Wednesday, March 19, 2014

All The Letters in the Same Room

As you may recall, I posted here in Cyrsti's Condo about attending a Trans Ohio community organizational meeting.  Several were set up around Ohio. The main idea was to explore the main issues we face as TGLBQ individuals.  Meetings such as this have a tendency to either be used as a platform for some to vent on specific grudges or become extremely boring as a few seem to love to hear themselves talk.

This two hour meeting was neither.  The mediators managed to keep an incredibly diverse group on track. Approximately 14 people attended, two of which (including me) identified as transgender. The remainder were either gay or lesbian and even a person who identified as gender fluid.

As issues were discussed, we transgender women were able to mention primarily the lack of understanding from the rest of the community.  Of course, another main concern was the total lack of cooperation under the entire community umbrella.  In fact, the meeting started with one individual launching a mini rant on another person who wasn't there.  Needless to say, an unfortunate example of the problem.

My personal goal for the meeting was raising the goal of visibility for the transgender community.  I pushed the need for a central "clearing house" within the TransOhio organization.  What I mean is, a spot where a gender studies program, church or any other organization could go to get information or even a speaker.  I know it happens now, in isolated spots but to expand it, I believe you need an easy accessible central place to go for info.  In Ohio at least, one of the more populous states in the union, none exists which is publicized.

Here's an example.  A local small liberal arts very upscale university where I live, does have some sort of gender studies program but the professor I'm acquainted with who is involved knew absolutely nothing about trans people. In fact, he only acknowledged the gays and lesbians in his speeches. Plus, I know larger schools probably have several trans students who have come out but are the major issues of suicide and health care being discussed in  insulated college settings?

As with any meeting, what happens with the discussions in the days and weeks ahead determine success or failure.  We will see.

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