Trans Helpline for Bristol Seeks Volunteers

MindLine

As per the flyer above, Bristol Mind is looking to launch a telephone helpline for trans people. They are looking for volunteers to help staff the service. There’s no salary, but they do pay expenses. For further information about the work, and how to sign up for the training programme, see this information sheet.

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Trans/Forms – Ten Days of Art and Music Celebrating Transgender Lives

Buy tickets for the fundraiser on the 13th here or at the Hamilton House reception11393102_942721762433215_8193882092679430946_n

For more information visit the Trans/Forms facebook page or find us on Twitter @TransFormsBrist


Friday November 13th will see the launch of a series art, performance and music events over 10 days at Hamilton House in the run up to Transgender day of remembrance, now in it’s 18th year, with 8 groups and individual artists coming from across the UK. 

It kicks off with a party and fundraiser on November 13th. From November 16th – 23rd there is an exhibition of visual art from Trans artists from across the UK, exploring ideas of gender and identity. The opening night on November 16th features live art from Raju Rage and music from Afon Sistema.

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Trans Day of Remembrance Events

TDOR2015

Our 2015 Trans Day of Remembrance (November 20th) events are as follows:

08:30am – Raising the Trans Flag outside City Hall, College Green, BS1 5TR, with the Lord Mayor, the Right Honourable Clare Campion-Smith.

06:00pm – Ceremony of Remembrance at the Anson Rooms, Richmond Building, University of Bristol Students’ Union, 105 Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1LN

The flag raising is a public event and may have the media in attendance. The Ceremony of Remembrance is for trans people, their friends, family and allies.

In addition Trans/Forms, a locally based trans art group, is organising several events at Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QY in the week leading up to TDOR. More information is available from their Facebook page.

ShoutOut Radio will be covering TDOR on their show on November 19th (7:00pm-8:00pm on BCFM).

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on the radio

1949_Irene_Dunne_Cavalcade_of_America_NBC_Microphone_Press_Photo

Bristol’s got a couple of places where trans voices are regularly heard on the radio; Cheryl Morgan on Ujima comes to mind, and the nice folk at Shout Out on BCFM (check them out if you haven’t already done so!).

I got a call out of the blue this morning, asking if I could go on Steve Darvill’s programme on BBC Radio Bristol, to talk about my experience of hate crime. They had my contact details because I’ve been on there before. I agreed, and spoke of my own experience. But I also had time to get some lowdown from a young friend whose experience of harassment in the LGBT community is perhaps more immediate and current, and I was able to quote her.

This was obviously not as good as having her speak for herself, of course, and I’m conscious that traditionally the most-heard voices from the trans community are those from my bit of it- middle aged, white, MtF, blah blah. I wonder what you think about having a ‘go to’ list of Bristol people prepared to go on radio, from a wider range of trans and queer identities?

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An Historic Day

Lord Mayor raises flag

Yesterday, for the first time ever, Bristol City Council held a public event aimed specifically at trans people. At 2:00pm, in front of City Hall, the Lord Mayor, the Rt. Hon. Councillor Alastair Watson, raised the transgender flag to mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance. A number of other City Councillors were in attendance. The event was organised by the Rainbow Group, the LGBT staff network at the City Council. Local MPs were busy elsewhere, but two tweeted their support today:

Press coverage of the event has been good. Here are some links.

The official City Council press release.

A report on the Bristol Post website.

A report on the Bristol 24/7 website.

Shout Out Radio mentioned the occasion and had a clip from the Lord Mayor’s speech.

The event was also filmed by Made in Bristol TV, though we don’t as yet know whether anything will be broadcast.

Here’s some video of the flag raising taken by Michelle Hine.

Also in shot is the Lady Mayoress, Mrs. Sarah Watson. In the background in the orange coat is Daniella Radice, the Leader of the Green Party on Bristol City Council.

TDOR head table

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Trans Day of Remembrance, 2014

November 20th is the annual International Trans Day of Remembrance, on which we remember those people who have been murdered during the past year simply for being trans (see here and here for more information).

We have a new event for 2014. At 2:00pm on November 20th the Trans Flag will be raised above City Hall by the Lord Mayor, The Right Honourable Councillor Alastair Watson. This will be a public event, and all are invited (including the media). As far as we know, this is the first time that the City Council has acknowledged the trans citizens of Bristol in a public event. [Facebook event]

In the evening, the traditional Day of Remembrance ceremony will take place. Because City Hall is currently undergoing renovations, our usual room is not available. Instead the ceremony will take place at the Pavilion on the Harbourside, just beyond the Lloyds TSB building. A map showing how to get there is available here (PDF). [Facebook event]

The small picture on that document shows that the main entrance to The Pavilion is via a staircase. However, there is a lift available at the back of the building. We will do our best to keep an eye open for people with mobility difficulties.

We have The Pavilion from 6:00pm. The plan is to start the Ceremony of Remembrance at 6:30pm, and to be finished by 7:30pm. Bristol University is planning its own remembrance event, which will be timed after ours to allow people to attend both if they so wish.

The Ceremony of Remembrance is a private event for trans people, their friends, family and allies.

As with previous years, tea lights will be provided for those who wish to light candles, but feel free to bring your own.

The cost of hiring the venue has been paid by the Rainbow Group, the LGBT network at the City Council. We are very grateful to them for this.

LGBT Bristol has arranged the booking for us and will be providing refreshments and nibbles. Once again our thanks to them for their assistance. Some of their staff will be on hand after the ceremony to talk about the Hate Crimes service and any other support issues that trans people in Bristol may have.

Bristol University will be having their own Remembrance Ceremony outside of the Victoria Rooms starting at 8:15pm. Details are available on Facebook.

Shout Out Radio on BCFM will be broadcasting on the evening of the 20th, and if all goes to plan will have coverage of the flag-raising ceremony. They will be on air during the Ceremony of Remembrance so won’t be able to cover that.

In addition Council Equalities Officer, Simon Nelson, will be on the Women’s Outlook show on Ujima Radio from 12:30pm to 13:00pm on Wednesday 19th. Simon will talk to Cheryl Morgan about the Day of Remembrance events and how the City Council can better help Bristol’s trans citizens.

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talking about trans groups in the Bristol area

Last Saturday, Susannah Thompson, of South Bristol Voice Therapy, hosted an informal meeting of people from trans groups in the Bristol area. Informal in the sense that Susannah is finding her way in this area, having worked with the Laurels GIC in Exeter. She’s found that she sometimes encounters clients who are themselves completely ignorant of trans matters, and wants to be helpful. Enlightened self interest, if you like.

The meeting was held at the request of Joanna, a regional organiser for the Beaumont Society. So I had serious misgivings about going; the BS have a reputation for being a bit behind the times and out of touch, a reputation that was in no way enhanced after they made a couple of major bishes last year. Still, an organisation is only as good as the people in it, and maybe things have changed.

There were people there from Crossroads (a Bristol social group for trans people), Gloscats (ditto for Gloucester), and Avon Trans Women (Bristol support group for MtF transsexual people). Also an officer from the Avon & Somerset Constabulary’s LGBT Liaison Team. And there was me, and T, from the Transbristol group.

The main point of the meeting was to attempt to identify ways in which people who need help, information and support can get it. So if all the groups in the area can establish connections, they can pass on requests and information if they encounter something they can’t deal with themselves. Which is obviously a good thing.

A shortcoming that was obvious even before the meeting began was that the trans people there came from a fairly narrow demographic- white, middle-aged, MtF. No young people, no FtM’s, no queer identities.

What useful function can Transbristol perform? -what, indeed, is it? -well…

There’s this WordPress site, where information can be posted, and support services listed in the drop-down menu above.

There’s an email address, transbristol@gmail.com. This is a potentially useful means for people outside the group to get in touch. It has failed recently because I couldn’t face opening the inbox. Personal issues. Sorry. T has undertaken to begin monitoring the email. Anyone else who fancies doing it, do put your hand up.

There’s also the Facebook page, where conversations and connections can take place. So go there if you want to and are able to. And if not, post here, or try emailing.

 

 

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