The Trans & Bare Weekend aims to start discussion on the following topics:
- Valuation of your body
- Feeling at home in your body
- Emotional wellbeing
Many people are (very) insecure about their bodies or find it difficult to accept their bodies. This is the same for trans people, for a number of reasons. During the TBW we work with individuals to empower, increase self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-acceptance. We want to celebrate and build confidence around our bodies.
The TBW gives people the opportunity to come together in a supportive and safe environment in order to explore their bodies and identities, and feel more confident, more proud and more at home in their bodies. Each weekend provides several workshops around the theme of the particular weekend, with discussion, body work and/or energy work.
We also build in the opportunity for people to be naked if they want to, with no pressure to be partially or fully naked if they don’t feel comfortable with this. We’ve found it to be really empowering, giving a unique opportunity to see other bodies in a safe and supportive environment.
Many people are most nervous about this aspect of the TBA and TBW experience, and wonder why it’s so important...
A lot of trans people have never seen other trans people's naked bodies. Trans bodies aren't seen in (mainstream) media, unless in a medical way to show about medical procedures. Our weekends are about making (trans) people familiar with trans bodies, and to show the variety between trans bodies.
In our weekends we sit naked and talk, sometimes about trans related issues. This shows that being naked isn't always that big an issue. We also show our bodies and share experiences, how we feel about various parts and medical procedures we’ve had or would like to explore.
We understand that it is impossible to create an absolutely safe space, as we can never know what is happening in people’s heads. However, we can try to make spaces as safe as possible. Some of the ways we do that is through clear communication, codes of conduct, and most importantly listening to people's needs.
How it came to be
In 2011, Jochem participated in the TransBareAll Retreat in the UK. This was an impressive and instructive experience (read his report here). Never before had he seen other trans men in their naked glory. What was more special, was that boys and men were present in all stages of physical changes. This weekend was so special that Jochem dreamed to bring this concept to the Netherlands. It took some time. It fills us with pride that we managed to do this in 2015! The success of this first TBW made a follow-up self-evident. A new tradition is evolving...
Jochem about the British TBA:
"This weekend paid off so much! I was scared to death to go, but it was incredibly good. The weekend was very nice and cozy. The bare workshop was exciting for a moment, but the atmosphere was so safe that I felt completely free to take off some clothes. I didn't go completely naked, but that wasn't necessary. The weekend has given me more self-confidence, and I've learned to appreciate my body more. I didn't expect this weekend to have such a positive effect!"