Author Topic: I proposed a session for the Philadelphia Trans-Wellness Conference  (Read 196 times)

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Offline Asche

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Today I put in a proposal for a session at this year's Philadelphia Trans-Wellness Conference, one which had been on my mind since the last conference.  I was disappointed that there were so few sessions for non-binary people there, and figured rather than just complain, I should do something.  Here's the summary I wrote:

Quote
We non-binary people are frequently asked, "what is non-binary?" There is no simple answer, becasue every non-binary person is non-binary in their own way. In this session, non-binary people will share with one another what each of us means by "non-binary." Our goal is not only to gain an appreciation of the wide variety of non-binary identities, but also to deepen our understanding of our own identities by being exposed to the many possibilities.

I don't know if it's just my paranoia, but I got the feeling that it might be an uphill battle.  The instructions said that they were looking for sessions to "empower" people, and I'm not sure that the selection committee (which as I understand it has a lot of cis people on it) will see this as "empowering."  It didn't help that "non-binary" was not one of the 15 or 20 categories I could choose from.

So in the "additional details" section I basically made a case for it.  I basically said, it seemed to me that non-binary people are kind of ignored.  Most of the LGBT spaces are either cis or binary trans, and there aren't good places for non-binary people to form some sense of us as a community.  We're kind of left on our own to individually figure out what "non-binary" means to us.  This despite the fact that, according the most recent trans survey, roughly one-third of the respondents said that they were non-binary.

It was funny, I hadn't really thought about any of this beforehand, but I really feel that this is an issue.  When I think of the more overtly non-binary people I know, I keep seeing this sense that they are pretty isolated in a sea of cis-normativity, and if the people in their lives have trouble wrapping their heads around the idea of binary trans, non-binary identities might as well be quaternions.  I think that, even as different from one another as we are, we might get some support from the community of others who are at least in a similar position and can understand what we're struggling with.

As far as the conference goes: I'm not sure I'll be going.  If my proposal gets accepted, I'll definitely go (I mean, I'll have to), but if not, I'll look at the program.  If it's as unsatisfying as last year's program was, I might just skip it.


"...  I think I'm great just the way I am, and so are you." -- Jazz Jennings



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Offline RandyL

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Re: I proposed a session for the Philadelphia Trans-Wellness Conference
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2020, 11:17:49 am »
Thank you Aasche. I agree non-binary seems often to be ignored. I find few others like me in local support groups. I hope your proposal is accepted

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Offline Asche

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Re: I proposed a session for the Philadelphia Trans-Wellness Conference
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2020, 05:14:40 pm »
The Philadelphia conference was cancelled, and all of us who submitted proposals were asked to resubmit them next year.  I'll see how I'm doing next Spring.  Who knows what the world will look like by then?

They waited a lot longer than I'd expected, long after I thought it was obvious it wouldn't happen.  However, it might be that they wanted to wait until the Convention Center managment cancelled it for them.  Apparently in a lot of cases, if you cancel, you are at the very least out whatever deposit you paid, and might have a penalty on top.  If the venue cancels, you're off the hook.
"...  I think I'm great just the way I am, and so are you." -- Jazz Jennings



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Offline RandyL

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Re: I proposed a session for the Philadelphia Trans-Wellness Conference
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2020, 07:05:25 pm »
Oh well, not exactly s surprise. The only realistic alternative would have been to go virtual. It sounded like a good topic.

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