Twitter is now one of the most effective community organizing and information sharing tools available. The steady increase in trans* visibility and solidarity is due in no small part to this. To better facilitate such activity, this page aggregates current conversations around established hashtags.
If there is a magic that I count myself as a firm believer in, it’s the mysterious miracle of 1 + 1 equaling far more than 2. #girlslikeus, #transchat, #wehappytrans, #WhatTranssexualsLookLike, #transfeminism, and the many Facebook groups, Tumblr blogs, Ning communities, Reddit threads, and personal websites, whether ongoing or ephemeral, academic or everyday, ALL combine to create a critical mass of forward movement empowering every one of us.
Transchat is a regular event that began in the Fall of 2011 on Twitter, quickly took root, and rapidly grew in participation. It takes place on the first Sunday of each month from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. EST, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. UK.
The main activity is an open discussion on a particular, pre-selected topic. Previous conversations have included media depiction of trans people, sex, and gatekeeping (see below for complete of topics). Guidelines here.
To participate, simply search for #transchat on Twitter. Participants append this hashtag to each post, which allows all relevant conversations to show. While the discussion is set for two hours, all are welcome to continue conversations throughout the interval between transchats. Several of us also use the hashtag, judiciously, to occasionally bring attention to particular trans issues.
November 27th, 2011 (1st #transchat): stealth
December 11th, 2011: sex!
December 25th, 2011: Media depiction of trans people
January 8th, 2012: Body & social dsyphoria
January 22nd, 2012: Gatekeepers
February 5, 2012: Transphobia
February 19, 2012: Defining and Describing Gender
March 04, 2012: Building Self-Confidence
March 18, 2012: Developing a Sustainable Trans Community
April 1, 2012: Trans POC Experiences & Priorities
April 15, 2012: Housing
May 13, 2012: Trans Men, Women & Non-Binary Working Together
June 3, 2012: Structural Violence
July 1, 2012: Feminism & TransFeminimism
September 02, 2012: Trans & Mental Disability Intersections
Girls Like Us
Girls Like Us is a campaign started by Janet Mock, who has posted a wonderfully comprehensive treatment of the movement’s origins, parameters and intentions here.
Whereas Transchat is intended for all trans* people, and primarily used for specific topics and specific times, Girls Like Us is providing trans women:
… an encouraging space, for debate, for love, for hope, for struggles. I want younger girls to have the space to be frivolous, to talk about transition, to talk about genitals if they want, to ask after the types of procedures people had, etc. It’s your choice to answer or not. I also want it to be a space where women can discuss hot topics, debate about issues, point out privilege blind spots, and share new articles, policies and essays regarding issues facing trans women and women in general. But it will not be a space where we smack one another down, where we judge each other. We’re judged enough in the world. (Janet Mock)
It should not be ignored that race has been a factor in the development of both Transchat and Girls Like Us, the former having been critiqued for being dominated by white voices, the latter for excluding them. Janet addresses this issue in her story, and I here and here. It should be clear that we both intend these respective spaces to be inclusive, and while Avory and I will continue trying to improve Transchat, I’m also thrilled that there’s a highly visible, trans-specific discussion that people of color do feel more included in.
We’ve included #trans, #transgender, and #lgbtq here to give a quick glimpse of other conversations in our community. Please remember that your voice truly matters. There is no “they” in these discussions. WE are the ones shaping the conversation. Let’s keep talking.
Reddit is home to a great many vibrant trans* communities. For those unacquainted, the Reddit community uses a voting system that promotes liked posts to the front page, and allows the creation of interest-based communities by anyone, for free. You don’t have to be a member to see the posts and comment threads, only to vote. So check out our chosen feeds below or visit /r/transpositive, /r/transspace, /r/asktransgender, /r/transgender, /r/ainbow, /r/lgbt, or one of the many others (check the subreddit’s sidebars for other recommended communities).