Now in our second year, The Non-Binary Group – North West was set up in the autumn of 2016 to provide an open, social space to the Non-Binary and community of Manchester. At this time of our formation, we somewhat came out of the grassroots, so to speak – with a ‘budget’ that would just about stretch to a roll of paper and some inevitable glitter! Since then we have shifted and altered through a number of incarnations; ranging from a bunch of aged kids in an art room with strawberries dipped in hummus, to a gaggle of strawberry hummus eating aged kids hell-bent on changing the social and political landscape of our community.
Along the way we learnt and laughed more times than you could shake a rainbow encrusted stick at, finding lessons, ideas and friends on the journey as it brought us up to 2017 and the delivery of our first staff training session, dedicated to helping organisations understand and be more inclusive of Transgender people and the things that affect them. A few months and a few more (rather cracking if we do say so ourselves!) sessions and we’re brought up to date.
November 2017 and we stand as a saleable and funded Training and Community organisation, committed to the very same mission to change the landscape. It’s a mission that’s reaching out beyond the art room now too – commencing in December 2017, we are going to be hosting monthly social events in Manchester and expanding our Education arm too! We hope that our work will challenge perceptions and practice, enhancing the access that the Transgender community has to services in a number of sectors – from social work to bar work; school to the swimming pool. As a small but mighty group, we pride ourselves on our charismatic, personable approach and our rich base of experience as well as our adaptability and our knowledge of the fact that each of us is always learning (and with even more glitter!)
A large part of what we do involves working closely with organisations and agencies locally and beyond in tailoring and delivering our training. Examples of themes that we cover span from coming out stories and risks to referrals service access. They range from Trans inclusive language to adapting gender facilities and accommodating Non Binary identities in a previously very Binary system. We may talk about the early patterns and forming of Gender Identity or we might discuss the things that could affect someone 20 years after transition.
So if you think you or someone you know could benefit from our services (and we chuck in the strawberry hummus for free!); or perhaps you’re interested in work with us in other way, send us a message. We’re always on the look out for new opportunities and, or course, friends to work alongside!