Thursday, August 2, 2007

Something in the Water

One of the things that amazed me when I started going out over nine years ago is the richness of the transgendered community in the Carolinas. I don't know if this is possible to determine, but it seems this region has a larger than average number of TG folks and therefore a large number of groups. I will try to keep up to date the local list to the right sidebar. I believe there is one or more groups that all of us can find a home. I will explain why below.

For the first several months of 1998, I visited only Kappa Beta as it was convenient for me and provided fantastic support. Kappa Beta will always have a special place in my heart as that is where I came out. KB is a Tri-ess affiliate which means that it is primarily for heterosexual crossdressers and their wives/girlfriends. It is also mainly a social group which is very helpful for the new girls. KB meets once a month in Charlotte, NC and has been my most regular outlet. The one thing I am very proud of concerning KB is their inclusion to not just crossdressers in the TG community. It is vital that even in a social and someone less serious setting that we all mingle. I know I have learned so much about the TG community and also myself.

The other type of group is generally called "open" groups which involve more serious discussion of TG issues. I first visited Phoenix in Asheville in July, 1998 and broadened my horizons immensely. Phoenix is lead by Holly Boswell and Jessica Britton and has been going strong for almost 21 years. Holly and Jessica's involvement with the community on a national level gives Phoenix an amazing depth of experience and knowledge. My first trip was a bit overwhelming to say the least. I'm not sure I was quite ready, but much of what I learned has stayed with me. I'm sure a return trip to Asheville is in the works. Similar groups include Triad Gender Association (TGA) in Greensboro and the newly formed Charlotte Gender Alliance (CGA) in Charlotte. They both meet monthly. If you attend any open group meeting, be prepared to tell a little about yourself, and seriously listen to the concerns of your sisters and brothers in the TG community.

One of the great success stories is Trans-Carolina lead by Janice. They started out as a place for TG girls and supporters simply to meet at various places across the Carolinas and has now grown into a 501(c) non-profit that will soon be donating to worthy causes in the TG community. I have yet to attend one of their soirees, but Trans-Carolina has brought a spirit to the region that has been missing for some time. I will talk more about them once I actually get to the group. Let's just say for now I am quite impressed as Trans-Carolina is the closest thing to a unified Carolinas TG group.

I have not even touched on groups in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Fayetteville, and Myrtle Beach. All of the above groups have web and Yahoo Group connections. Simply email the contact on the web pages for more info. I am very proud of those involved and their efforts to bring us all together. As I said in the open, there is a place for each of us somewhere in the TG spectrum of groups. Make every effort to find and then to contribute to yours.

1 comment:

Jessica Britton said...

Thanks for the kind words on Phoenix, Stephanie! Just wanted you to know you're always welcome here, anytime! See you in a few weeks!