Author Topic: The Pursuit of Meaningful Connections  (Read 343 times)

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Offline Miharu Barbie

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The Pursuit of Meaningful Connections
« on: June 04, 2020, 04:22:44 pm »
Hi Everyone.

I've been on and off this forum for many years.  I've been more off the past few years than on.  Now I'm here, hat-in-hand, in search of guidance.

Surviving the twists and turns of 21st century living is boggling my mind lately.  As a trans-woman of color who has never had any connection to black or Hispanic culture in all my life, I find myself more spiritually and culturally adrift than I have ever been.

As events involving inequality and violence against minority groups in America (including trans people) unfold, I find myself unable to relate to my friends and even my wife of 13 years.  I don't blame them.  All of them are cis-gender, white and from privileged backgrounds in their 60's.  Not to suggest that there's anything at all wrong about who they all are.  They are my friends and my family and I love them.  Only, I'm experiencing the uprising in our country in a way that they can't seem to understand when I try to share my feelings.  So I've fallen silent.  I've just stopped talking about how I am and what I feel.

My question is this.  For a 55 year-old trans woman of color, how does one set about creating relevant  community in the time of COVID 19?  I really don't know how to begin, except to bring the question to you all.

Thank you all for being a safe harbor in terrible times.

 :-*
Miharu
There is NO path to happiness.  Happiness IS the path.

You are Loved!



HRT:                         June 1998
Full Time For Good:     November 1998
Never Looking Back:  Now!

Offline Gertrude

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Re: The Pursuit of Meaningful Connections
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2020, 05:33:48 pm »
With a lot of things I do, I ask myself what I want to do and more importantly why. I think that the why will give you direction. We have a lot turmoil and churn now, I agree. I think we've been in a cultural transition for the last 12 years and it's continuing even with the current conditions that seem to go against us. I think it's moving in a positive direction even if it doesn't seem that way. Change on the scale we want requires turmoil and churn. It couldn't happen otherwise, it just seems such a disarray while in it.


Offline SonadoraXVX

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Re: The Pursuit of Meaningful Connections
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2020, 09:35:18 pm »
Culture is an extremely powerful force of shaping perspective. I myself am mexican american m2f tg. What your experiencing, is different perspectives,  shaped by ethnicities and race.

One of my best friends is white/some cherokee, wasp and another is white, but from a mesoamerican mestizo culture. Same apparent outside appearances,  but different cultures.

That being said, you may want to find out your heritage and go from there.

My dna heritage is:
65% mexican indian
17% Spanish/Portuguese
6% African
2% middle eastern.

Mexican by birth, American by choice.

I think it comes from what culture your brought in and if you feel connected to it. Its never to late to connect to your heritage, with or without the people who care for us.


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To know thyself is to be blessed, but to know others is to prevent supreme headaches
Sun Tzu said it best, "To know thyself is half the battle won, but to know yourself and the enemy, is to win 100% of the battles".




Offline Miharu Barbie

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Re: The Pursuit of Meaningful Connections
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2020, 10:48:14 pm »
Thank you, Gertrude.  I love you!

 :-*
Miharu
There is NO path to happiness.  Happiness IS the path.

You are Loved!



HRT:                         June 1998
Full Time For Good:     November 1998
Never Looking Back:  Now!

Offline Miharu Barbie

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Re: The Pursuit of Meaningful Connections
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2020, 10:59:27 pm »
Thank you, Sonadora.  I hear what you're saying.  But what will knowing my ethnic heritage gain me in terms of building community?  I do know, more of less, what my genetic background consists of.  I was just raised in a different culture.  And I'm okay with that.  I mean, we're a mob of gender transgressors; we know about institutional discrimination, don't we. 

But then, maybe I'm confused.  Yeah, I might be confused.  I'll have to ponder your words a while and see what pop's out later.  Thank you for the food-for-thought.

I love you!

 :-*
Miharu
There is NO path to happiness.  Happiness IS the path.

You are Loved!



HRT:                         June 1998
Full Time For Good:     November 1998
Never Looking Back:  Now!

Offline TanandaTheTrollop

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Re: The Pursuit of Meaningful Connections
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2020, 02:03:24 am »
It is a hard thing and I don’t think you are alone. Not the same but my one friend, when her first daughter was born she went through a connection crisis. Her daughter was not white growing up in a sea of alabaster. My one sister-in-law went through some of the same things when she got pregnant right out of high school. It is hard when no one around you can understand what it is you are going through. I think we need to connect in some way with people like us. I did not know what to say to my sister-in-law then, I did not know what to say when she left my brother and moved in with me, I did not know what to say when the next guy broke her heart and she came home and cried all night, eight years ago when we were roommates again I didn’t know what to say when my niece got pregnant and she didn’t know how to be a grandmother at 40. Each time she struggled and I gave her all of the love, affection and support that I could but I always thought that was not enough. My friend now has two children to the same husband she has had for the last 20 years. The oldest “graduated” this year, wow what a <not allowed> year to graduate huh? She graduated from a private school that was all white except for her and her sister, our county opened up last week and she asked me to take her shopping. It was so much fun, we hadn’t seen each other since the holidays, but she had something on her mind the whole day. When she finally told me what was bothering her I had no way to help her. Her father’s family thinks that she is pretentious because of her upbringing and will have nothing to do with her and she is dying to have someone like her help her through this upheaval in her life, or just be there and say, Yes, I understand. I introduced her to a friend’s one daughter who is close to the same age and I don’t know if they hit it off exactly but her last text to me made me think she got what she needed to cope and pull through. I certainly hope so, I was no help at all. I love her dearly but I cannot understand what it is like to be a young black woman right now.

If you want to talk about the men, being trans or any of a huge amount of subjects I can go all day, but not this one. I know at our age technology is not the easiest but... go online. Not at a trans sight but a site for and by the people you want to connect with. My guess is it won’t take long. Start small if you need to, read forums or whatever, give what you want but take as much away from it as you can. There have to be places where you can meet people just like you. Or okay, mostly like you. ;)

I hope you find what you are looking for and please don’t be shy about keeping us updated. We do care, even if we can’t always help with everything.
Hugs

Offline Ellie_Arroway

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Re: The Pursuit of Meaningful Connections
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2020, 02:23:59 am »
Surviving the twists and turns of 21st century living is boggling my mind lately.  As a trans-woman of color who has never had any connection to black or Hispanic culture in all my life, I find myself more spiritually and culturally adrift than I have ever been.

As events involving inequality and violence against minority groups in America (including trans people) unfold, I find myself unable to relate to my friends and even my wife of 13 years.  I don't blame them.  All of them are cis-gender, white and from privileged backgrounds in their 60's.  Not to suggest that there's anything at all wrong about who they all are.  They are my friends and my family and I love them.  Only, I'm experiencing the uprising in our country in a way that they can't seem to understand when I try to share my feelings.  So I've fallen silent.  I've just stopped talking about how I am and what I feel.

My question is this.  For a 55 year-old trans woman of color, how does one set about creating relevant  community in the time of COVID 19?  I really don't know how to begin, except to bring the question to you all.

Firstly, Miharu, may I say that I am deeply distressed by recent events. I can't do a great deal, but I am doing something to raise money to help with the situation through the streaming I do. I stand by #BlackLivesMatter. When I was in school, there were a lot of BAME pupils, and they were people, the same as the rest of us. Many of them were my friends.

Now, to try and answer your question. Are there any trans support groups in your area? You could try getting involved with one of those. I am a member of a transgender choir, and one of our number is a black trans woman. We all treat her like any other member of the choir.

Another possibility might sound a bit outlandish at first, but it's certainly worth a try. I have built many wonderful connections through playing Twitch Sings. It's a "game" (more of a karaoke experience really) that obviously involves singing, but it's heavily invested in bringing people together through singing duets. There are a fair number of black people in it and I know of at least three transgender people who play it as well as me. How did I make the connections? Well, I started out singing on my own. Then I started singing with some people. Some of them were streamers, and I visited their streams. I found out about parties (up to six people can be present at a party) and I did that. I started streaming myself. I joined people's discords. I have found virtually everybody in the space to be LGBT friendly and non-racist, and Twitch Sings itself is working to promote that kind of diversity. It's basically given me a second family, and I have a special affinity with some people who regularly visit my stream. I was always a misfit in society too!

So those are the two suggestions I have. You've probably already tried the first one and maybe it was helpful and maybe not, but I imagine the second one will be new to you.

I just started Twitch Sings to have fun. I had no idea that it would change my life. It really has! I never expected to become a streamer. And you don't have to be talented. I'm OK, but I'm not the world's greatest singer by any means.

Hope this helps! - E
Started seriously questioning: 24 Aug 2019
Referred to GIC: 23 Sep 2019
Full-time female presentation since: 21 Oct 2019, unbroken since 12 Dec 2019
Official name change by deed poll: 11 Nov 2019
HRT: probably sometime in the 22nd century...
Most of my story is in the Just another mtf tale thread!
Twitch streamer MusicEllie

Offline Gertrude

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Re: The Pursuit of Meaningful Connections
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2020, 08:43:22 am »
I mean, we're a mob of gender transgressors; we know about institutional discrimination, don't we. 

 :-*
Miharu

On that alone we're subject to the ultimate code switching. The difference is we can hide who we are, which one cannot do with race, but that has negative mental health consequences. In that way, I think no matter our race, trans folks can relate on some level, even if white. I can't relate totally at all and there are things I have no clue about, but I can get some of it and realize that I don't know what I don't know.

Offline Miharu Barbie

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Re: The Pursuit of Meaningful Connections
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2020, 12:28:17 am »
Thank you, Tananda.  That's a lot of information to take in.  Hopefully we all find what we're looking for.  I'll keep you posted.

 :-*
Miharu
There is NO path to happiness.  Happiness IS the path.

You are Loved!



HRT:                         June 1998
Full Time For Good:     November 1998
Never Looking Back:  Now!

Offline Miharu Barbie

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Re: The Pursuit of Meaningful Connections
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2020, 12:55:52 am »
Wow Ellie!  You really exceeded my expectations for what I might find by posing this question here.  Thank you!

Support groups sound like an obvious starting point for building community.  I have not tried that yet.  Even during this time of C19, I'm certain that I can find a local video chat support group.  And I may try that.  Something told me to check in here first to see what's working for others.  And I'm glad that I did.

You are absolutely correct that I have never heard of such a thing as Twitch Sings.  I'm intrigued!

I would not go so far as to say that I'm a good (or even mediocre) singer, but I do practice singing and playing guitar every day, often for hours at a time.  Plus I have a video equipped music studio in my basement.

You're a genius, Ellie!  I'm going to check out Twitch Sings.  (Never heard of such a thing.  Thank you.)  I'll let you know how it goes.

 :-*
Miharu
There is NO path to happiness.  Happiness IS the path.

You are Loved!



HRT:                         June 1998
Full Time For Good:     November 1998
Never Looking Back:  Now!

Offline Miharu Barbie

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Re: The Pursuit of Meaningful Connections
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2020, 12:59:11 am »
............ I can get some of it and realize that I don't know what I don't know.

Totally, Gertrude!  True of us all.

 :-*
Miharu
There is NO path to happiness.  Happiness IS the path.

You are Loved!



HRT:                         June 1998
Full Time For Good:     November 1998
Never Looking Back:  Now!

Offline Ellie_Arroway

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Re: The Pursuit of Meaningful Connections
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2020, 02:51:43 am »
Wow Ellie!  You really exceeded my expectations for what I might find by posing this question here.  Thank you!

Support groups sound like an obvious starting point for building community.  I have not tried that yet.  Even during this time of C19, I'm certain that I can find a local video chat support group.  And I may try that.  Something told me to check in here first to see what's working for others.  And I'm glad that I did.

Absolutely! The trans groups I am a member of currently meet using Zoom, and it works reasonably well.

Quote
I would not go so far as to say that I'm a good (or even mediocre) singer, but I do practice singing and playing guitar every day, often for hours at a time.  Plus I have a video equipped music studio in my basement.

That's ideal! If you practise for that length of time, you're bound to have some talent! As I said, though, that's not what it's about. It's about having fun. I think the secret is not to take it seriously!

Quote
You're a genius, Ellie!  I'm going to check out Twitch Sings.  (Never heard of such a thing.  Thank you.)  I'll let you know how it goes.

I really look forward to hearing how it goes for you, and I'm so pleased to have been able to help! - E
Started seriously questioning: 24 Aug 2019
Referred to GIC: 23 Sep 2019
Full-time female presentation since: 21 Oct 2019, unbroken since 12 Dec 2019
Official name change by deed poll: 11 Nov 2019
HRT: probably sometime in the 22nd century...
Most of my story is in the Just another mtf tale thread!
Twitch streamer MusicEllie

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