A meeting with my tribe.Collaborative Unit
Today I took two hours to Brighton, this is my first time to participate in a face-to-face activity of my tribe, I contacted them only by email before. My role in the tribe is a 22-year old, bisexuality transvestism. We have a meeting from 4:30PM-7:00PM, here is a introduction of the meeting:
We always take time at the beginning of the meeting to talk and relax with one another and we make a point of going around the group and introducing ourselves and what pronoun we would like to use for the session. Our aim is to create a space where young people can be themselves and feel free to change their identities from week to week or even minute to minute. Our emphasis is on inclusion and personal expression.
Our meetings are always different and so far we have done art projects, designed flyers for the group, written up a working agreement (The Code of Conduct for Transformers). We’ve been bowling, had a workshop run by Maxwell Zachs and attended an Event in London hosted by Gendered Intelligence. There has been some stimulating and challenging conversation and discussion along the way and a lot of laughs.
Because I’m a new mumber, I need to provide some personal information to the leader in a private space. He asked me many questions like what is my sexual orientation, am I willing to change my gender or not, how much pressure I’m under（I think this kind of question is to test my suicidal tendency), is it OK if he is gonna talk about trans with me by telephone. Then I signed an agreement, because I can’t take it away, so now I can only recall the contents of the agreement:
1.Fully respect and understand each other.
2.Keep secrets for each oher.
4Camera is banned in the meeting.
After that I was allowed to meet my tribe, I was so excited! Our leader gave us name tags to write down our names and how we wish others call us. Mine was like: Lin She.
I meet some friends in this meeting, we had a long conversation and painted together, but I can’t record or took picture due to their policy, so I use my memory to draw their faces, and ask them if I can take a photo of the art workshop only, they agree.
I can’t recall KAI’s face vividly, but his（or her）Greek style side face is really impressive。
Actually when I first heard about Allsorts launched a trans-only youth group in Brighton, I had slightly mixed feelings. On the one hand,I’m little worried that I will be akward if I take part in it. On the other, putting a bunch of multi-stage trans youth together in one room to socialise could go any number of ways… It turns out my fears were unfounded. Transformers isn’t forced or awkward; it’s not scary or isolating, and it’s certainly not exclusive. It’s actually one of the most comfortable, relaxed and accepting groups I’ve experienced. There’s no pressure to be at any particular point in your transition, or your life. Everyone’s welcome, but at the same time, it’s a safe space. You’re free to be yourself and talk about whatever you want – and it doesn’t have to be trans stuff! That’s one of the great things about a group like Transformers. No-one’s expecting you to represent “your people” and there’s a certain freedom in that.
Whatever’s going on in your life outside, you can leave it there and escape to this place where everybody’s happy to see you, (whatever you want to look like). There’ll always be someone there who can relate to you; some will support you and some may need support, but it never feels like a burden. The group’s diverse and pretty representative of the trans community. We’ve had speakers like Max Zachs,gone bowling and just hung out. And there’s free food as well!
I got a bag of leaflets from the reception, these are about support around health and wellbeing, for example, what should you if you are thinking about suicide? An Allsorts advocate can be there to support you and can signpost you to services which help you to care for your mental health in difficult times, I think it is very useful for people in need.
I feel like they are so friendly, why do people always treat them badly? Trans people is as normal as us, but they are suffering enormous psychological pressure. Nowadays to society is accepting gay and lesbian gradually, but we still have a lot of misunderstanding about transvestism. Our world would be better without prejudice.