I’ve just been to my first gettogether with the local trans group. I’ve heard that they are not very active, but that might be about to change. They have a brand new place to meet now, much more comfy and easier to get to than the old and cold cellar room they had before.
There were about 10 people there in various ages, sipping tea and small talking. I didn’t know anyone directly but there were two or three familiar faces. The conversation sort of stopped when I entered and I didn’t know what to make out of it. I introduced myself and had a cup of tea and just sat down to take in the atmosphere.
Slowly, things settled again and the conversation got going. They talked about many things. Among them were names and how to choose a new one for yourself, what to think of and how one can feel about it. We talked about social norms around gender and gender identity. How complex it can be to want to change something with yourself – does a change on a personal level also on a more structural level make the world less diverse and the norms around gender or gender identity stronger?
I had a good time and I got some feedback on my ideas about the gym. Someone said that private locker rooms with access to a private shower would be to prefer for them, rather than a small gender neutral locker room and shower shared with a few other people, even if that is a more costly alternative. One person pointed out to me that it might be better not to talk about it as primary a trans issue, that pushing the more general “people-with-special-needs-group”-button could be more effective. She also said that it could be a good idea to talk to some handicap organization of some sort, looking for good allies. Someone else added that I should talk to others in the trans community who have been lobbying for this sort of stuff before.
But sadly, no one there seemed interested in it on a more personal level. I’d love to have other people that are trans to go to the gym with sometimes. That’d be both inspirational and fun and I think it would help me challenging myself. We could sort of support each other. But I haven’t given up on this, I have a few prospects in mind right now. We’ll see what happens.
By the way – regarding the value of a supportive network – I’m lucky enough to already have an awesome network of my own. Today’s t-shirt is a good example. I got it at a party last weekend as a sign of love and support. A nerdy t-shirt with an 80′s classic “boy toy” motif and the text “Trans formers – more than meets the eye”… It is just so right for me, nerdy and proud of it and born in the early 80′s as I am. I love it!
Pride can be worn quite literally sometimes, and today is a day as good as any to do it.