See trans performers in London tomorrow!

Trans youth charity Gendered Intelligence are running a fundraiser at London’s Royal Vauxhall Tavern tomorrow (Friday 13th July).

On the off chance you’re around, you should totally come because it’s going to be amazing.

There will be performances from a whole bunch of trans artists and allies, including:

Lashings of Ginger Beer Time

Bird la Bird

CN Lester 

Naith Payton

Cyndi Rogers

…and DJ sets from myself and Puja Maniar.

Entry: £8 (£6 concesssions)

Doors: 7pm – 2am

There’s a Facebook event page here.

In praise of trans culture

This post was originally written on Friday 2nd September.

It’s 10:20am. I’m sitting on a train in Marylebone station, marvelling at my memories of the previous evening.

I attended (and contributed a DJ set to) Political: A Gender last night at London’s legendary Royal Vauxhall Tavern. The event was organised by trans/queer promoters The Cutlery Drawer as a one-off fundraiser for trans charity Gendered Intelligence. It featured music, poetry, comedy and cabaret performances from a staggering eleven acts – or thirteen, if you count myself and sound/lighting technician Jo – over seven hours.

One of the most inspiring aspects of this night was the fact that it was, essentially, a celebration of trans art. I choose the word “celebration” quite deliberately: there was a recognition of the pain we experience and the challenges we face, but the overall event was built around an ethos of joy. The whole atmosphere was immensely positive, with the audience receptive to a wide variety of styles and stories, and each performer giving their all. The night seemed something of an arty twin to the Trans* Education and Determination teach-in earlier this year, as many of us came together in a grand articulation of (trans)gendered embodiment.

This was no separatist event though. Our cis friends were very much invited to the party, and could be found both on-stage (in a minority of the acts) and throughout the audience. This celebration of trans culture was open to all, as our music and our comedy and our poems and our stories are relevant to all. Political: A Gender was predominantly about trans lives and trans experiences, but this meant that it was also about hope, love, loss, friendship, feminism, disability, race, resistance, menstruation, velociraptors and moles. I don’t think I met a single person who wasn’t enjoying themselves immensely.

It’s not often that we come together as a community on this scale. There are an increasing number of wonderful conferences, club nights and mini-festivals organised by hard-working and caring people, but they are still few and far between. There are even less events centred around our culture, our art, and this is a real pity. In art, we recognise the reality, the validity and the importance of our experiences. In art, trans lives are not merely worth surviving, but are worth enjoying. In art, trans people do not merely earn tolerance, but instead deserve celebration.

I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such joy as a member of the trans community as I did last night. I certainly hope it won’t be the last time I attend such an event. We must continue to create and to celebrate, and must never forget that we all have so much to offer to one another and to the world.

Trans Community Conference 2011 announced

Gendered Intelligence have just announced initial details of this year’s Trans Community Conference. I was fortunate enough to attend the conference in 2008 and it was a really great experience with some very valuable contributions. The focus of this year’s conference looks particularly timely in the light of Trans Media Watch’s recently launched Memorandum of Understanding. I thoroughly recommend it to all!

Trans Community Conference 2011

Trans in the Media:
broadcast, journalism, screen & social media
convened by Gendered Intelligence, in association with Trans Media Watch

Friday, 22nd July 2011
9am – 5.30pm
Central School of Speech and Drama,
Eton Avenue, London, NW3
plus:

A SPECIAL EVENING FUNDRAISER EVENT
6.30-8.30pm
Gendered Intelligence Film Night
Programmed by members of the GI Youth Group

Registration will be available from 4th April.

More information will be available shortly on: www.genderedintelligence.co.uk
or you can e mail: admin@genderedintelligence.co.uk

There’s a Facebook event page here.

Trans Community Conference report published

I just picked this up through Gendered Intelligence.

Download the report here.

I attended the conference last year, taking part in the “youth and families” strand. It was an event that clearly needed a bit more of a defined direction, but hopefully the substantial feedback will mean that’s the case for this year’s conference.  I didn’t learn as much as I hoped, but it was a great chance to meet others and have a better idea of what’s going on, as well as to help educate representatives from various charities and government bodies.

Something that struck me as particularly interesting in the report – as well as the expected feedback from the workshops – were some of the statistics gathered. It’s impressive to see such a wide range of people were involved, and there’s some tasty statistics revealing the variations in gender identity, sexuality and ethnic background. I feel the open field approach that allowed people to define themselves rather than refer to tickboxes gave some particularly revealing answers. I hope they stick to this approach next year, and maybe introduce some more fields as well, maybe relating to things such as disabilities (including mental health) and economic background. There’s a lot to learn from such information about diversity in trans spaces.

The asylum strand struck me as particularly powerful. I didn’t manage to attend it on the day, but have learned a lot of (pretty shocking) facts from the summary. I suppose it’s one of these “I knew it was bad, but not that bad” situations.

I was also interested to read that representatives of a sex-worker rights group were present, although it strikes me that we should be working with women’s groups as well as those who are there for “male and transgender sex workers”.

Anyways, the details on this year’s event are as follows:

This year’s

Trans Community Conference 2009

will be held at

Central School of Speech and Drama

Embassy Theatre

Eton Avenue, London NW3 3HY

on

Friday 11th September 2009

Call for papers, workshops and presentations, artworks and stalls
To find out more click here