FORGE offers opportunities for people to connect, access support, learn more about transgender issues, find resources, and create friendships with others.
What’s the purpose of FORGE’s Milwaukee Monthly Meetings?
1. Share information on pre-selected subjects.
[Ideas for discussions, speakers, books, films, and panels are initiated by group recommendations and facilitator suggestions. With only 12 monthly meetings per year, these topics only touch a small number of areas with plenty of room for post-meeting discussion and other groups to take on other topics.]
2. Provide support for people who attend.
[All people who are interested in trans and gender non-binary issues are welcome.
We encourage people to participate at their level of comfort.
3. [Note: Milwaukee Monthly Meetings are not political action or social justice-focused events. Our purpose is support and information-sharing. There is ample community space for political organizing, confronting injustice, and creating action agendas.
FORGE monthly meetings are not that space.]
Creating a space where people can feel free to participate is important. These are some working agreements and principles that FORGE meetings operate under. We will review and add to this list at tonight’s meeting.
- Confidentiality / Privacy
- Use “I” statements
- One person / one mic
- Move up / move back
- Oops and ouch (and snap)
- People can choose to be quiet / Participation is voluntary
- We are more than our gender (or any one identity/component)
- Speak about own experiences – please do not talk about others not in the room
- Criticism-free zone – no hurtful or negative comments about individuals or agencies
- In this support-centered space, everyone has an equal voice
- Respect different backgrounds, experiences, and identities
- Remember we all have trauma
FORGE provides Milwaukee-based social support, education and resources for trans individuals and loved ones . Meetings provide a friendly, facilitated setting for people to network, become more informed, and to gather resources, and share their personal experiences and stories.
Who attends meetings?
FORGE support and information meetings are open to ALL people interested in trans/gender non-binary issues. We support and honor the plethora of ways there are to be trans and the wide variety of people who fall under the broad category of loved ones, friends, family members, allies. FORGE tries to offer a little something for everyone. Join us if you are new to gender issues and want a supportive place to explore. If you are well-versed in trans issues, we invite you to share your experiences and help elevate discussion to a more complex, philosophical level. Partners, allies, friends and professionals are always encouraged to attend on their own, or with a trans loved one (or client).
Meeting format / times
Meetings are held on the 4th Saturday of every month. Meetings have two sections: Open discussion and Topic Discussion/presentation. Feel free to come to just one or both.
6:00 – 6:45pm Open Discussion
Do you crave connection with fellow transfolks and loved ones? This gently facilitated time is especially devoted to exploring the issues you bring in – sharing your experiences and stories, asking questions, seeking referrals, gathering resources, connecting with others. All are welcome.
7:00 – 9:00pm – Topic discussion / presentation
Beginning at 7:00, each FORGE meeting focuses on one pre-determined topic. Sometimes there will be a panel presentation or a guest speaker, sometimes we’ll do small group exercises or watch trans-focused films, and sometimes we, as a group, will generate our own questions and answers. Each meeting begins with brief introductions and an ice-breaker question. We’ll end each night with a closing question. Everyone will have an opportunity to speak, listen, and be heard. [Learn more about upcoming meetings/topics here.]
Where are meetings held?
Milwaukee’s LGBT Community Center
1110 N. Market Street, 2nd floor
Other special events
In addition to monthly meetings, FORGE hosts other special events including speakers and films, as well as contributing to co-sponsoring events like films at the Milwaukee LGBT Film and Video Festival. We work in partnership with other Wisconsin organizations to both help increase trans+ visibility and to offer trans people safe and enjoyable activities.
For more information about FORGE (meetings,basic information, resources), please contact FORGE, PO Box 1272, Milwaukee, WI 53201. Phone: 414-559-2123. Email:info [at] forge-forward [dot] org.