• Illustration of a smiling woman with long black hair and light brown skin. She is wearing a pink outfit and shoes. She appears to be floating in a blue sky with white clouds.

Is it weird to be trans and feel indifferent about my genitals?

Is it normal and valid, as a trans woman, to feel indifferent to my genitals as they are? Thanks so much to the brave person who wrote in to ask the Trans Lifeline team this question. Our answer is: Absolutely! It is normal to feel indifference about your genitals as they are. It doesn’t make you less trans or less of a woman. All people, both cis and trans, have complicated feelings about their bodies—and those feelings usually evolve over our lives. Even amongst trans folks, there is no universal opinion or experience on how we feel about our bodies or if we choose to undergo medical transition.I can tell you from direct experience as a trans woman that it’s very typical to have these feelings, and they not only differ from person to person but can also change drastically within our lifetimes. My journey to self-exploration began when I transitioned as a teenager to later de-transitioning…only to eventually come out as nonbinary and restart my transition as a trans woman. Despite these shifts in how I identified, I never experienced bottom dysphoria—it just wasn’t an important part of my experience.The idea that trans women must have strong feelings about their genitals is based on transmisogyny, which is the combination of misogyny and transphobia that trans women face. Because of misogyny, women are often reduced to their genitals. Similarly, under transphobia, cis folks tend to ...

By |2022-12-23T12:10:52-08:00November 4th, 2022|Personal Stories, User Questions|Comments Off on Is it weird to be trans and feel indifferent about my genitals?
  • What Does Non-binary Mean?

What Does “Non-binary” Mean?

What Does "Non-binary" Mean? Although “non-binary” (sometimes shortened to NB or phoneticized as “enby”) is becoming a more commonly used term in the trans community, for a lot of folks it’s still an unfamiliar concept. In order to understand what non-binary means, it is important to know what “binary,” or the gender binary, means. The gender binary is the idea or belief that there are only two sexes, female and male, that directly align with two genders, woman and man. Many in our community understand this belief to be a product of colonization and connected to the transphobic belief that gender is a fixed characteristic that must be based on a certain set of biological traits like genitalia and genes.  Although most people accept and identify with the genders they were assigned at birth, many people do not—the former are cisgender people and the latter are transgender people. Similarly, it’s common for trans folks to identify with a binary gender (trans men and trans women)—but for those of us who don’t see ourselves in this gender binary, we may identify with the term “non-binary”. In other words, a non-binary person is someone who does not identify exclusively or fully as a man or a woman. “Non-binary” is an umbrella term for a variety of different gender identities. Some non-binary folks may identify as both a man and a woman, while others may fall outside ...

By |2022-12-23T12:17:52-08:00July 13th, 2022|Health & Wellness, User Questions|Comments Off on What Does “Non-binary” Mean?

Safe Hotlines: Meet Our New Advocacy Department

Safe Hotlines: Meet Our New Advocacy Department We sat down with Yana Calou (they/them), Director of Advocacy, to learn more about what’s in store for Trans Lifeline’s new advocacy efforts. Sign up for news on Safe Hotlines Q: Why is Trans Lifeline establishing an advocacy department? A: Over the years of providing community-based crisis support without police, we’ve created a national peer support and crisis hotline model for providing care that’s free of police intervention and involuntary hospitalization. We’ve done this because non-consensual law enforcement intervention and forced hospitalization often cause more harm to people in crises, particularly those in marginalized populations. We know they don't get to the causes of these crises. Crisis lines are often touted as alternatives to calling police, when actually, most national hotlines and text services use geolocating surveillance to engage local police — often without the caller’s knowledge or consent that cops or emergency medical teams are arriving at their location. Callers are tracked as they’re first prompted to answer a slew of unreliable behavioral and risk assessment questions. These surveillance and risk assessment practices center liability and “saving” lives at all costs — but hurt communities of color and result in hundreds of thousands of police interactions with people in crises across the country each year. This is not what survivors of such crises find helpful in the short or long term. These practices exacerbate crises and ...

By |2022-09-18T07:41:18-07:00January 26th, 2022|Advocacy, Trans Lifeline News|Comments Off on Safe Hotlines: Meet Our New Advocacy Department

Binding Guide

Chest binding is a gender-affirming practice done by all kinds of different people. Some people bind to reduce gender dysphoria. Some bind to present in a way that feels more aligned with their gender identity. Some folks bind because they just like the way it looks. There are many reasons people bind and it doesn’t always have to do with gender.

By |2023-01-06T18:20:47-08:00November 10th, 2021|Resources|Comments Off on Binding Guide

Elena Rose Vera’s Outgoing Letter to Our Community

Dear beloved community, It is with the deepest dedication to the collective well-being and liberation of trans people everywhere that I’m writing to let you know that after over three years of serving Trans Lifeline--first as a member of the Board, then as Deputy Executive Director, and since the spring of 2019 as Executive Director--I’m turning the reins over to a new cadre of leadership who will steward the organization through our next phase of growth and service to our community and staff.

By |2021-09-29T12:21:24-07:00September 23rd, 2021|Trans Lifeline News|Comments Off on Elena Rose Vera’s Outgoing Letter to Our Community
  • Illustration of Maia Leonardo

Remembering Maia Leonardo, our Board Co-Chair

Remembering Maia Leonardo It is with immense sadness and pain that we grieve the unexpected loss of our Board Co-Chair, Maia Leonardo (she/her). Maia was kind and thoughtful, she deeply cared about community and justice - and this organization in particular. Maia’s clever wit and keen artistic sense brightened our work. From her time as a Hotline Volunteer that eventually led to her latest role at the head of our Board of Directors as Co-Chair, Maia was endlessly dedicated to supporting trans people. Her acts of service and care for her fellow Trans Lifeline board members, staff, and callers across the country were immeasurable. Maia lived in New Haven where she had worked for the New Haven Pride Center as a Marketing and Development Coordinator until July 2021, volunteered and organized with Party for Socialism & Liberation, participated in mutual aid efforts around COVID-19, and contributed to countless other projects to support her community's transformation. She provided acts of service and care for her fellow Trans Lifeline board members, staff, and callers across the country. Maia’s family shared that “As a board member of Trans Lifeline, Maia was extremely proud to take a leadership role in carrying out a mission she was deeply passionate about.” Board Member Aisha Naseem (they/them) recalls that “Maia was a deeply spiritual person who shared her practice of Islam in ways that (re)opened access to spirituality to many of us ...

By |2021-09-16T09:16:07-07:00September 16th, 2021|Current Events, Trans Lifeline News|Comments Off on Remembering Maia Leonardo, our Board Co-Chair

Introducing our 2021 BIPOC Peer Support Fellows

Introducing our 2021 BIPOC Peer Support Fellows We are very excited to introduce the Hotline’s inaugural BIPOC Peer Support Fellows Program to our community! We created this fellowship to in order to: Increase the number of BIPOC trans & non-binary peer support providers for our community Ensure BIPOC communities are aware of Trans Lifeline’s peer support services Develop the leadership of BIPOC trans people Each fellow was paired BIPOC Trans Lifeline staff member with a passion for training & developing trans and nonbinary peer support providers. Through this mentorship, each fellow has been supporting their community both locally, and on our Hotline. Meet the 2021 cohort: Dahlia Belle (she/her) is a writer, comedian, sometimes model, and accidental activist based in Portland, OR. She has been a frequent contributor to The Portland Mercury, guest on NPR's Think Out Loud, and local news outlets, speaking on a variety of issues affecting Black, transgender, and neurodivergent populations. Dahlia says: “The most inspiring part of my position is getting to support newly out callers as they learn to embrace their truest selves. When I'm not working, I find my greatest happiness falling asleep in my partner's arms. I admire my partner for their emotional insight, passion, and determination.” Jaden Janak (they/he) is a PhD student in Black Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. They are currently working on a dissertation that examines contemporary abolitionist organizations and their theories ...

By |2021-06-03T13:30:19-07:00June 3rd, 2021|Trans Lifeline News|Comments Off on Introducing our 2021 BIPOC Peer Support Fellows
  • Peer2Peer Live for Twitch

Trans Broadcasters Launch Peer2Peer.Live, Opt-In Discoverability Tool to Connect Marginalized Users on Twitch

On March 20, Trans Lifeline launched Peer2Peer.Live to fill gaps left by Twitch's lack of identity-based tagging that left minority streamers with limited to no discoverability options on the platform. As the #TransTagNow demands for identity-based tags on Twitch grow, trans organizers Lucia Everblack, Steph Loehr, Sabrina Mack, and Nick Nieves built their own seat at the table -  following Twitch's refusal to create ways for broadcasters to connect with each other. Built by a team of transgender, BIPOC, and Twitch community members living with disabilities, this discoverability tool will be gamechanger for broadcasters and gamers with lived experience in multiple communities who struggle to find and support one another - and content that’s relevant to them - on Twitch.

By |2021-03-30T12:52:53-07:00March 23rd, 2021|Resources|Comments Off on Trans Broadcasters Launch Peer2Peer.Live, Opt-In Discoverability Tool to Connect Marginalized Users on Twitch