Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Monday, 7 September 2015

Didn't we have a lovely time?

As it happened the weather on Saturday was not ideal for a picnic, but that didn't stop at least a couple of dozen of us meeting up in Kensington Gardens for the first event organised under the banner of the Trans London Network,

Kensington Gardens in London
I met some old friends I haven't seen for a while, some I see regularly and also made some new friends. I was engaged in conversation so much that I didn't get a chance to eat anything while I was there.   Once again I was reminded just how much we come from all walks of life, that as trans people we reflect the diversity of society, and that often the only thing that units us is being trans.   Some of us are socially confident (or at least know how to appear to be) others are less so, some are young and look a bit scary, some of us are older and a bit conventional, with all this diversity it can be very difficult to be fully inclusive and engage some of those who will always find themselves on the fringes of society.   As people who require a degree of toleration surely we should be even more tolerant and inclusive than others.

Later in the Pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery
It was great to see people from right across London, a very wide age range, (although I was quite definitely at the older end of the range!)  and from varying social backgrounds.  It was rather fun to find another woman there who quite literally lives just round the corner from me, but I couldn't help but notice that we were all white!

I say I noticed but in fact I only realised later when I started to think about it and to ask how inclusive we actually are.   I do not believe that being trans is a white middle class experience, but maybe it is that group that is now finding it easier to be out, and that for others, in different social, and/or cultural groups it is still very difficult to be honest about themselves.   I am only scratching the surface of this thought but I do understand that in the US at least trans women of colour are much more at risk than white women.   In the UK and especially in London we are probably safer than most places in the World, but I do not know if that matches the experience of Trans Women of Colour.

If we do not know them, how can we know their plight (if indeed there is one) if they do not come forward and join our groups how do we know them?   Are we being too exclusive without even realising it? I don't know the answers, I don't even know if these are the right questions.


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