Finding trans community online
I live in a fairly remote community of about 1200 people where I am the only transman (at least that I am, or my doctors are, aware of.) As such, I seek out my trans community online, and I value the friendships I’ve made even if I have yet to meet most of the folks I chat with. Via blogs, mailing lists, social networks and forums, I’ve found a community of great people who are on a similar path, and I’ve learned a ton through the information and experiences that are so graciously shared.
I really appreciate the trans blogging community, especially transition blogs where I can read about how others are going through transition. The blogs I frequent the most are listed in my blogroll below. Additionally, I maintain an aggregator at transoutlaw.blogspot.com which helps me keep track of the latest posts on the Blogger blogs I follow (I do use Google Reader for reading RSS feeds but for business and non-transition personal use only.)
Also see: TransGuys.com Blogs
Trans Mailing Lists
I also find mailing lists to be particularly helpful at keeping me connected. Here are the ones I am subscribed to:
The oldest general-topic FtM peer support forum online offering assistance, fellowship and info to FtM/MtM male-spectrum, transgendered, transsexual, intersexed, genderqueer and questioning individuals in a safe and supportive environment.
An extensive resource for info, photos, and research regarding surgery options for Female-to-Male transgendered persons. Surgeons are also on this list, though I have never seen one post. This list is strictly moderated, which I appreciate.
Offers support and open discussion of emotional, physical, psychological and financial issues facing FtMs who are considering, undergoing, or have completed any FTM surgery. This list is another strictly moderated list.
This is a peer to peer discussion group on metoidioplasty procedures for FTMs. Very helpful and respectful posts, strictly moderated.
This is a local Vancouver, BC list for FTMs and FTM-questioning only. It’s quite active and focused.
Canadian Transexuals Fight For Rights or CTFFR
This list is a source for trans-related news stories, and has less of a focus on rights and policy making than I anticipated. Activity has decreased dramatically on this list since it started in 2004. Mostly transwomen it seems, yet a good resource for Canadian FTMs too.
A group dedicated to the health, welfare and legal/justice issues of the Canadian trans community. Lots of forwards and cross posts with the CTFFR list, and less focused than I had hoped. Not too much activity, mostly MTF.
Offer support, advocacy and information for transfolks in BC, but there is very little activity, and mostly MTF oriented.
Laid back group for Vancouver Island, BC transdudes. Really nice folks, however the messages are not protected (non-members can browse) which is a bit of an issue for me. Light activity, mostly about get togethers, plus some Island trans events and topics.
Trans Social Networks
The Men’s Room
This is one of many trans social networks that I have been popping up on ning. (I reserved the transmen.ning.com network but haven’t made any use of it yet.) I just joined The Men’s Room this week. It seems quite active and I instantly got some hello’s from folks who recognized me from my trans online activities. I’m looking forward to getting to know this network better.
I’m a member of a few trans groups on Facebook though I don’t really get involved. I’m a member of Transmen chill out group (which is a Facebook group for the vanislandudes mailing list), TransMen, and the Vancouver Trans Advocacy group.
Other social networks that I am not involved with include:
- LiveJournal’s FTM
- LiveJournal’s TransCanada
- Transamerica @ ning
- FTM Social @ ning
- Transgender Economic Empowerment @ ning
- TransSpace @ ning
- FTM Mentors
This forum was started by some Vancouver guys so there is a nice BC focus, but it’s for FTMs worldwide. Good community.
What Is Gender?
I just found this one recently and I haven’t joined, but it looks fairly active.
I haven’t attended any trans conferences yet, but I do regularly attend technical conferences related to my work. I rarely do any networking at those conferences though. I don’t attend the social events; I just go to the learning seminars and take my notes. I find it very rewarding though, and my skills always take off to a new level after a conference.
There is a list of some of the better known trans conferences listed in the links below my blog roll. I’m very happy to say that I have started doing some work lately for Gender Spectrum (the non-profit organization behind the Gender Spectrum Family and Gender Odyssey conferences in Seattle) so I imagine that I will attend Gender Odyssey in 2009.
Side note and plug: Gender Spectrum’s co-founder Stephanie Brill will be on 20/20 this Friday, November 14 @ 10pm EST talking with Barbara Walters about transgender families. They will explore an array of topics regarding transgender people’s many pathways to parenthood, societal stigma towards transgender families and the need to raise awareness and understanding.
This is just the tip of the iceberg! I am really thankful that I didn’t have to go through transition without the online trans community. I mean, how did people do this before information was accessible online?! I have so much respect for those pioneers.
Where do YOU find trans community online? What about offline?