Friday, October 12, 2007
I do want to share a couple of things today. One, I think, is particularly important.
As a follow-up to my discussion yesterday about the need to education others about ourselves and how critical that effort will be on an ongoing basis I'm planning to begin something I'm calling it "The TranSelf Project: Our Lives, Our Selves" (or TLP, for those of us who are techie like me need acronyms). I am inviting people from around the country to provide video of themselves and the people in their lives, telling their story. Tell me how you feel, what you think, how you're doing. Share your struggle. What have you lost, what has disappointed you most, what has hurt you? On the other hand share what you've gained, your perspective on yourself and your gender. All in all, this is free form so there is no fixed format. There is no "right" way to do this. Take all the time you need. Share your story, your life, the people in your world, and how you're feeling.
HRC has launched a similar effort as part of their "Coming Out Project". But as long as we allow others to tell our stories we find ourselves dependent, and the fact of the matter is that nobody can tell our stories better than we can. We need to own that, and that process starts now. I know a doctor who lives in North Carolina whose wife has stayed with her during transition, who was forced to leave her church, who was forced out of the medical practice that she helped to establish only to move across town and start all over again. I know someone in Dallas who was outed by a friend at work and showed up the next day and was told that she was no longer welcome at the company, despite a 12-year history of excellence there. I know someone in Phoenix who struggled with her gender issues but it wasn't until she was arrested for DUI, sitting in the Tent City jail, that she realized what she had to do. I know of people who are the children of a trans parent who are proud and supportive. I know of spouses who have struggled to accept something they can't begin to understand, and who come to a sense of peace. We need to tell these stories. We need to share them with each other, and with the world.
Watch the HRC video outlining what they're looking for (see it here, note: there isn't a single transgender face there). That's what we're looking for, too. Personal stories. Not necessarily simply of coming out, but of anything you want to share. Your life. Your family. Your job. Your relationships. Your spirituality. Your perspective. Your dreams and your fears. We want whatever you can share. If you go to that YouTube page and click on any of the Video Responses below it you'll see what people are doing. One is here.
Take the video. Use a webcam if that's all you have. You can buy a neat little camera that records video meant for uploading to the web (see one here) for less than $100. Or, use a regular video camera if you've got one. Video quality isn't necessarily important but audio quality makes a huge difference. Be creative. I'll edit them if necessary so don't worry too much about that.
I'm setting up a couple of different ways to get the videos to me. I'll be setting up an ftp site for those who know how that works. Also, I'll be providing a mailing address if you want to burn your video to a CD or send the raw video from your camera. Or, upload it yourself onto YouTube or some other video site and send me the link so I can post it. Don't trash people. Don't be disrespectful of others. But most importantly, be honest.
Our Lives, Our Selves. It will be as successful (or not) as the videos that you provide. I'll provide the hosting. I'll provide the effort to get the videos ready, and to upload them. All you need to do is to share. It's not that sharing our stories makes a big difference - it makes all the difference. I'll have more detail on this as it becomes real, but the time to start thinking about it and working on it is now.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
"The TranSelf Project:
Our Lives, Our Selves"
Donna wants us to share our stories. Read about it below.