Friday, June 26, 2009

Team Activities for Trans Youth?

I’ve always been a team-oriented person: sports, scouting, projects, etc. However, in my youth, I found that aspects of my “team worker” mentality often conflicted with my gender identity. I wanted to be in the Boy Scouts: instead I found myself selling cookies for the girl scouts. I wanted to play soccer and lacrosse with the boys: yet somehow I ended up playing field hockey. All of these “team” activities often put me in extremely uncomfortable situations when considering my gender identity. In my girl scout troop, I often felt like an outsider – I wanted to go backpacking, kayaking, learn survival techniques, etc. Now, don’t get me wrong, many girl scout troops do these things, but where I was raised, it was out of the question. And my sporting endeavors? Don’t get me started on awkward locker room situations…

Thus we get to the meat of my concerns: where do young Trans people, or Trans adults for that matter, go to participate in team activities? I’m pretty sure there are no Trans-Scouts, and sporting activities are few and far between. Why do I even bring this up? To be honest, I feel as though these team-oriented activities build characteristics that are vital to the future of the Trans community: leadership, communication skills, etc.

I wanted first, to bring your attention to this article:

I thought that was pretty amazing! However, what about those of us who do not fall into the Male/Female spectrum of gender identity? The genderqueers, third gender individuals, etc? Where do we play soccer? Learn how to tie knots, etc?

But there is hope! At least during the summer: Camp Aranu'tiq! While at the Trans Health Conference in Philly I finally got to put names and faces behind this camp that I have heard so much about. This is a camp for Trans/Gender Variant youth that will be coming to the East Coast in the summer of 2010. For me, I know that going to camp (obviously Girl Scout camp) during the summer was a wonderful experience. It was a chance to grow, learn and form friendships. I hope this camp will give Trans/Gender Variant youth a chance to experience all these things and more.

So, is there a future for Trans team activities for youth and adults? I like to think there is.

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