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, email@example.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.