Jump to content
  • Welcome to the TransPulse Forums!

    We offer a safe, inclusive community for transgender and gender non-conforming folks, as well as their loved ones, to find support and information.  Join today!

Support Groups After the Pandemic


Guest Lynnie

Recommended Posts

Guest Lynnie

Thanks to COVID-19, many of our support groups have necessarily gone dormant. We also might be thinking about how support groups should work under new conditions, for in some respects, we'd have to ask what transfolk need in a world after the pandemic, or even as the pandemic may tiresomely continue to ravage the world.

 

Support groups in recent years appear to have declined. Some have become so centered upon online social media that, when it comes to making actual friends through physical meetings, not much happens at all. I've seen some who have lost corporation status and some that can't even keep their officers let alone the greater part of their members.

 

We've traditionally looked to support groups to facilitate 3 aspects:

 

  • Social events (at a restaurant, club, or some other venue)
  • Education (training for personal betterment, deportment, transition, and citizenship)
  • Outreach (anything from training for public speaking to tabling to political activism)

 

But today, social ties are as easily broken as a block on a social media site when someone takes offense. Today's support groups often take the form of discussion groups run by clinicians or people pretending to be clinicians. They often exist to promote somebody's clinical practice, not like what people might remember from Tri-Ess, Renaissance, Emerald City, or Transgender San Francisco in past decades. They're certainly far from the social ties developed at venues like the Queen Mary in Studio City before it closed in 2002. Commitments are typically a lot less than what they used to be. Those who do show an interest in commitment may encounter a lot of push-back from others who don't want that level of commitment.

 

But now that we're pretty dormant, it's time to think, I think.

 

  1. What needs to you see for transpeople today that support groups need to address and help? Do you see new needs arising?
  2. What can we all do now to make support structures more tightly knit?
  3. Do support groups really help you in your networking with others, or is there something else that works better for you?
  4. Do support groups help you with projects of your own you may have undertaken for the community?

 

I'd like to see your ideas, especially as they may apply to the hinterlands where they're most needed more than the central cities.

 

 

 

Link to comment
  • Admin

In one respect, I think the pandemic will result in a permanent increase in the use of remote services to everyone, including trans folk.  I'm on the board of a local non-profit therapy center specializing in therapy and support of the trans community.  We've closed the doors (at least temporarily) to our brick and mortar offices, and all the therapists are doing video (Zoom and Skype) sessions.

 

Such changes will be especially helpful for those in rural areas which can be a long  distance from major cities.  One on one sessions are easily adapted, but It's unknown how well it will work for group sessions.  I haven't heard from our own therapists if they're doing remote group sessions and if so, how well they're working.

 

I've done both individual and group sessions in the past, and found the former much better than the latter.  The particular group I was in just didn't have the right mix of folks that benefited me, so I left it after 8 months.

 

I think IRL support groups are going to fade from importance as the need for letters of recommendation decrease, and also because younger trans people don't seem to think they need it much.  I know that's a generalization, but that's what I've seen in my conversations with younger members here.

 

Thanks for this topic, Lynnie.  I hope you get some good responses.

 

Carolyn

Link to comment

I'd like to have support groups that don't discuss politics (or religion). I recently went to a remote "support" group where the whole meeting was an intense political discussion. I couldn't stand it and had to leave early. The good thing about a remote meeting is I can leave discreetly without anyone asking why I'm leaving.

Link to comment
  • Admin

The prospective clients for Trans support meeting has changed, I am on the Board of Directors of a local LGBTQ Center.  We actually sponsor 4 support groups that at the minute ate online events, but going very well, and the participants are eager to get back to IP meetings.  Two of the groups are exclusively the under 40, but above 18 crowd and are for the most part non binary people who express themselves that way.  I am welcome in the group and with them I too use a more non-binary POV, but to them I am an old lady. They do have social goals although the rules say no politics per se.  The groups are diverse with mostly Black, Asian, and Latinx which is my community.  One other group is the older folks which are even too old for me although most are several years younger and are CD generally in their thinking.  They are the group suffering the most and getting the least out of online since they cannot go out, even to Triess type meetings.  They will do better as a meet up.  The fourth group is the traditional Binary Trans in their 40's & 50' who will and are living full time but are largely No Op.  I think they too will be doing better for in person contact.  It will be different and not the old days for sure.  I sure sloughed off the make up when the old Queen Mary closed myself.

Link to comment
25 minutes ago, Suzanne1 said:

 

Forgive my ignorance, but I'm just a semi-educated, rural/bucolic type----What's an IRL (or IRL support group)??

 

However, in terms of face-face sessions (individual &/or group), I suspect that even when things re-normalize sessions via electronic media will become the norm, w/ the mentioned "fade" out.  Electronic sessions are just too convenient to both therapists & clients.  I have some misgivings though, lots of meta-communication gets lost when sessions are no longer face-face.

IRL means in real life

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Who's Online   5 Members, 0 Anonymous, 41 Guests (See full list)

    • Jamie68
    • Becoming Diana
    • AgnesBardsie
    • Ryan
    • KathyLauren
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      75.1k
    • Total Posts
      698.1k
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      8,821
    • Most Online
      8,356

    Freyja Clark Turner
    Newest Member
    Freyja Clark Turner
    Joined
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. ShipwreckedGirl
      ShipwreckedGirl
  • Posts

    • Becoming Diana
      I came out last week at a thrift shop where I'm the assistant manager.  Saturdays are our busiest day.  This is what I wore today.  It felt so good to just be myself at work!
    • Becoming Diana
      Thank you @Vidanjali  You've just added fuel to the fire lol.  I will get there one day.
    • Vidanjali
      Hesitating to be out & proud as nonbinary because it almost always requires so much explanation. Tempering dysphoria induced by being gendered binary requires energy expenditure, and having to explain myself does too. Individually being a conduit to challenge others to change the paradigm of their thinking about gender (let alone pronouns) seems an uncomfortable role for myself; I imagine myself a burden to others in that case. While I'm an ally and activist for the disenfranchised in general, I'm not comfortable being so for myself, personally. 
    • Vidanjali
      I enjoyed reading this poem, @Becoming Diana..   I was very lucky to be able to visit Paris in 2018. I was there for 2 1/2 days en route to Central Europe. Paris is all that. Believe the hype. The first day I was there, I thought I'd hyperventilate because everywhere I cast my gaze made me gasp. I had to deliberately slow my breathing because I felt so exhilarated to be there - I could easily see myself staying there indefinitely, and I am not usually a city person. It just felt so lovely and natural to be there. Now, I dream of returning some day. I hope your dream to visit Paris will come true for you. 
    • Jamie68
      Like Dr Seuss said, those who care don't matter and those who matter don't care 
    • Vidanjali
      Loving all the autumn looks, friends! 😍☺️ Here in South Florida, autumn means it's in the mid to high 80s occasionally, lol. I love the heat, though. 
    • Vidanjali
      Hi @Xrystiana ! Nice to meet you 🤗 
    • Vidanjali
      Hi @MaybeImSkylar . As Jackie said, let what makes you comfortable guide you. While having a clearly defined label for your identity can be validating and comforting, don't beat yourself up if it's not currently clear to you. There are endless varieties of gender and sexual identity, and very often it's more nuanced than homo vs hetero, or male vs female. I, for one, salute you - whoever you are - you are valid, beautiful, and loveable.    The confusion you speak of is relatable, and you're not alone. I identify as asexual, panromantic, and trans nonbinary. It took many painful years to come to the clarity I have at present (and no one ever reaches a point where personal self-discovery is complete). To give you an idea, I neither identify as female nor male. My birth certificate says female. I feel my personality is some combination of the two plus something other than either, but it's a homogeneous mix. So, it's not like I can separate the two and say in this instance I'm more female and in another, I'm more male. I'm just me all the time, and whereas I used to feel frightened and disgusted with myself, I have become much more accepting. Before I became more accepting, I used to wear men's clothes and preferred them, but hated myself for it. Then, I began to present very femme, but it felt exhausting, like I was always being judged. I've never had sexual attraction for anyone in what most people would consider a natural manner. I've experienced romantic feelings for people of a variety of genders. I am married to a cis man, and although I don't desire him sexually, the attraction I feel for him seems to me more like how gay men enjoy men rather than how hetero women enjoy men. But, I'm not a man, nor am I sexual, so I could not say for sure - it's just an instinctual notion I have.    So, as you can see, you're not alone in not having a clearly defined experience of your gender and sexuality. Try your best to learn to love yourself in every instance. Be comfortable. Celebrate you. Overcome perceived expectations. Have fun. And keep writing to us here - there are great friends to be had. I wish you the best. 
    • Jackie C.
      I'm pretty sure that covers a lot of us on some level. We'd just like to get on with our lives, be recognized as our actual gender and have rights. I mean that's the whole "agenda."   As for the rest of it, in my opinion anyway, if you wait for the perfect moment you'll wait for the rest of your life. Bite the bullet. Tell who you need to tell and get on with it. They'll accept you or they won't. That is utterly out of your control. If they don't accept you, that's on them, not you.   Hugs!
    • Jackie C.
      There's nothing wrong with being a women who presents in a more masculine manner. My aunt did it and we all loved her. By the same token, there are some lovely non-binary people here and out in the world who don't especially feel like either binary gender. I would advise you to dress how you feel comfortable.   Now, I have no earthly idea what the environment in Cyprus is like for the LGBTQ+ community, (Though my quick internet search says the EU enforces a certain level of rights) but it seems like you should be OK presenting in a manner that doesn't fit the gender binary, which is fantastic. So... experiment. Find out what makes you feel the most like you. Maybe not your whole wardrobe at once, but pick out things and looks that make you feel the most like yourself. Like I said, masculine lesbians exist. Non-binary people exist. You exist. Try to become the very best you that you can be. You absolutely deserve to be comfortable in your own skin.   So, on to the sex talk: Toys exist. If you find you want to add something "extra" to please a woman, that's completely a thing you can buy at your local shop. Personally, I don't find it that appealing but I have friends who do. What makes you happy in the bedroom is a special part of you. Mechanically... my metaphorical hat is off to your heterosexual lovers if you consistently achieved simultaneous climax. My spouse and I generally take turns. You may find that in a more typical lesbian lovemaking session the foreplay goes on for longer than you might be used to with a male partner. Of course I don't know your male partners, but the average for lesbians is clocked at between one and two hours which lines up pretty neatly with my personal experience. Again, take your time with your partners and figure out what you're into. Communication is key. Presumably you know what you like so share that with your partner and have a blast getting to know each other's bodies.   Hugs! 
    • Jackie C.
      Your doctor's approach is fine. They start low, do blood tests and repeat until your daughter's bloodwork shows estrogen and testosterone levels in the proper range. This is very much a slow and steady sort of thing. Think of it like having puberty again. That wasn't over in a day and your doctor doesn't want to accidentally hurt her with too high of a dose. The basic pattern is two months. Test. Adjust dose. Repeat until she hits her targets. There's no one-size-fits-all dosage so your daughter's doctor has to be careful to feel out what's right for her.   As for electrolysis. If she wants it, I'd say go for it. You need to have hairs of a certain length which might cause her dysphoria while she's letting it grow out, but in the long run it's the only truly permanent solution.   Hugs!
    • next_level_mom
      Hi all, so sorry I haven't replied sooner. Just got busy and forgot to check back. @Kelly2509, she was started on a very low patch dose, though it has been increased. I'm still wondering if we should maybe find a more proactive doctor, though of course the present circumstances make everything more complicated.   I didn't know facial hair wasn't affected by HRT!  I'm not sure she knows either. Would it make sense to take her for electrolysis? (Ironically, I think she got hairiness from me, my husband didn't have any real facial hair til he was in his thirties, lol.)
    • MaybeImSkylar
      Hello,  (Excuse my English, is not my first language ) I am someone who is still in the questioning situation about my sexuality and gender identity. And I sort of need help and quidance. Its a bit of a big story but I will try to keep it brief.    I was born as a female and only twice in my life have question my gender identity and right now is that second time. I happend before,during and after my first girlfriend.  She is a transwoman pre-op and she is my first sexual expirience with the same sex. I have had sex with her as the switch position and the times I was the top I enjoyed it but there was something missing. This is a fear I had before I started exploring with women or at least the homosexual side of me; meaning sleeping with the same sex and I dont get actually stimulated by being the giver or climax at the same time as it is with heterosexual sex. Which I feel is the same case I have rn, I enjoyed it and it was exciting being with a woman but there was something missing. I know there are other ways but what if it doesnt work? On some point I felt like I wanted a man's reprotactive system so i can enjoy sleeping with women.    There is this urge that I want this to work and I am scared what is I am poser after all. BUT here is the thing, I dont only feel like I want to be "masculine" only in sex. I recently found myself being keen on more baggy clothes and androgynous eventho in the past I hated it and made me feel ugly. I felt is a girl trying so hard to look like a man even I behaved,dressed, acted more "feminen" for the opposite sex to be accepted , it felt too much. It was exhausting, like who am I?   I am attaching a file that my friend send me this year about heterosexuality and the steryotypes within it and help understand about being a lesbian.    Right now I feel like I am lost, thinking of trasitioning into a man doesn't seem appealing in the sense of having a male reproductive system, I still want to own what I have but be masculine but I dont feel feminen, this is so confusing.  Also thinking about men naked seem even more unattractive than before, but I feel like a man with nothing down there seem more appealing? I don't know if this makes sense, but I feel like I am mad or I am a Karen at the end of the day which makes me so sad and upset.   I hope you enjoy my ted talk and the attached file    https://www.docdroid.net/N46Ea3o/copy-of-am-i-a-lesbian-masterdoc-pdf#page=2 
    • Ryan
      I haven't logged in in quite a while, but I've been having some nice highs and feeling confident in my transition, to having low lows, and I don't know if this has to do with dysphoria fluctuating. As an update, I moved to the city from my small town and I'm completely stealth in college aside from a couple instructors. When I go out, I'd say I pass nearly 99% of the time, though there are times when I get 'imposter syndrome' and I'm "not really trans", or "not a real man". I do have an appointment with my therapist in a couple weeks and a new appointment with a gender clinic to help me with the legal and medical process which was cancelled and then re-booked.    Regarding my transition process, I'm at the point where I'd like to get my legal documents changed first, but I'm also on a time limit because I'd like to get them changed before I start looking for a job. The thing that makes me stop and hesitate is in regards to my family. I came out to my family October 2020 (aside from my brother and sister-in-law). Last time I went to visit my parents, it seemed like they took a step backwards and wouldn't refer to me as 'Ryan' or he/him for the couple days while I was there (they've been supportive of me since I came out and my mom had even baked pride cupcakes during Trans Day of Visibility last year). When I came out to them I didn't mention too much about past childhood thoughts or desires of wanting to be a boy, which I'm considering sending them a 'timeline' of what I remember from my childhood and when I had each thought, or what I wanted to do at that age. All that being said, I'm not 'out and proud' about my trans identity and I would prefer to live as a cis-passing man telling people about my trans identity on a need-to-know basis (doctors, etc).    I feel that my hesitation comes from family and because I'm not out to my brother and sister-in-law, I should tell them before starting anything and make sure my parents are supportive of my decision to transition. I also don't know how my brother and sister-in-law will react, I don't think my sister-in-law will be too surprised honestly, I'm more so worried about my brother. 
    • LindaMarie
      It is no secret here that I have been facing demons lately, and realized it was time to move on. So I picked this song for todays, What am I listening to today. LM, on the mends❤️     
  • Upcoming Events

Contact TransPulse

TransPulse can be contacted in the following ways:

Email: Click Here.

To report an error on this page.

Legal

Your use of this site is subject to the following rules and policies, whether you have read them or not.

Terms of Use
Privacy Policy
DMCA Policy
Community Rules

Hosting

Upstream hosting for TransPulse provided by QnEZ.

Sponsorship

Special consideration for TransPulse is kindly provided by The Breast Form Store.
×
×
  • Create New...