The purpose of the Transfigurations blog is so that I can give my thoughts on events taking place in the UK (and from around the world) on events and/or issues that are happening. Our main website, Transfigurations, is not really the appropriate vehicle for that. It also allows respectful dialogue to take place via the comments (but any hate from people or organisation will not be published and the sender will be blacklisted). This blog will also feature specially selected guest authors from time to time.
A little about me:
I am a trans woman who started my transition in the early 1970’s and formed one of the first groups (the Manchester TV/TS Group) which was inclusive of all people who identified as transgender – although that term did not become popular until the 1990’s. Part of my story will be told in the forthcoming book “Trans Britain: Our Long Journey from the Shadows” to be published by Unbound Books in January 2018.
A little about Transfigurations:
Transfigurations runs support groups for transgender people of all ages in the South Devon area of the UK. We also support the parents and partners of transgender people. At the moment we have support groups for trans people over the age of 18 and also a support group for children and parents, further details of these groups can be found on our main website (opens in new tab).
Transfigurations was started in 2013 as a group for transgender people to meet, initially on an ad-hoc basis meeting once a month. Unfortunately, the hotel where we had our meetings closed down in late 2013 and we were in limbo until the spring of 2014 when a new meeting place was found in the Torbay Unitarian Church. This was when Transfigurations moved from being an ad-hoc group to a not for profit community organisation.
We created out first website in the April of 2014 and this quickly started moving up the Google rankings and attracting a large number of hits – this was followed in the May of 2014 when our first online support forums were created. The forums were able to start providing an online place where parents could talk with other parents who had transgender children and allow support for them as well as they embarked on this rather unique journey. We also provide a safe environment within the forums for transgender children to talk with other trans children about their own journeys.
In the autumn of 2014 we opened the Transfigurations help and support telephone line which operated two evenings a week – and after initial heavy demand, this was extended to three evenings per week in January of 2015. A previous Transfigurations blog existed on Blogspot, but this was hacked and was closed down.
At our November meeting in 2014, we found that it was so cold in the Unitarian Church that we decided to look for alternative premises – and found “Cool House” which was run by Cool Recovery and started to meet there in the December of 2014. In the January of 2015 we opted to open 2 evenings per month where we would hold the first meeting of each month as reserved for special evenings such as guest speakers from other organisations and also tuition/help meetings (eg deportment, voice therapy, make-up and beauty talks). The second meeting of each month would be for social gatherings where members could relax, chat with friends, approach the Transfigurations Management Team with any specific problems that they were having to face and generally support one another. Unfortunately, Cool Recovery went into voluntary liquidation in late spring of 2015 so we had to look for new premises again and were delighted to find Chelston Community Centre in Torquay where we had our first meeting in June 2015. So far this has been a great success.
During the time since we first started as a more formal organisation, we have been asked to sit on various committees as independent advisers to the Devon and Cornwall Police, to our local Torbay and South Devon NHS Healthcare Trust – and we now also have close links with Healthwatch Torbay and Healthwatch Devon. We also attend meetings arranged by NHS England regarding new pathways for treatments of transgender children and adolescents.
We have provided training for various sections of Devon and Cornwall Police about transgender people e.g. as part of the new recruits training, ongoing training for front-line officers, custody officers and nursing staff in custody centres.
All in all, we have come a long, long way since we first became a not for profit community group in April 2014.
The Transfigurations Blog site first went live on 30th October 2017 and is now proving to be highly popular and well visited.
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