Again the Trans & Bare Weekend for people of all genders was an experience. The group was smaller than expected due to some ill participants, but it made the discussions even more intense. We look back on a very successful TBW. Jochem: "I was impressed again with the TBW. The openness of the participants was beautiful and special. I also saw many small miracles this weekend."
"The weekend has brought me a lot.”
Of course the TBW started with an introduction. Not only our names came along, but also how we wanted to be addressed: with "he", "she" or anything else. [Dutch doesn't have an equivalent for the gender neutral pronoun “they”.] Here the diversity of the group became immediately clear: some preferred "he", others "she" and others neither.
"Fewer participants than expected. More diverse group than I expected.”
After the introductions we discussed whether we live in or out of the closet. All non-binary people are faced with the choice who you tell what. The reasons to choose to be open or not turned out to be different for each of us. Yet we agreed that our opinion wasn't fixed; this often changes over time.
“I came a big step closer to myself."
On Saturday morning we started with a bodywork workshop. We tapped each other's backs to feel our bodies better. Then we lay down and relaxed our arms and legs, while the other swayed them back and forth. It took some time to get used to this, but it felt very good!
"This workshop could have been (much) longer."
After lunch it was time for a creative workshop. The task was to capture the essence of our (gender) identity in an image. Obviously, this was a very broad mandate, and we deliberately left it that way. The participants went to work together and tried different identities. The result was astonishing: striking pictures of all the participants, sometimes separately and sometimes together.
"Enlightening, nice method, challenging, provides new insights."
The Saturday afternoon concluded with the workshop, which gives TBW it's name: the bare workshop. Each of us were invited to take off one or more kinds of clothing during this workshop. Meanwhile, we discussed various challenging or fundamental questions. Some of us went completely bare, others were sitting in their underwear or wore a t-shirt. All were present, and well.
"Nice discussion in a very diverse group. [...] Very nice exercise."
Saturday night no formal program was planned. We walked, talked, laughed and cried. It was a wonderful, relaxing evening!
"Useful, emotional spring cleaning."
The next morning began with a workshop on identity. The subject was known to most of us. Therefore, we skipped the basic questions, and we immediately went deeper. We also discussed the relationship between gender identity and sexual orientation. It was a beautiful and interesting conversation!
"Lots of discussion in a short time."
Sunday afternoon already and the last workshop of the weekend. After talking in the morning a physical workshop was planned. We started with a brief guided meditation which made us aware of our personal space. After that we played with this: we made our space smaller and larger. Also, we learned to limit our space. Finally, we walked through the room and we greeted each other, without words.
"How very inspiring and informative it was."
Then it was time to clean up, pack our belongings and say goodbye. Everyone went home very tired but very satisfied...
"Thanks for organising the Trans & Bare Weekend. It was very meaningful to me, and it was a safe place to be."
The Trans & Bare Weekend has been made possible by contributions from: