September 2013 – hello again SOFFAS!

22 Sep

So it has now become somewhat of a tradition that once a year we hold an open meeting and invite our friends and families, our partners, and anyone we sort of like, along to the meeting to hang out with us. As this month was our first meeting in our new venue, Space For Change, it seemed like a good idea to have a venue-warming plus soffas party.

It is not easy to understand what it is like to be trans if you are not. It can seem extreme, it can seem like a phase, it can seem like you’re making your life harder on purpose.

It can be, quite genuinely, incredibly sad.

It can be baffling. It can be infuriating and it can be many more things besides. I can’t speak on behalf of all soffas partly because everyone goes through this in their own way, bound up with all the unique stuff from their own life. But mostly I can’t speak on behalf of soffas, because I’m trans.

And it is not easy to know what it is like to be a soffa to a trans person if you’re not. But I do know that when someone comes out as trans, in the many forms that can take, those close to us are forced to make adjustments that are not easy, that can shake a deep understanding of who we are and who they are. There is not a lot of support out there for trans people, but there is even less for our families and partners and friends.

It is important to FTMB that we don’t forget that it is hard on soffas. At the September meeting we talked about a lot of different things, but something that struck me was the importance of giving people time to adjust. New names, different pronouns, these aren’t easy to change overnight. Gaining a deeper understanding of what it means to be trans, of what gender is and where it comes from and how it isn’t neatly packaged with biology, that is likely to take a while too.

So soffas – we support you!

And here are two organisations in the UK that are looking out for you:

Mermaids – a support network for families of children and teenagers with gender identity issues.

Depend – for the parents, children, partners and friends of trans people.

If you would like a more extensive resource list for soffas, please email info@ftmbrighton.org.uk

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