So at my meeting with my counsellor the other week. She let me know there was a meeting of gender queer people that I might like to attend. Gender queer? Essentially those of us who don’t conform to just boy or girl. Perhaps both, at the same time or separately. Perhaps neither. Perhaps???
Anyway I seem to fit, being a part time girl and part time boy. It’s a structured meeting rather than the relaxed gathering style of my girls. This might be a good thing for me, because the reason I wanted to meet my girls, was so I could learn more about me. And so far it’s been great meeting them all, but I’m not sure how much more I can learn about me there.
Then there’s the clash of nights. Both meetings are same night but different times. So I could go to both but gee it makes a long day. I will do it this month though. Just so that I can see what the new meeting is like and because my meeting with the girls is actually the AGM. After that we’ll have to see.
Wow! So the GQ meeting was a diverse group of people. There were seven of us plus the facilitator. All of us born male bar one. From nineteen year olds to sixty year olds and everywhere in between. We came from the Illawarra to Newtown to Campbelltown.
Some of us came as girls, some of us came as boys. Not surprisingly I was the girliest of us all. There were two male to female transsexuals. One female to male who might transition. One female trapped in a male body who couldn’t transition for medical reasons. One probable female in a male body who was still exploring who they were. One male who identifies as male but looked, sounded like, and had the mannerisms of a female. And then there was me, fifty-fifty – phone a friend.
We were all very unique in our own ways. And it was very interesting to hear everyone’s story. The story from the nineteen year old was difficult to listen to. They (that’s the pronoun that they’re comfortable with) got very heavily involved in drugs because of the gender identify confusion they were experiencing. And it sounds like they have a lot more to work through before they can find themselves.
The two mtf transsexuals seemed to be very confident about who they were. And I think they thought that their experiences could provide answers for us. But we were all so different from each other that this was not really the case, as we all had to work pretty hard to understand where each other were coming from. Now given how tricky it was for us, it must be next to impossible for anyone else to come to terms with what it means to be gender queer, let alone transgender.
The meeting was fairly organic, and didn’t follow what the facilitator had planned. But that was ok because the discussions were deep enough for that not to matter. One thing that came up was, what does it mean to transition? Can you transition without making any changes to your body, or the clothes you wear? So actually transition just mentally?
I think it is possible. Although for me personally, it would not be enough. But body modification? Hormones? For me that is too much. And besides, wouldn’t that make me female rather than gender queer? I could just say that I am transgender and continue on as I was, but as I know now, that is not enough for me. I desire the clothes, the hair, the makeup so that I can show my feminine side. I love to be able to blend in with my gender, that is, whichever gender I’m presenting at the time. In my case, gender is actually black or white, it just depends on whether I’m showing the black side or the white side. Or should that be the pink or the blue side.
Even though there were dominant older hands at this meeting, and that there were some difficult stories, I think it was a meeting worth going to. There was definitely something worth learning at the meeting. And I’m hopeful and pretty confident that there will be more to learn in the meetings to come. This was not a social meeting, it had direction and I think that’s what I need. So for the time being I think I’ll give up on my meetings with the girls, and just do this one instead. The day would just be too long if I did both. And I really need to choose the meeting that I think will help me the most.
Of all of the people there I felt the most empathy for it was the male, who looked female, but is male. His world must be a very tricky one to navigate. It’s hard to imagine that anyone could guess his true gender no matter what he wore, or did to his hair. His voice, those mannerisms, they all scream girl. And he’s also asexual. To him none of this matters, he is who he is, but he doesn’t know how to tell people this. He is alone in this country having come here to study. Oh it must be so hard for him. I know that it’s hard for all of us. But his story grabbed me the most.
I did drop in on the girls afterwards. And I’m recognising a lot more faces now. The setup was auditorium style which made it a little more difficult to chat. I really didn’t miss anything even though I was half an hour late as the Agm hadn’t started yet. The agm was a bit disappointing to be honest. I had hoped that there would be some indication of what was to come in the year ahead. Sadly there was not.
The only bright spark seemed to be when one of the Tamworth girls spoke of plans of a Tamworth group and sought advice on whether they should be part of us or separate. I voiced my support for them to be a part of us, because we are a state based organisation not a Sydney based one. The President seemed not so keen though. And that is so strange at a time when we need members.
I don’t have high hopes for the girls in the coming year. It’s tricky, like so many groups we rely on volunteers to steer us. Now the volunteers might have the best of intentions but if they don’t have the right skills to guide us, then we are in trouble.
As far as I can see, the girls are a social group. In order, the three most important things appear to be the ball, the Christmas party and the social meetings. For this group I would say that the committee are already at capacity. I don’t think they can do any more. To be honest I think they have gone too far away from the Objects of the group. Hopefully the financial management is strong enough so that they can survive until a new group of office bearers can be brought in. They really need some strategic planning before the group can move forward.
Would I stick my hand up to help? Right now, not on your Nelly! I’m way to busy. And I couldn’t do it alone. I’d need to find some other girls that wanted to steer the group back to their objectives.
What would I change? The social meetings would be my first priority. It’s lovely to be able to come and meet the girls but I think we need more than that to keep new girls coming back. I’m pretty much over it after three meetings. I would have thought there would be something educational at these meetings to help the new girls especially with tips and tricks. Or to help them find resources for the mental challenges that they face. I think the old hands have been there and done that and have forgotten what it’s like to be new.
Oh I would so change the website. The current webmistress has done a wonderful job with content but really I think the website is a mess. Two main things, it needs to be cleaner and it needs to be on a platform that anyone can use. I mean what would happen if we lost our webmistress? Could we update the current site?
I could go on but I won’t. Two things are enough for me to complain about, seeing as I won’t be doing anything about them…for now anyway. So sadly I think I need to bid the girls farewell for the time being. Perhaps we will meet again in the future.