Conferences and retreats can provide great opportunities for fostering connections, sharing information, developing leadership and advocacy skills, furthering your knowledge of self and developing lasting relationships with others.
Below is a list of transgender and trans-inclusive LGBT conferences/retreats* in 2013 that offer workshops and information for transmen, their friends, families, providers, and and/or allies. Some of the conferences may have already come and gone, but I wanted to include them here so you can prepare for next year if something piques your interest.
If you know of any conferences not listed here (especially those in rural US areas and those outside of the US), please leave a comment below so we can add them to our list. I’ll also update this post periodically as dates are announced for additional conferences.
For many of us transguys, changing our legal names is a major milestone in our transition. It’s an outward expression of who we are, who we’ve decided to become, where we’re headed. Some of us were born with names we love and want to keep forever – In which case, congrats and you can skip on to the next post. As exciting as this moment is, let’s be honest – it can also be a huge pain. I don’t think I ever realized how many places my name was until I had to change it. This post will be devoted to organizing those documents for a smooth as possible post-name change transition.
This is a post I’ve been meaning to do for awhile. I thought it was appropriate for the summertime, but now that fall is upon us in my part of the world and the weather is just starting to cool down (and by that I mean 90′s rather than 100+F), I think this would be a fine time to write about the changing of the seasons, tides, and well, genders.
I’m wondering if any of you have had this experience, a sort of seasonal gender dysphoria that, for me, was particularly salient during those years when I was just starting to (knowingly/intentionally) explore my trans/masculine identity. During I’d say my sophomore year of college, I started to realize that maybe I wasn’t a masculine-ish/butch gay person (I never saw myself as a ‘lesbian’ despite my female identity and attraction to women; the label just never fit me right), but maybe I was, in fact, a transman. I spent hours, like I imagine many of you did, pouring over websites, reading whatever I could get my hands on, and watching documentaries and YouTube videos, to find answers and figure out who I was.
Once I picked up on this whole trans idea, I was obsessive about it. Gender, identity, sexuality, it consumed my thoughts on a daily basis. No matter the season, it was on my mind. But what I began to notice was I would explore my gender and identity more regularly, freely, and painfully, during those summer months…And when the wintertime rolled back around again, I’d put many of those transgender-ed thoughts away with the shorts and t-shirts, and I’d just go back to “being me” – whatever that meant at the time. Well, a less anxious me at least.
I’ve seen countless posts about binding methods, tips, tricks, but I don’t come across as much information on binding safely. I know how easily health/safety can become secondary when you’re just trying to survive and feel comfortable in your own skin, but as we coach each other, reach out and support each other, I think it’s also important to talk about ways we can protect ourselves as much as possible. Many of these tips can be applied year round, but for now, I’m going to focus on binding in the summertime.
Ugh, for those of you that live in warmer regions, is there anything that reminds you that summer is upon us faster than stepping out to the heat with a binder on? I personally wear the Underworks Double Front Compression Shirt and this thing gets hot. But it can be 80, 90, 100+ degrees and it still feels important and necessary for me to wear my binder. To balance my mental health self care (i.e. wearing a binder) with my physical safety in the summer, here are some things I like to keep in mind -
In my previous two posts (Part 1 & Part 2) I wrote about my experiences in obtaining a name change and a new drivers license in a new state with a new name. I alluded to some deeper meaning in those posts that I would like to take some time and explore here.
To summarize, the judge presiding over my name change accused me of being deceptive because I was a “female” changing my name to a “male” name, and reminded me that I would have to work hard to not deceive people. He gave me a hard time but eventually signed off on it. Then, the DMV issued me a driver’s license with a male gender marker, despite my providing supporting documentation that I’m legally female. I rejoiced over this oversight (in this state you need surgery and a subsequent court order for a legal change on a driver’s license), but quickly felt guilty, anxious, and shameful about “cheating” the system and having “incorrect” documents. I returned to the DMV the following day to alert them of this error but the teller would not change it back without my original birth certificate. I showed her all of the documentation I had yesterday that has that stupid little “F” written all over it but it didn’t matter. I can’t be sure, but I think the teller might have changed it back without today except she was really hung up on the fact that I was born with a “male” middle name. Alas, I now have a driver’s license with a male gender marker until I return with my birth certificate.
I am ecstatic to have one piece of ID that has what I feel to be the correct gender marker, but I still feel anxious about it. This whole process has also made me think about the policies, laws, requirements that dictate gender in this country and why the system is so twisted.