Transfigurations – About Us

The  History of our Devon based Transgender Support Group

We think it is important that visitors to our website understand a little about us and our history.

Transfigurations was started in 2013 as a group for transgender people to meet, initially on an ad-hoc basis meeting once a month. Unfortunately, the hotel where we had our meetings closed down in late 2013 and we were in limbo until the spring of 2014 when a  new meeting place was found in the Torbay Unitarian Church. This was when Transfigurations moved from being an ad-hoc group to a not for profit community organisation.

We created out first website in the April of 2014 and this quickly started moving up the Google rankings and attracting a large number of hits – this was followed in the May of 2014 when our first online support forums were created. The forums were able to start providing an online place where parents could talk with other parents who had transgender children and allow support for them as well as they embarked on this rather unique journey. We also provide a safe environment within the forums for transgender children to talk with other trans children about their own journeys.

In the autumn of 2014 we opened a help and support telephone line which operated two evenings a week – and after initial heavy demand, this was extended to three evenings per week in January of 2015.

At our November meeting in 2014, we found that it was so cold in the Unitarian Church that we decided to look for alternative premises – and found “Cool House” which was run by Cool Recovery and started to meet there in the December of 2014. In the January of 2015 we opted to open 2 evenings per month where we would hold the first meeting of each month as reserved for special evenings such as guest speakers from other organisations and also tuition/help meetings (eg deportment, voice therapy, make-up and beauty talks). The second meeting of each month would be for social gatherings where members could relax, chat with friends, approach the Management Team with any specific problems that they were having to face and generally support one another. Unfortunately, Cool Recovery went into voluntary liquidation in late spring of 2015 so we had to look for new premises again and were delighted to find Chelston Community Centre in Torquay where we had our first meeting in June 2015.  So far this has been a great success.

During the time since we first started as a more formal organisation, we have been asked to sit on various committees as independent advisers to the Devon and Cornwall Police, to our local Torbay and South Devon NHS Healthcare Trust – and we now also have close links with Healthwatch Torbay and Healthwatch Devon. We also attend meetings arranged by NHS England regarding new pathways for treatments of transgender children and adolescents.

We have provided training for various sections of Devon and Cornwall Police about transgender people as part of the new recruits training, ongoing training for front-line officers, custody officers and nursing staff in custody centres.

All in all, we have come a long, long way since we first became a not for profit community group in April 2014.

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