From 2 to 5 June the biennal Council of Transgender Europe, the European advocacy organisation for transgender people, was held. This year's council was in Bologna, Italy. At the council the programme consisted of all sorts of lectures, panels and workshops. Every time again it's special to see this many international trans activists gathered together: a colourful mix of people who have one thing in common: heart for the good trans cause!
This year's Council was extra festive, as the international trans movement exists 10 years! The very first council was in Vienna in 2005, and since then many developments have happened. TGEU has rapidly grown into a mature organisation with paid staff, which is taken seriously at international level.
The programme in Bologna had many interesting lectures, panels and workshops. It was very good again to hear about all kinds of developments and initiatives in other countries.
A first time for TBW was the workshop we provided together with our friends of TransBareAll Retreat from the UK. Title of the workshop was: "Body and Identity: being proud of our bodies, an experience". It was a great success!
The room was soon filled with 25 participants. Yet other people were interested, whom we had to send away unfortunately, because space was limited. We told briefly about the origin of the TBA and TBW, and after that in 1.5 hours we did a 'mini TBW': first we agreed on house rules. Next, we discussed the subject of trans* and identity with the help of a number of propositions. Then we did some body work, so we didn't do only talking. And finally, when everyone felt safe enough, we invited participants to take off cloths.
For TBW it was the first time to offer a 'bare part' in a workshop, so that was exciting for us as well. But it went well beyond expectationd! It felt familiar and save very quickly, and people took of cloths indeed.
That evening we heard somebody say: "The Body and Identity workshop was the best workshop of this Council!"
Especially for this workshop, we have developed a (joint) info leaflet and a toolkit. This information we shared with the participants of our workshop, and after the workshop we put these on the general information table for all other interested trans activists. The flyer and the toolkit provide information about the idea of TBA and TBW, and offers practical tips on how trans activists in other countries can set up their own TBA/TBW.