here and everything goes out the door and my brain is right here.”

Classes are not meant to teach children how to fight, but rather to teach confidence, discipline, and camaraderie.

“We all want our children to feel empowered, comfortable and confident and secretly we want them to be really able to stand up for themselves if we need to,” said a parent of a child in the class. .

Those interested in joining a class can find out more here.

Kristen T. Prall