Community Conversation > Support groups

What has been your experience with transgender organizations and support groups?

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madeleine:
I've been involved with three local groups and I encourage everyone to try attending some kind of trans group.

How well it goes depends, in part, on how your goals match the group's focus.

Before covid, I attended a trans discussion group for a couple of months. It was great just to see and meet other trans people and it was very valuable for me at that time. It was all trans people: FTM, MTF, NB. And it was a "discussion" group, not a support group.  After covid, I attended a zoom version of this and I had a bad experience and am not planning on going back.

Now I attend groups that have set up zoom meetings since covid.  One is a "social" group and all transfolk are welcome, but it is mainly for transwomen. You can get and give support, but it is often light and fun.  I need this kind of thing and I enjoy it.  I'm not sure what the other group's focus is offically, I've only attended once, but it was also fun. It is for all trans: MTF, FTM, NB.

ChrissyRyan:

--- Quote from: madeleine on August 23, 2020, 12:48:48 pm ---I've been involved with three local groups and I encourage everyone to try attending some kind of trans group.

How well it goes depends, in part, on how your goals match the group's focus.

Before covid, I attended a trans discussion group for a couple of months. It was great just to see and meet other trans people and it was very valuable for me at that time. It was all trans people: FTM, MTF, NB. And it was a "discussion" group, not a support group.  After covid, I attended a zoom version of this and I had a bad experience and am not planning on going back.

Now I attend groups that have set up zoom meetings since covid.  One is a "social" group and all transfolk are welcome, but it is mainly for transwomen. You can get and give support, but it is often light and fun.  I need this kind of thing and I enjoy it.  I'm not sure what the other group's focus is offically, I've only attended once, but it was also fun. It is for all trans: MTF, FTM, NB.

--- End quote ---


I think that it is good that groups are around, as well as transgender organizations and centers.  We can try them out and see where we fit in.  We can help others and we can get help. 
Some groups are run by therapists for their clients, others are formed on the fly or with the help of transgender centers or organizations.  Some are more social activity oriented and others are more for helping and discussion.

While some organizations are for the larger LGBTQ++ communities, others are there to directly serve and support the transgender community.

Chrissy

madeleine:
The groups I've gone to have all been for trans (you can be "questioning" but not cis) and they all have been related to some degree with a local LGBT center.

Asche:
I've been to support groups at three different places in our area.

When I was first exploring whether I was trans and in what way, I went to one support group.  It was poorly run, and the person in charge of trans services at that center seemed to regard it as mainly a source of trans people for the various research studies which paid for her programs.  Facilitation was poor to nonexistent.  I originally went because I wanted to get a feeling for what trans people actually were like, so I might have a guess as to what I was getting into.  It worked for that, though I think that it seemed to mostly attract the most confused and least successful trans people.

I went to a second one for a few years, but at some point they decided for reasons that were never explained to make me unwelcome.  I'm not sure it was much of a loss, as I never really felt safe there.

In both cases, I felt that the LGBT centers in question were mostly by and for gay men, and trans people kind of got the leavings.  The first center in particular had an enormous facility, but when a group of us wanted to rent a room to run a more supportive support group, we were told that they already had a trans support group and one was more than enough.  There was a gender-free dance group meeting that held monthly dances there for a while, but at some point the center decided to stop hosting them, so the group had to find space elsewhere.

The group I go to now is almost the opposite.  It's not a large LGBT center, but they have a director of trans services and have two support groups per month which are very well run, as well as various trans-related events. When COVID shut down the live services, they started doing Zoom sessions even more frequently than before.  Moreover, the lesbian support group is trans-inclusive and my being trans has never been an issue for them, whereas I gather most lesbian groups are not.  I think it's mainly due to the fact that the person who got it going is a woman and explicitly trans-friendly, so it isn't dominated by gay dude-bros the way many centers are.  They are also actively reaching out to the African-American and latinx communities.

SonadoraXVX:
lbgt organizations are good to ok, some of the participants have gotten hostile towards me at times(I think I'm gotten very emotionally sensitive), same goes for privately funded groups(boundaries issues, not me, but other people there). Why I tend to shy away from them, but still get some support from them. Now due to this covid 19, I stay home and do my daily activities, teeter tottering, on ever going back, since I'm learning very much to stealth in my future. I will still support organizations moneywise though

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