So whenever people mention the disaster that was 2016, the first thing they mention is the death of David Bowie, which is indeed in my personal top 3 of utterly disillusioning depressing events of the-year-that-shall-not-be-mentioned. But let’s remind ourselves of two more anti-queer disasters: the horrendous Orlando shooting at Pulse and the anti-trans bathroom bill. Also the election of an orange twitter potato as US president should lead to worries about the future.
Brexit made things get ugly closer to home, in Europe, and there are many right-winged populist parties in the Netherlands, Germany and France that are quickly gaining potential votes for upcoming elections. I am very much against making a Godwin, but this all feels awfully familiair…
This is not the kind of life I was expecting to live 15 years ago, when I still thought everything, really everything could and would become more progressive. Around me though I here a lot of people encouraging each other to step up our games and fight the big fight all over again.
I started the Golden List with transfriendly places a couple of years ago. About once every year I had to go back and update it, but this year I’ve found myself having to go back to it much more often. Not because , one would hope, there might be an increase of venues but actually because of the rapid disappearance of free zones.
And there is another trend: hipsters.
I am not against ‘hip’ people as a group, such negativity itself is now the trend and this one has anti-art and anti-intellectual characteristics that I think are very suspicious. What I definately don’t like however is the disappearance of squats and their replacement with hip venues that abuse the squatting and ‘Berlin’ aesthetics but sell coffee for 8 euros.
I have now finally extended and updated the BLACKLIST with examples of places that seem nice and creatively playful on first sight, but on closer look it turns out their ‘alternative’ outer shell is only skin deep, while serving a questionable crowd.
All the venues that I’ve put on the list so far are in Amsterdam but their style (and pricing) is spreading to the rest of the country. It’s a trend to ‘look-cheap-and-messy-yet-serve-super-expensive-junk-on-wooden-crates’. I think it’s fair to say this is not queerfriendly and it marginalizes economically precarious trans people even more.
With this update the following venues/parties got deleted: Apollo, Bordó, DV8, Farfalle, Fruitcake, The Mighty Aphrodite Show, Night Creatures, Slangenpand squat, Transfusion festival, V-spot, Valreep squat (voormalig dierenasiel). They’ve all gone defunct.
In other news:
Transgendergroep Nijmegen has recently put up a list with transgender initiatives in the Netherlands. Many of these are places you cannot go to physically, so I’m not putting them on my list :-)
As always: if you know of any other transfriendly events in the Netherlands, please let me know!
Finally there’s a Dutch equivalent to the widely-acclaimed TransBare All retreat. If you don’t speak Dutch but wish to attend anyway, contact the organisation. I’m sure it will be great, so be quick!:
Meld je uiterlijk 24 april aan!
Eerste Trans & Bloot Weekend voor transmannen
Begin mei 2015 organiseert Transman.nl het vernieuwende Trans & Bloot Weekend. Tijdens dit weekend bieden we een afwisselend programma met diverse workshops rondom het thema “thuis voelen in je lichaam”. Aanmelden voor het weekend kan tot en met 24 april. Dus… hak de knoop door en meld je snel aan!
Het Trans & Bloot Weekend (TBW) is van 1 t/m 3 mei 2015. Tijdens het TBW zijn er diverse workshops, waarin we praten, voelen, ervaringen uitwisselen en/of creatief bezig zijn. Het programma is afwisselend, zodat er voor ieder wat wils is. Continue reading →
Amsterdam is changing, and not for the better. It seems that everything we have been fighting for the past 30 years is flushed down the drains. The recent evictions of all major squats have meant that my Golden List of Transgender-friendly venues is now almost cut by a third. Week by week I have to delete entries because they no longer exist.
And the general public? They eat this up with much delight. Not realizing that squatters spent a lot of time and energy preserving these buildings, hosting events for a diverse community, providing life with more than just survival value for those of low income and developing creative spaces. These kinds of places are what keep a city alive and with it’s ending the essence of urban Amsterdam dies.
Yes I am angry, but mostly sad. We have been living in a neo-restrictive neo-conservative fearocracy since 2001 now and the ending is not in sight yet.
We need spaces for minorities, for trans* people without papers and for poor queers to keep on feeding ourselves with new ideas, away from the mainstream. I will keep on looking for safe trans/gender/queer spaces, but it’s getting harder and harder Continue reading →
I’ve been on Dutch national television, explicitly speaking about my “man cunt” and cruising as a proud transman with cis gay men. As part of the television series “Tent & Seks” by Sunny Bergman which breaks ground slowly but surely.
I’m being interviewed on a bunch of pillows in a tent in episode 3 of this series, named ‘Out of the Box’. About the fluidity of sexual preference and the fluidity of gender. This episode was broadcasted on july the 31st 2014.
I’m not super happy with the quotes they decided to take from me (the editing process was something I had no control over) but my real and only purpose to be in this was to show to the Dutch viewers that genderqueer/gay transmen’s existence is not some weird freakish Berlin/San Francisco phenomena, but that we also exist in the muddy landscape of Holland.
It’s in Dutch but there are many English speaking people in it as well. Amongst them two transvestites who verbalize their sense of self really well + two elderly gay bears that speak about how the mainstream doesn’t perceive them as gay while they are in fact deeply in love.
Watch all the other episiodes here too: www.npo.nl/tent-en-seks
Once in a while, I get harassed by gay guys for my trans status that I display openly. Don’t worry, it’s very rare. So whenever it does happen, I feel sort of ‘seduced’ to get into a smart dialogue with these people, even while knowing that some really are too stupid. Yes, dimwitted people do exist. And sometimes there just isn’t enough vomit in the world.
I can block these awful guys (they’re usually young and know nothing of the world; they may be afraid to lose their gay identity when discovering they feel I am quite handsome, so yeah, I know where it’s coming from). But… If I block them nothing is gained. It’s a systematic problem that needs to be addressed more publicly. Continue reading →
The new year is here and I have updated the ever popular Golden List with *new* transfriendly venues in the Netherlands.
I am happy to say some major progress has taken place, since the all new gay sauna Nieuwezijds has included the ‘safe sex for transmen’ link! This is a first for the Netherlands really, for a gay venue to visibly be inclusive towards transmen.
It must have something to do with the fact that the ever so friendly people of Church are behind this. Quite avant garde.
At the moment their space is actually not safe enough for transmen, but they’ve only just started.
Read all about it in the updated Golden List under the letter ‘N’ of Nieuwezijds.
The STD info page on the transman.nl website is currently the only explicit and practical hands-on safe sex page for FTM’s in Dutch.
This year a rather more subdued, but very respectable, new site for Dutch transgender youth was put online. And I am happy to have been part of the info-leaflet. The leaflet has been spread all around the nation and I drew the full-page illustration for it + there’s a small interview with me about cruising. Continue reading →
This week social (trans) media have been posting with lots of hoorays and cheers on one of the comics in the series ‘The amazing adventures of Bill.’
This particular comic from a gay male perspective pleasantly shows that it is definately possible for gay men to stay gay in every way when they date transmen.
I’m not happy with the repetition of ‘short’ and ‘short guys’ in this comic, because not all transmen are the same, but it might be true that statistically -on average- transmen could be shorter than the average cis male. Added to this is the fact that ofcourse it is possible for individuals to just simply feel a preference for short guys, so you can only assume that a transman really is this particular gay man’s dream come true.
I’d like to add to this: for gay tops/doms/Sirs it must be good to know that a vagina is actually a lot more muscled than the anus, so it is very likely to have tons more pleasure for active bio penises at penetration.
Increasing accessibility for ourselves:
Queerupting sexual spaces – integration or separation?
Took place on Friday May 31st
17:00 till 18:30 @ De Valreep, tent.
Jiro Ghianni, old school genderqueer, transguy and sexpositive activist had a question to all queer identified people (and others): do we need to create our own spaces and/or is it possible to bring queerness into heteronormative/ homonormative spaces? If so, how do we do this without making ourselves tired of the power struggle? How can we prepare the outsider for transgender bodies? And/or differently abled bodies? How to spread knowledge and awareness to gay cruising bars about transmen? How to discuss with heterosexual people without making them feel like you’re being judgmental? Should we create our own Shortbus or can we integrate into one place, change it from the inside and make it there?
Ofcourse there are already mixed mainstream sexual spaces, pansexual efforts and mixed BDSM playparties in the Netherlands where supposedly gay and queer and trans people are welcome. But the fact that you ARE welcome does not necessarily mean you will FEEL welcome. Jiro would love to gather some people who are interested in creating a queer sexy/play space.
This dialogue was mainly aimed at hearing everyones’ different experiences, ideas on kind, long term strategies and good practices. A side goal, could have been to actually pick and queerupt a sexual space (but this did not happen) or found our own group of pervy queers (we might be able to do that after the sunday sex party). Any tips on opening up accessibility for all diversities is still welcome!
During this dialogue all people present got a piece of paper with these questions (soon your content will be online in some form, wait for it…):
1a. I have a good example of this specific great (queer/transfriendly) thing at a sex/cruising/play party/space:
1b. I liked it because…:
2a. I have another example of this specific great (queer/transfriendly) thing at a sex/cruising/play party/space:
2b. I liked it because it made me feel…:
3a. I wish, I wish, I wish (or I know someone else who would really) like this to happen in future:
4a. I really wish this would not happen anymore:
4b. I don’t like … because (it makes me feel…):
5. I just want to say this random thing here,
or I would just really like to draw a picture of a cute animal:
The dialogue was led by Jiro and was not aimed to lead to consensus, so it was NOT a debate. This dialogue was simply aimed at exchanging different personal experiences and examples. No discussion here on who is ‘really’ queer and who is not.
Time spent: 1.5-2.0 hours
Future plans: will be announced on this website.
More info on the Fetlife event here.
“Kunnen bestaande seksplekken queerder gemaakt worden?”
For English: scroll down.
OVER DEZE SITE
De aanleiding van deze site, was deze blog post over m’n eigen ervaringen in de gay cruising scene. De belangrijkste vraag hier luidt: HOE kan een cis homo bar toegankelijk worden/voelen voor transmannen? Welke praktische tips werken?
Om het begrip rond transgender-vriendelijkheid bij alle mogelijke locaties te vergroten en stimuleren, bied ik daarom een beloning aan: de ‘Golden Seal of Trans* Approval.’ Deze ‘gouden stempel’ kun je verdienen, maar deze kun je echter ook weer kwijtraken en dan kom je op de verschrikkelijke, gevreesde BLACKLIST…
Deze site bestaat uit DE GOUDEN LIJST en alle strategieën en tips om er in te komen. Constant aan verandering onderhevig! Op dit moment zijn de praktische tips hier vooral gericht op seksclubs maar de bedoeling is dat ze ook bruikbaar gaan worden voor niet-seks feesten. Klik op de verschillende tabs: de bovenste zijn in het Nederland, de onderliggende in het engels.
Voor nieuws: scroll naar beneden op de homepagina voor recente blogberichten.
Let op: deze website is NIET bedoeld als een verzamelplaats voor algehele wenken aangaande transgender emancipatie en is niet gericht op het aanbieden van diepgaande gendertheorie. Ik concentreer me hier voornamelijk op de praktijk van feesten, clubs en (veilige) seks. En dan vooral voor transmannen en genderqueers in het FTM spectrum.
Deze website heeft niet het doel om te focussen op seksuele gezondheid van transgender Nederlanders in het algemeen, daar is nu een begin mee gemaakt op de Sense jongeren site.
De ontwikkelingen volgen elkaar snel op en het is nog niet voor 100% duidelijk wat nu precies veilig is (bijv: er bestaan nog geen condooms voor de vergrote transmannen clit). En ook is nu niet duidelijk wat veilig aanvoelt voor alle transgender mannen en transgender vrouwen: die zijn onderling zeer divers en hebben velerlei smaken.
Net zo divers als mannen en vrouwen die niet transgender zijn dus…
ABOUT THIS SITE
This site will contain info and documentation on transfriendly strategies.
Click on the different pages – upper tabs are Dutch, lower tabs are English translations. Most of these open source strategies are fitted to the Dutch society but may also be applicable in other western countries. Currently most strategies are focused on sex clubs but should also become useful for non-sex parties.
This site is not a guide to sexual health for Dutch trans* people in general, other sites are in development.