#TransMCR: One Year On Roundtable

Transmcr#TransMCR One Year One: A Roundtable

 

Charlie, volunteer at #TransMCR:

Volunteering at TransMCR has been a really great experience. Meeting other trans people away from the internet is difficult but TransMCR has created this great space which allows us to connect. It is so lovely to finally be able to talk to people who have had similar experiences and I think this is really the most important part of TransMCR as it is helping to remove the feeling of isolation for a lot of people. Also having the opportunity to listen to people with different experiences, particularly from older attendees has made me see how being trans in the UK today has really improved, even in the last ten/twenty years. 

I would never have had the chance to meet such wonderful people outside of TransMCR. If you're a trans person who has not attended an event yet that I couldn't recommend it more. 

 

Jessica Marie, Trans Programme Assistant:

#TransMCR is the highlight of my working month, every month.

Through this space so many trans people and those questioning their gender have had opportunities to find peer support, information and community with others, and have conversations which are sometimes the first they have ever had about their gender. At many #TransMCR events people can access holistic therapies, legal, healthcare and wellbeing advice and learn new skills; all for free. It is so rewarding to be able to provide these services, espeically in a society which puts so many barriers in front of trans people who want to access such services through mainstream avenues.

I feel such a sense of pride seeing volunteers engage with attendees at #TransMCR offering advice, friendship and guidance. I would like to take this time to recognise the huge output of time, energy and compassion that volunteers give to every #TransMCR event.

 

Sean, volunteer and facilitator at #TransMCR:

TransMCR has offered me a space to be involved and communicate with the diverse community of trans people from across Manchester. It has allowed me to work on issues of visibility for non-binary people in both trans spaces as well as our existence outside of the queer bubble.

I have been able to collaborate with like-minded trans people and allies of our community in a space that affords people like us a luxury of being able to speak candidly on issues that are pertinent to our community.

I have seen fellow trans people be able to utilise their creative talents throughout TransMCR and express themselves in a way that perhaps outside of the event we may struggle to do.

 

Gareth, LGBT Foundation staff member:

As a staff member who has worked a number of #TransMCR weekends over the last year, it’s been a real pleasure to be part of such an exciting and unique initiative. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some incredible service users and volunteers, and I’m always inspired by their commitment, enthusiasm and willingness to get involved.

Having a dedicated space for the trans community to utilise every month has resulted in a safe, empathic space where diversity is celebrated. It’s vital that we continue to provide spaces, services and opportunities for trans people to meet others, share experiences and learn new skills.

Many attendees have subsequently applied to access some of our Health and Wellbeing services, attended group or become volunteers at the Foundation itself. Seeing their journey from their initial attendance to (in some cases) actually facilitating workshops themselves is one of the best part of my role. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next year of #TransMCR brings! 

 

Rachel Coles, volunteer at #TransMCR:

I've learnt so much over the past year of volunteering at #TransMCR, especially about myself and other people. My communication skills have improved, I have noticed that I've become more understanding, I listen a lot more and I feel that my knowledge, communication skills and smile have helped a lot of people. I've meet and have become friends with a lot of the regular patrons to the monthly events and also I've become friends with all the volunteer staff. 

The place is full of joy and laughter but there is also the serious side of making people feel welcome and making sure that they are relaxed and knowing that we are there for them.

As topics for workshops are different every month the event feels fresh to me and allows different people to enjoy the goings on. Through this diversity I've actually learnt a lot more about all the different people within the our society and my own community and this on its own is the reason why I volunteer. 

 

Pauline, volunteer at #TransMCR:

I have volunteered since the very first #TransMCR; I remember that first event as such a special and vibrant occasion. I think there were 130 there and there were quite a few trans teenagers with parents as well as a range of adult trans people of all different genders and presentations. I remember chatting with a mother, who was saying she had lost a daughter and gained a son, when he transitioned. The mother told Mary Lunan from Concord and I how much she had fought for her son at his school and how uplifting it was when he was accepted. Mary and I were close to tears, Mary said to her you are a special mother...she said I love him.

These special connections are given space at #TransMCR in a truly unique way.