Wednesday, February 07, 2007

of a feather

Transmasculine Spectrum Drop-In Group (whew) starts again tonight at the LGBT center downtown. It's from 7:30-9, and I'm going with equal parts anticipation and trepidation. When I first started going to the group a year ago, it was a really great thing for me. It was awesome to be in a space with other transmasculine folks, and be able to ask and answer provocative and fulfilling questions and answers. Now, though, sometimes it feels like a weight laid on me rather than lifted off. I think perhaps it's because I'm feeling much more at peace and being in a room with 20 other people and their angst and insecurity isn't so much comforting to me. Rather, it can get me down sometimes. I feel a little shitty about that- just because I don't need the group so much anymore doesn't mean that I should stop going, right? Maybe I've got things to give, not just take? And there are plenty of times when I still come out of it with stimulating thoughts and/or new perspectives, or just a nice full sense of camraderie. Certainly, it's always good to see people of whom I've become fond, and meet new people. Interact with my community, if you will. It just taps into a large question I've been wondering about lately- what is my community? Is there a trans community? Should there be?
Gave blood yesterday and the guy typed my social security number into his database and cocked an eyebrow. "It says Emmalyn."
me: "Oh, uh, yeah, that's me. I changed my name."
him: "What, you didn't like it?"
me: "Uh, no."
him: "Y'know, my brother's middle name is Lagonda. He hates it."
I'm very much enjoying the interesting discussion going on in the comments to my queer vs. hetero post the other day. Thanks for the feedback/interaction, y'all.


DJ Suky Tawdry said...

Hmm. Your blog is so much more thoughtful and serious than mine.

I was really just stopping by to let you know that I'd be honored to make a mix for you, but now I feel like a deer caught in the headlights who should say something thoughtful about trans/queer community.

Can't we just go see Kate Bornstein at NYU together on Tuesday and ask her?

Also, I'd like to take a look at your music collection before I embark on this mix-making endeavor.

Have a swell day! xoxo

Anonymous said...

the funny thing is, when you surf around online, there are a number of people who talk about "trans" community. it seems to be something that exists in conferences and big cities.

the two most significant criticisms I've ever heard of the idea of "trans" community are these: 1) the majority of "trans" people live in non-city settings, where it takes a good deal of time and effort to get a group together. the small numbers and big distances make it difficult to come together often enough to really feel "community", and people often drop/grow out of such groups as transition progresses. 2) the "trans" umbrella is too big, and there are many natural factions of people with little in common, who do not agree on much. there may, for instance, be a "genderqueer, college educated, queer-identified, FTM spectrum" community.. but not a "trans" at large one.

to say nothing of the fact that FTM community and politics often seem to be a whole nother world compared to MTF stuff.