These workshops are available for you to offer to your community or organization. Please contact Max for more information.
Resilience for Trans People in a Time of Crisis
This workshop is focused on introducing trans and gender-expansive folks tools to build resilience in this difficult time.
This is a challenging time for everyone, but for trans and gender-non conforming folks, especially folks of color, it’s especially hard. We are faced with the violence, rejection, judgement, and discrimination of transphobia. How do we thread the needle – speak out and fight for justice, at the same time as live our lives with happiness and joy – even in the face of transphobia, injustice, and our internal experiences of dysphoria, fear, or grief?
We’ll talk about what resilience is, what it is not a replacement for, and give specific tools to help build resilience.
Can We Love Ourselves and Our Bodies?
Self-love and self-compassion are key qualities of a resilient being. These qualities are especially important for trans folks to cultivate, given all of the negative messages in society.
Self-compassion is the moment-by-moment willingness to hold yourself and your feelings with gentleness and without judgment. It’s a decision you can make in each moment, a choice to respond to yourself in a particular way. Treating yourself with compassion doesn’t require you to feel any different – it just requires you to do something different.
Self-love is something that needs to grow over time. It’s a larger way of being, a loving orientation toward yourself, and toward life. When you love yourself, you do your best to appreciate yourself exactly as you are. Then, from that place of self-appreciation, you make choices that are truly in your own best interest, rather than ignoring, denying, or sacrificing yourself.
These qualities can be developed. This workshop will introduce some tools that will cultivate self-love and self-compassion.
Our Emotions Are Our Friends
Emotions are powerful but ephemeral. Sometimes they are difficult to experience, other times they are wonderful. But the difficult emotions: fear, anger and sadness, can cause unnecessary pain and suffering in ourselves and our loved ones, depending on how we act on them.
Often, we react and act out of those emotions, and also blame others for them, leading to fracture and discord. This is not to say that others don’t do things that unintentionally or intentionally cause us pain, but they are not the authors of our emotions – we are.
We can learn to befriend even fear, sadness and anger, learn their embodied experience, and learn to act in ways that are skillful. This workshop will introduce some specific skills to help befriend emotions.
Dealing With Dysphoria
Gender dysphoria is an unease with the physical characteristics of our bodies. It’s an experience most trans people face. Some occasionally, some daily. For some, it’s a minor nuisance, for others it can be debilitating, and interfere with daily life, interpersonal relationships, and our ability to be embodied and erotic.
Hormone replacement therapy and surgery can make a big difference, but it may not eliminate the feeling, depending on its characteristics. And for some people, depending on a lot of factors, surgery cannot cure dysphoria. Others choose, for a variety of reasons, not to have one surgery or another, and so must live with dysphoria.
So how can we live more at ease even with dysphoria? What skills can we learn to help us more fully accept our bodies as they are, and inhabit them authentically? How can we better approach being erotic even with the experience of dysphoria?
Dating While Trans
Whether you are trans or not, dating is a minefield of internal and external challenges. There’s navigating the initial questions of what we are wanting – what kind of relationship(s) are we looking for. Then there is how to meet people, what apps to use, and where and how to have the first date(s). Add being trans, and there’s figuring out how and when to come out to potential dates, and navigating their potential responses.
One advantage of dating in a time of pandemic is that you have more time to get to know someone before meeting them in person. This of course has its disadvantages, but it also has advantages – the opportunity to have more in-depth conversations, at a distance, particularly around being trans if you are dating cis people, than you might get otherwise.
This workshop will talk about all of these challenges, and some strategies and approaches, and chances for participants to share their dating experiences.