Over the years I have gone to a number of Conferences, SCC, Be-All, others. I have had simply a great time, at seminars learning new ideas on feminization, on living as a transsexual, self-protection, of the transformation process, of FFS (especially!) and lastly of GRS. On top of all of this, I have met a number of simply wonderful men, women, men to be, women to be, who have made a lasting impression on me.
The conferences are geared for transsexuals and the transgendered alike, the organizers making much effort to include seminars for all involved. The more that take part, the more a conference is considered a success. I have my opinions about this but that’s not my point now.
As of late, I suppose as our diverse community gets more public exposure, more transsexuals(in-trans), those who have become male or female, and more of the transgendered are now coming to the conferences. Since I am a transsexual, I’ll address that part of this phenomenon.
These folks are new to the conferences, but not for the most part, new to being transsexual. Most have been this way since their youth, incredibly severe parent and peer pressure having forced them underground. For sure, being transsexual is not for wimps; I don’t feel pity towards them, I feel immense joy to welcome them as survivors of that incredible social calamity that exists to even this day.
At the conferences, it can be simply overwhelming to these new travelers. I have seen recently many lost looks of “What the h--l am I doing here?” fear. Many simply leave the conferences totally disappointed. Many transsexuals who have long ago traveled on the path that these new individuals are now going, have formed safe groups, cliques, which in their nature are exclusive. Big Brothers and Sisters help, but you have to ask, which even for this, many fear to do.
Many of these transsexuals are still in the questioning phase of how far they are going to go with the process of transformation. Many are trying to determine whether they are even transsexual, as perhaps being transgendered instead. There is no time limit on this; what is right for the one is perhaps not right for the other. Talking to others is very important. A greeting, a hug, a kiss, pulling them into your group... these are all needed. This has to be greatly emphasized at the conferences.
Many transsexuals at the conferences are afraid of the varied transgendered community members who rightfully express themselves in ways that many of these transsexuals find much different than what they are used to or what they expect. (Dr. Hooks’ version of the “Freakers Ball” comes to mind!)
Finally, a very large portion of the transsexual population can’t even make it to the conferences in the first place... and these individuals would benefit the most. They are the poor, those of colour, and the segregated against, for who just living is a chore, of much less having money to go to a conference.. ($1000+) Therefore conferences tend to be close to all-white...
Solutions? I know the common trend is to look down on any thought that is not group-think acceptable to the majorities in both the transsexual & transgendered communities. Regardless, I would suggest perhaps it would be far better to have just one central conference a year for the transsexuals alone or for those wanting to know whether they are indeed transsexuals or not. Here a much more hands-on, real world, approach could be taken, how to be accepted as a transsexual in life, what actually to do, how to do it, info on FFS + GRS surgery, on id changing (filling out the forms, right then and there) , on getting a JOB, and on offering a JOB. Learning what US state or country is the most transsexual tolerant... so we all can move there!!!
Then, if one wanted to also join the transgendered at SCC and other conferences to embrace the diversity of our lives, then welcome.