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   9 Members, 0 Anonymous, 35 Guests (See full list)

    • Kasumi63
    • Erica Gabriel
    • Jackie C.
    • Kelly2509
    • Jamie68
    • Shay
    • christinakristy2021
    • ValerieRun
    • Rosie.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      74.9k
    • Total Posts
      695.9k
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      8,750
    • Most Online
      8,356

    Sofie
    Newest Member
    Sofie
    Joined
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. JennaLSinclair
      JennaLSinclair
    2. MadelineWilco
      MadelineWilco
      (17 years old)
    3. Scramble4231
      Scramble4231
  • Posts

    • Jackie C.
      That looks really good on you @Bri2020! Love the black and purple!   Hugs!
    • Bri2020
      busy day: electrolysis followed by a shift at the consignment shop.  At least i'm dressed to kill. lol. I haven't worn this since March so I was happy they still fit.  And the top finally works now that I have boobs .  The plunge top looked a little silly and big when there was nothing to fill it. I probably need a tummy control garment though since I put back on about 7lbs in the last month.  Inspiration to get my eating back under control.
    • Jamie68
      I'm in the same boat as you. In 9th grade I didn't even know what gay meant. I had a neighbor girl ask me if I was gay because I just wanted a friend, not sex. I had no idea what she was talking about.
    • Kelly2509
      I go through all this before you wake up....   one of my favorite tunes ever.
    • Shay
      Sorry you suffered these pains. Glad you are facing and dealing and adding great poetry as well.
    • Kelly2509
      I'm pretty scared too and surgery is not high on my "want to do" list     Honestly I am hoping to just let everything atrophy and that'll get it close to nothing, not sure if that's even a possibility though.
    • KathyLauren
      I went with a "no cavity" vaginoplasty, a.k.a. "zero depth", a.k.a. vulvoplasty, etc.  It is not actually zero depth: I have a dimple about 3/4 of an inch deep where a vagina would be, so it doesn't look too weird on a quick glance.   I knew that there was no chance that I would ever want a penis anywhere near me (I find them, and often their owners, repulsive), so I had no need for a vagina.  Yes, girls sometimes play with toys, but my wife and I don't have much libido left, and she was never into toys.   With no compelling reason to have a vagina, I could not see any reason to put up with months of full-time dilation, years of daily dilation, and a lifetime of ongoing dilation.   I have no regrets about that decision.  What the surgeon gave me looks quite realistic.  It would require a very close inspection to see that it was not a cisgender vulva.    I have other issues with ongoing pain and discomfort that make me question the wisdom of having GCS at all.  But that is not related to the full-depth versus shallow-depth decision.  On the whole, I am glad I had it, and I am very happy with my decision on the type of surgery.  Mine is just a b***h to live with.  So be sure you really want it before going ahead.
    • neo3000
      my favorite artist ever. Bjork.  She calms me down when I'm feeling unwell.
    • Davie
      I'm feeling this song today—it takes me into the heavens. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - 1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)  
    • Kelly2509
      @Ahsoka23 Sometimes you just need to have those conversations, even if they seem impossible.  If everyone keeps their mouth shut things will just fester and turn into resentment.  Last year I came out to my wife and gave her way too much information all at once and it made everything way harder than it needed to be.  Here's my best advice for an early discussion from having to go through a very similar things with my wife, kids and close family within the last year:   First, Sit down and figure out what needs to be said right now.  Don't look way into the future at things like possible surgeries, or anything like that.  What do you need right now and maybe in the next couple months.  Write it down, read it and revise it as you wrap your head around it.  This will help you get your points clear in your head and allow you to not get off into the weeds later.  This becomes something resembling an agenda for when you actually talk.  It's not a script, it's just a list of talking points to help you stay on task.   Second, schedule a time to talk about it.  Don't ambush her in the kitchen or on the couch, don't spring it on her after dinner.  Tell her you need to talk about this and would like to set a specific day and time to discuss it.  Maybe even say I need you for 1 hour or 30 minutes or whatever.  Keep the time limit reasonable, you can always talk again later.  You might even suggest she put together a short list of things she needs to talk about as well so it is more of a 2 way street.   Third, when you do get together stick to your "agenda" and try not to get off into the weeds.  During those early conversations keep things simple and don't get into heavy details.  Do your best not to get defensive, stay calm and let her speak if she has things to say (this is hard, but hang in there).  If either of you starts getting really upset, find a way to wrap things up and revisit topics later.  You don't want either of you to be upset during one of these conversations because people can lash out when upset in ways that are hard to take back later.   In my case, eventually we had a weekly conversation scheduled for the first few months so we could stay on top of things. Before taking these steps most of our "conversations" were really just fights and things were said that I think both of us regretted eventually.  I gave her way too much information about certain things way too soon and that got her worried about a lot of stuff that honestly are still way in the future if they even happen at all.  Plus despite all the evidence of my gender issues "leaking through" that I presented during those initial conversations she was surprised by the whole thing and felt blindsided by it, much like how you described your wife.  Eventually I learned to read the room a bit better so when I finally came out to my parents for example, I knew better than to give them too many details all at once so even though I was telling them I was trans and generally what that meant, I waited to worry about things like pronouns, preferred name, etc. until they had time to let the first big picture stuff sink in.   None of this is to say things are perfect with my partner, but things have gotten better because we took the time to talk.  Communication is key, but sometimes you have to have those difficult conversations and it can help to plan those conversations out rather than drop it on someone unexpectedly.
    • DeeDee
      Honestly Ahsoka, your best bet is to get in touch with your closest GIC as soon as possible and/or look for a counsellor who has training dealing with the LGBT+ community. (when I started questioning I chose someone who offered online meetings) That way you can be heard and discuss your thoughts and feelings and then possibly find a way to move forwards with your partner too. The NHS is free but incredibly slow, so you will be waiting for a long time regardless of what happens in the next few years.
    • Shay
      @MiraM I can relate to running on auto-pilot. For some reason I found something I like to do and that helped. I just wanted to be blanked out and did anything I could just to fill in time before sleeping and doing it all over again. Finally facing my frankness and doing something about it has helped me and deciding to be as active on TP has given me purpose. I know that just being you've accepted yourself and have made progress with self shows. I learned I got to love myself first and then I have love to give. I wish you well and wish I could give you a big hug in person. Heather
    • Kelly2509
      you voiced a lot of my issues that I wish I had the language to describe!   Your definition of intimacy is very much how mine has become post-coming out/HRT and it's what I hope my partner comes around to (again, she has her own baggage to work through) because those are the kinds of things I need now (and why it's not something to handle on my own).  Intimacy does not have to equal sex, which is something i know my partner struggles to separate.   Anyway, that description was beautiful and I hope your partner comes to appreciate those moments as much as you do.
    • Bri2020
      congrats on a successful trip! Funny how we come back from vacations totally toast. lol. Rest up.
    • Ahsoka23
      That's a great idea, thank you   Unfortunately leaving is probably not possible. My wife has several mental and physical issues and I am basically her carer. I don't think she would last long if there wasn't someone here to check on her. The other reason is we have a young son who would be devastated if we spilt up. And on top of all that there's the fact that I love her very much and don't see my life without her.   I also reckon our 4 cats wouldnt be too happy either lol

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...