We have a new name!

28 Nov
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Our new logo, made by our very own Finnian Lytle

Why the new name you may ask?

Over the years we have come to realise that identifying our members by the term female is not ideal, it may serve a purpose, but we don’t need it in our name. Not to mention the fact that it excludes our members who are intersex.

Why Navigate?

We chose this name because we recognise that we all are or have been on our own journeys around our gender. We know that every now and then we may need some support working out the best routes to go for us, the best direction to turn, knowing where to stop for rest breaks and where to get support along the way. We want to be here to help people Navigate their way along their own journeys and we hope that you will join with us on this.

Is anything else changing?

No! We are still the same group; the only changes are those that we have already announced, new times and dates, and a new name. We are still a group for transgender men, trans masculine people, genderqueer people, non-binary people, those assigned intersex and/or female at birth that that fit somewhere else on or off the spectrum and for those who are questioning their gender identity.

When does this begin?

Our official first meeting as Navigate is on Saturday the 17th December 2016, 7pm-9pm at Space for Change. This is also our end of year party, so come along and join us for fun, festivities, and funny hats. This meeting is also an open one, so please feel free to bring along SOFFAs (Significant Others, Friends, Families and Allies)!

We also have a new website, http://navigatebrighton.wordpress.com and all of our social media will be changing to reflect this too. So head over to the new site and give us a follow!

New Dates and Times! 

16 Nov

We have a lot of exciting things happening over the next few months, some of which we will be announcing later, but firstly we want to discuss the change of meetings! 

We consulted you, our members, about the best days and times and have secured extra funding to increase our meetings to two a month (beginning next year). 

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Our dates are changing!

We are pleased to announce that we are now meeting on the third Saturday of every month 1pm until 3pm, and from January, the first Wednesday of every month 7pm until 9pm. These will still be in the same place, Space for Change, Windlesham Avenue, BN1 3AH (for a photo please see the Meetings page). 

I hope these new times and dates help more people access the meetings! Please feel free to message us if you have any queries or concerns about attending or anything else. You can do this via our contact form or you can add Tom Orlando on Facebook and we can add you to our secret group (not viewable by anyone outside of the group, including membership). 
Just for more information we have included the dates of our upcoming meetings with themes (subject to change). If you have any idea for themes, or would like to help out with any of them, please let us know using the same methods above! 

  • Saturday 19th November 3pm-5pm: Paperwork (deed polls, doctors notes, who to contact and more)
  • Saturday 17th December 3pm-5pm: End of year party / Re-Launch (more information to follow soon)
  • Wednesday 4th January 7pm-9pm: Hormones
  • Saturday 21st January 1pm-3pm: EITHER Bottom surgery or Zine making
  • Wednesday 1st February 7pm-9pm: Services in Brighton (hopefully with guests to discuss what they offer for part of the meeting)
  • Saturday 18th February 1pm-3pm:EITHER Bottom surgery or Zine making
  • Wednesday 1st March 7pm-9pm: Masculinity vs. Femininity vs. Androgyny
  • Saturday 18th March 1pm-3pm: Annual General Meeting (AGM, just for official bits) plus a small party for our first AGM post re-launch.

We hope that helps! See as many of you as possible this Saturday 19th! 

Five Year Anniversary Party

26 Apr

Come say hello to us and celebrate 5 years of us running as a peer support service for trans masculine, FTM, non binary and gender queer people in Brighton and the surrounding areas.
The party is open to all in the community

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Creativity for Wellbeing Course for Trans/Gender Variant People on the Autistic Spectrum and/or with Aspergers

24 Feb

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A fantastic new course is starting on the 12th March 2pm-4pm for 5 weeks at Space for Change (our usual venue for FtMB).

If you are Trans, Gender Variant or unsure and you have Asperger’s or an Autistic Spectrum condition this course could be for you. Funded by the Clare Project it promises to be a really positive project.

If you want to know more, discuss your access needs, or sign up, contact the organisers at skywalkerluc913@gmail.com

Transgender Day of Visibility 2015

31 Mar

On Saturday, two days before TDOV 2015, the Amateur Swimming Association came to Brighton to present the findings of their LGBT&T swimming audit. Knowing that the Trans Swimming Sessions in Brighton were currently struggling, caught between being keenly wanted but under-attended, I went along eager to know if there were ways to increase numbers.

The results of the audit were interesting – a very small number of people who took the survey identified as trans, and the barriers they identified were anxieties about gendered changing rooms and wearing swimwear in public. These are barriers we are familiar with, but they can be overcome. Correct “swimwear”, for one is much more flexible than a lot of people think, and you can chat with the staff at the pool about what works if the usual costume/trunks isn’t for you.

I met with Michael Grier, who is involved with sports at Brighton and Hove Council, and we talked about how we could boost the numbers at the trans swimming in Brighton, encourage people to give it a try, build their confidence up.

I’d had in mind for a while to make a short video, inspired by the This Girl Can promo, to show trans people getting involved in different sports, overcoming the barriers, having fun. And it suddenly struck me that this would be a great film to release on TDOV. I did think at the time that it was a week away, not two days, but after sending out a rush of emails I found a handful of people free over the weekend and gathered as much footage as I could. Cue staying up til 4am on Monday night to edit it together and here is the finished result:

 

Trans Sporty People Wanted!

28 Mar

Transgender Day of Visibility is coming up fast and FTMB wants to do something that both brings visibility to trans people and inspires trans people themselves.

So in the next 48 hours we want to put together a very short film, inspired by the “this girl can” campaign, to promote trans people doing sport. And we need your help!

trans can sport logo

Any sport can be included! If you think of it as a sport or game, then it is.

If you want to be in a film that promotes and encourage trans people taking part in sport:

– film yourself or get a friend to film you doing your sport.
– download the release form below and email it back to us.
– send it to us using a free large file transfer system.
– send it to us by the evening of march 30th.

The release forms includes some tips on film making.

If you don’t want to be identified in the film, you can still take part! Be creative with how you film the activity – film yourself from behind, film just your hands or your feet.

trans can sport release form

January 2015: Hormones

29 Jan

Questions about how to get hold of testosterone, how much you take, what changes happen, when they start happening and what are the side effects recur again and again on transmasculine forums and facebook groups. Taking testosterone, or “T”, is not on everyone’s agenda but for some people it is a big priority. For other’s, it can take some time to decide whether this is the right step for them. Either way, clear and accurate information is essential.

So January’s meeting was a chance to ask questions and share information and experiences on starting testosterone. There is so much discussion out there about this, it can get overwhelming. Especially regarding the effects testosterone has. There are some general effects that are widely found across nearly everyone who takes it:

  • facial hair growth
  • body hair growth
  • voice deepening
  • menstrual cycle ceasing
  • clitoris (you may call this your dick or penis) growing bigger
  • body fat redistributing i.e hips carry less weight, stomach carries more weight.

Although these are the most commonly found affects, there is a huge amount of variation in when these changes occur, how quickly they progress, and how much change occurs. Even within the room that evening at FTMB, there was a lot of variation in just how much facial hair those on testosterone were growing, and when it started. It is very hard to predict what you are going to get. In this way, before starting testosterone you are in much the same place as a pre-adolescent cisgender boy, who doesn’t know quite how adolescence is going to change him.

There are also some commonly found “side effects” such as your skin becoming more greasy which can lead to more spots or acne (and new hair growing through your skin can also lead to spots), hair loss on your head or “male pattern baldness”, appetite increase which might lead to some weight gain, and mood swings or irritability. These are good things to know might happen, and when and how much is again variable. If you know they might be coming up, you can put things in place to try help you manage them. Exercise for instance, is good for weight management of course, but also good for helping with low moods, anxiety and irritability (and sweating, so long as you cleanse your skin afterwards, can be good for cleaning pores).

December 2014: Party Hats and Quizzes

21 Dec

4 ftmb members on stage dressed as christmas trees

 

As has become our tradition, our December meeting was a party for FTMB members and their family and friends. We made paper hats, also an FTMB tradition, and this year I feel the hats were the best yet!

Following this we held our first Quiz and Raffle at The Marlborough, a fundraiser for the transmasculine resource we’re aim to produce for next years Trans Pride Brighton. Many thanks to everyone who came along, we raised a lot of money, had our faces painted and had a very silly time!

And many thanks to the local retailers who donated prizes: Infinity Foods, JunkFunk, Roly’s Fudge Kitchen, Sarah Hurst Beauty, Black Eye Hair, Traumfrau, Trans Pride Brighton and Pen to Paper.

Quiz and Fundraiser!

30 Nov

FTMB quiz flyer 2014

Woohoo! We’re holding a quiz! To raise money and spread some christmas togetherness. Please note – we’re really sorry, but unfortunately the room is not wheelchair accessible.

Mural Painting in St James St

14 Aug

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For a while the front of one of the shop spaces on St james St, Brighton has been covered with scaffolding and white boards, looking fairly unsightly. To brighten it up activist Chris Cooke organised for local LGBT artists to decorate each of the seven pillars along the street in their own style, each one taking one of the colours of the rainbow as its theme. The final white board covering the window was offered to Trans Pride.

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So on a warm afternoon, in the midst of the tide of pedestrians, a few of us from FTMB went down there in our painty old clothes. Under the artistic guidance of Phoenix Thomas, and with paints donated from Clarkes, we created a giant Trans Pride flag.

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“Painting today was great fun! It was empowering and it felt good to be contributing towards trans awareness and Trans Pride. It felt like being part of something so much bigger. I am only just beginning to explore my gender and have felt increasingly isolated in the past few weeks as I’m only ‘out’ to two people who aren’t part of FTMB. Being around such enthusiastic people, just having fun and painting was like a breath of fresh air for me. I arrived feeling very nervous, but the people who walked down St James Street as we were painting were generally very positive and encouraging. It was great to hear so many words of support from so many smiling faces (although the pink spray paint is a right pain to get off).”

– FTMB member

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St James St is known for being the LGBT area of Brighton, but in reality it is a gay male dominated area and often unfriendly to bisexual, trans and queer people. By painting a giant trans flag in this area of town it was partly a message to remind people of the T in LGBT.

“We had 99% positive repsonses to the Trans Pride mural from passers-by – it was particularly wonderful to hear st james st residents say “yeah trans pride woo! cool!” whereas I feel 2 years ago people would have been more like “whats trans? whats that symbol?”. And thats down to Trans Pride.”

– FTMB member

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