I recently went on a ski trip in with The Venture Out Project (TVOP), and it was the best weekend I’ve had in a long time. Not only did we have an incredible time on the ski slopes, but I also experienced bonding with other Trans and Queer people in a way that felt nourishing and completely necessary.
I work at an LGBTQ organization and I live in a city that is home to nearly 15,000 trans-identified folks. In other words, I’m lucky. But despite these facts, finding community as a transgender man has been challenging. Many, if not most, of my interactions with other transgender men occur in a professional or pseudo-professional context, which has impeded my ability to create deep and intimate connections with my community. Transitioning brought so much personal joy and self-actualization, but it has also meant loss of community, or at least it has changed my relationship to the communities I’ve traditionally been a part of. Being trans for me has meant negotiating my simultaneous desire to be seen for who I am as a man, while also wanting to be part of a vibrant, loving queer community.
My weekend in Vermont with TVOP may have been the first time I felt like I was able to experience both of those things at the same time. My new friends saw me for who I am – a man, a lover of the outdoors, and queer-as-heck. I cant wait to go on my next trip with these great folks.