On Saturday 9 December Trans & Bare Weekend gave the workshop 'My body and I' at Transgender Group Nijmegen. With 13 participants it was an intimate encounter about gender and identity. The afternoon produced new insights for the participants, exactly what was intended!
We started the day with a round of introductions. This showed that the participants represented a diverse group: there were trans men, trans women, people who do not identify with the binary format and partners.
The first session was themed 'trans* and identity'. We talked about how trans plays in our lives already, and how we perceive our gender. Then we discussed the role being trans* or non-binary plays in our daily lives. And to what extent we run into obstacles and limits on a daily basis? Furthermore, we shared our positive experiences.
Again, the diversity of the participants emerged: some people had lost everything and everybody because of their transition. For others it was an intense and interesting period of their lives. Others were fascinated by androgyny and non-binary. It is always a special experience to hear all these different stories.
After this session, it was time for lunch during which the conversations continued.
After lunch the second session with the theme 'being & body' started. We began to wake up our bodies by knocking on each other's backs. At first there were some giggles, but slowly everyone became serious. Then we sat down and concentrated on our breathing. Mindful breathing is a good way to become more aware of your body.
After that we explored our personal space. Every person has their own space: the average 1.5 meter people stand apart at the bus stop for example. We played with this space by feeling and walking through the space. Many people found this enlightening!
Because we ran over in the first session and lunch, we needed to shorten the second session a bit. Therefore, this session was less impactful than intended. Next time we will do this differently.
We ended the afternoon with a number of statements about gender and identity. These resulted in good conversations.
Looking back at this workshop we are pleased at how it went: once again it was a very interesting and informative day! Afterwards we chatted with each other over drinks.