Who Am I?
One of the great existential questions. There are some who walk the planet whose being, body or mind has them ask this question in a way that many others struggle to comprehend. Their very existence makes them explore who they are to such a degree that they break through the fabric and normality of society. They come with many names, they are unique, they are individual, they are a people whose existence has been hidden by society – silenced and oppressed. There are some who stand strong, however, who sing sweetly their unique melody.
“The culture and language of trans people is both beautiful and complex. I’ve discovered a whole lexicon of how I, as a binary identified trans woman fit into the infinite variations of male and female – where one’s crude and brutal assignation based on external genitalia is forgotten and labels such as man and woman lie practically redundant among the beauty of it all. “
– Rebecca K Williams: Supporting LGBT Staff conference, Brighton 2013.
Transiness is about allowing gender variant and intersex people freedom of expression about positive changes or aspects of their life they might find difficult elsewhere. It’s about celebrating who people really are without the fear of disapproval. It’s about celebrating the delight of transition or of living a more congruent life as a binary, genderqueer, or agender person. It’s about sharing good news, inspiration and positivity. It’s also about people interacting with others expression of who they are in a positive way.
If you are transitioning full time either medically, socially or both, transiness the facebook group offers ongoing peer support and keeps you up to date on what is happening inside a part of the trans community. You can find the page here.
“Transgender” was coined in its contemporary sense in the early 1990s, when trans activist Leslie Feinberg used it to name a budding movement uniting all possible oppressed gender minorities. Although they did so in sometimes very different ways and in different communities, transsexuals, drag queens, butch lesbians, cross-dressers, feminine men, and masculine women all in some senses crossed, or transed, gender, and most modern “Western” societies took punitive measures to keep such crossings invisible or in check.
. Transfeminist Perspectives in and beyond Transgender and Gender Studies (Enke et al 2012)
What is transiness and what are its aims?
Here in transiness we like to keep the focus on wellbeing – it’s so easy to start to believe all the horrible things people say about people who physically and / or socially transition. We think part of wellbeing means focusing on the good things in life, appreciating the beauty of the world around us, but also giving, relating to people, forming close relationships and building resiliance. This is why we encourage people to talk about their journey, what helps for them, the good things but also feeling ok about reaching out for help when they need to.
Transiness and transiness.co.uk reflect a trans-positive culture for trans, cis, intersex people and allies to share inspiring, positive news, stories and quotes. Transiness is about activism from the heart of the community, it’s about empowering, enabling and facilitating growth and strength within gender variant and intersex communities. It’s about providing community, a sense of belonging and providing targeted support for people who are physically and/or socially transitioning or have fully transitioned and are wanting to support others. We are very aware that this does not include a wide section of the trans* umbrella, including transvestic fetishism: please understand that we are targeting support for a very specific community.
-> Transiness is about celebrating the delight of transition or of living a more congruent life as a transgender person.
-> It’s about sharing good news, inspiration and positivity.
-> It’s about supporting each other in a safer environment than ‘cisgender spaces’ and providing a place to grow.
-> It’s also about people interacting with others expression of who they are in a positive way, with compassion and empathy.
-> The facilitators promote live peer-to-peer discussion/support group for members of Transiness. Please respect people’s privacy, recording and/or taking hangout photos is strictly forbidden. The hangouts are intended to remain “within these walls” in terms of confidentiality.
-> It’s a place to share your blogs / creative things / groups or events here, it is great to hear from all of you! (It’s good manners to cross-link transiness if we share your site / blog).
-> Transiness is NOT a political pressure group. Do not post negative news stories here.
-> Please respect others sex, race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, disability (sensory,cognitive or developmental) and sexuality. Trolling, flaming, flooding, cyber bullying, and general bad internet behaviour is not tolerated here and we reserve the right to remove posts and/or members at any time. Please feed the Unicorns and not the Trolls!
Can I get involved with this?
Yes! Transiness is a community based site, please feel free to log in (under the “registration” tag) and after approval, provide your own contributions <3. The facebook group is open to everyone (regardless of your identity), although we do have strict rules about the type of person we allow in because some discussions are of a personal nature. If there is any doubt about your profile, the facilitators will make contact with you to discuss things. This is because the group consists of very vulnerable people and we try our best to create a safer space for everyone.
Who are transiness?
Transiness started with one person offering support group taking with it some ideas about wellbeing and translating them for trans people, which has quickly grown over time. One of the problems surrounding trans internet culture had been that a lot of the news, press and peoples cries for help were all very negative. It was about talking about what was wrong rather than focusing on what is right. Minority stress and oppressive dominant cultures can make life difficult for trans people and the stress can often become too much, where daily life sometimes just becomes a battle. The founder was also very aware that old fashioned support groups were very isolated and that accessibility was key. It was founded roughly in 2012 and grew steadily in numbers – currently we have around 650 members UK wide.
Transiness aims to offer targeted support for people who trans-sex, but by doing so is also inclusive of wider parts of the trans community. We do so by celebrating good news from people – especially those going through the rigors of medical transition, which helps to form friendships and community. Active-constructive feedback involves showing genuine enthusiasm and taking time to relive the event, rather than simply acknowledging the good news passively or changing the subject. Gable, S., & Algoe, S. B. (2010): Being there when things go right: Support processes for positive events.
Transiness moved forward over the coming years and now has a small committee of women. The current Transiness team (responsible for planning meetings, development, website maintenance, moderation, facilitation and helplines) :-
Rebecca self describes as “Femme of centre, moderately androphobic loving bubble blowing queer transfeminist (with teeth).” She was recently commended by the Health Service Journal for her work in the local hospital, community and beyond was a committee member of the Clare Project in Brighton from 2012 to 2014 and features in Brighton trans*formed, an oral histories book, published in 2014. She has a diploma in health studies and translates her knowledge and experience in health to advocate and empower women who transition.
Susan Lewis is an administrator for “Edinburgh trans women” and joined the Transiness team in 2014. She’s an active member of her community and has shared her transition, and her down to earth approach has inspired many people within the group.
Suzanne Williams has extensive experience in group moderation having worked as a paid moderator for many years. She has worked with gender and sexual minorities since qualifying to become a nurse which continues to be her passion. She has been a dedicated supporter of LGBT issues for most of her life.
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