This week’s contribution to the World of Literary Magnificence is going to be short, I’m afraid. I’ve spent the week trying to get the new FTM Norfolk group off the ground, and have been attending the TG2012 Conference all weekend. My brain is running out of va-va-voom, so I am limiting myself to giving you the highlights, and not so highlights of the weekend.

Not so highlights:

  • Low numbers at the conference.  Granted, I’ve not been before, but I was surprised at how few delegates there were. Asking around, a lot of people just can’t afford the conference fees, and there is talk of trying to find a sponsor to enable more people to attend.
  • A rather bleak feeling after some of the talks. Not all of them, by any means, but learning about the struggles we face, and will be facing, to ensure equality of care for trans people in the country was sobering. I also found some of the surgical lectures a bit of a downer, in that there seems to be very little prospect of improved techniques any time soon in FTM-specific surgeries.

Highlights:

  • A film made by trans youth group Evolve showing their experience of living as trans. Yes, I shed a tear or two. In a gruff masculine way, of course…
  • Meeting other trans people, both men and women. Not that we had an awful lot in common, but it feels good to feel less isolated, even just for a couple of days.
  • A talk by Alice Purnell, who was awarded an OBE recently, looking at the history of the trans experience over the last century or so. Amazing woman.
  • One of the few specifically FTM talks on the programme, by Krys Vere-Bujnowski of Qwest FTM UK. He looked at the area of gender dysphoria and whether the seeds sown early on in life can ever fully disappear.
  • Katy Went’s talk on ‘Depathologising Trans’, which was an intelligent and thoughtful look at the controversial argument over how gender dysphoria is classified and how this impacts on transphobia, medical provision, and funding of services. Done with a light touch for a sticky subject.
  • Amazing food – on the first day I didn’t have a ‘special’ vegan meal, as one of the main options was vegan anyway. What a nice change from the salad I have been served at most other conferences I’ve been to. Today’s ‘special’ meal was just as good. I do like my food.

All in all, TG2012 was very good to attend, and I’ll certainly aim to go to future conferences. I think my next outing of this sort will be to the Qwest FTM Conference next year. Until then, I need some sleep….

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