Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Trans-cending gender norms, UWE Bristol

    Yesterday was spent in a lecture theatre at the University of the West of England, attending the 'Trans-cending gender norms' pre-conference event. It was the first such conference I had attended and I found it to be an extremely worthwhile experience, both for the subjects under discussion and for the networking opportunities.
   Attending were a mixed crowd of academics and trans people, including a couple of blokes from Qwest FTM UK, a pair of ladies from the Gender Trust, me (sadly in bloke mode) and my friend Alison wearing our Swindon TG Group hats, and unexpectedly my local friend Rebecca in her professional capacity as an interested academic.
    I didn't expect to find myself talking to linguists about the use of language in relation to transgender, something that I have a keen interest in and is not unconnected with what I do for a living, given that analysing huge tracts of text forms part of my job.
    So my thanks to Silvia, the event organiser, and to the other attendees for a very interesting day.


  1. Labels, labels, labels. We must have labels. Problem is no-one agrees as to which is best! Call me Ms, call me Miss but don't call me Cis. It's funny, when I was pre-op. (another label) I didn't mind the 'transgender/transsexual' labels and was keen to promote the fact that I was transitioning but after my op. all I wanted was to be called a woman with all the other considerations that come with the title. For some people labels are not an issue but the correct terminology in language can mean the difference between an insult and an acknowledgement. I always maintain that a 'WYSIWYS' rule, 'What you see is what you say', is the best approach. As for the written word, well, does it matter? I think it does too. The pen being mightier than the sword can wield some nasty cuts into the psychological.
    Anyhow Jenny, did you come out of the lecture with a better understanding or was it more of a social gathering?

    Shirley Anne xxx

  2. Ah no, it wasn't a label debate, far from it. Mostly the academics were researching the use of language towards us or around us (one session was a fascinating lecture on the language and coming-out experiences of LGBT teens, for example), or were involved in the educational or social policy sectors and were intent on learning more about us.

    So in answer to your final question: a bit of both.

  3. Hi Jenny,
    I am one of the blokes you met at the Bristol conference, I came across this blog while googling Qwest to see if we are on the map yet.
    It was good to meet you and i enjoyed talking to you. Any chance of sharing facebook?
    best wishes
    Krzysztof (Krys)

  4. Evening Krys,

    Good to see you here, and happy to help with an inbound link. Do Qwest have any blog or Twitter presence at all? I would share FB but I'm afraid I don't do Facebook, working in an allied industry I find their approach to privacy to be a step too far.