Empowering. Healing. Connecting.
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Trans Survivors Speak Out

Voice of Healing: Trans and Nonbinary Survivors SPEAK OUT is an exciting collaborative project being launched by the survivor- and resilience-focused organizations FORGE and MenHealing.

Voices of Healing: Trans & Non-binary Survivors SPEAK OUT is a collaborative effort between FORGE and MenHealing designed to support, uplift, and foster the resilience of trans and non-binary** survivors of sexual victimization*** (SV).  The project focuses on using creative expression — words, movement, art — to empower trans survivors to share their story, connect with others, and enhance healing for both themselves and the broader community.

**At FORGE and MenHealing, we honor and recognize the complexity and multiplicity of gender, identity, and language. When using the words trans and non-binary, we use these words in their broadest meanings, inclusive of those whose identities lie outside of these often limiting terms.

*** We use the term sexual victimization to encompass a wide range of experiences, including, but not limited to childhood sexual abuse, adult sexual assault, sexual violence, sex abuse through trafficking, and other forms of unwanted touch.

Live SPEAK OUT forums will showcase diverse stories of survivorship and healing from trans and nonbinary survivors who have experienced many kinds of sexual violence. Presenters will be selected from a national call for submissions. We are seeking narratives that can be shared through multiple modalities, from spoken word to dance to song.

Our aim is to create powerful public moments of resilience and dialogue that challenge the invisibility and isolation of trans and non-binary survivors, and build community.

10 presenters will be selected to participate in a series of 6 trauma-informed, trans-focused group workshops; receive 1-1 coaching; connect with peer mentors; and hone their story in preparation of debuting their story to an online audience of supporters at two Premiere Events on March 31 and April 1, 2022. 


Who should apply?

We welcome trans and non-binary survivors of sexual victimization who are at a place in their healing process, ready to share their resilience and strength through storytelling, poetry, music, movement, or other creative modalities.

We invite submissions from folks who identify under the broad umbrella of transgender or non-binary**, who are ages 18+, survivors of sexual victimization,*** who are open to being public about their story/experience; and who are at a point in their healing to focus on creative expression.

For more details about selection and eligibility criteria, please see the FAQ below.


How to apply

We encourage you to download this application questions document to review the questions and write your answers in a text file, so you can easily copy and paste your answers into the application form.

Click through to the application form to share some brief demographic details, respond to a few questions about your interest in the project, and to share a sample overview of your story and interest in being part of this project.  

Written submissions should be 1500 words or less.  Video submissions should be limited to 3 minutes or less. 


SPEAK OUT seeks for presenters and staff to co-create a radically different kind of healing space. Creativity will be encouraged and multiple modalities will be welcomed, from spoken word to dance to song.  We strive to co-create a non-judgmental and communal healing space that is genuinely trans-inclusive, overcoming unwarranted separation by arbitrary ideas about gender and who “counts,”

Through the process of fine-tuning their stories for public presentation, presenters will experience the capacity for storytelling to transform trauma on a neurological level. The resulting personal empowerment will decease feelings of despair and positively impact interpersonal relationships.

Live SPEAK OUT Forums (inclusive of ASL interpretation) will be conducted in the spring of 2022, creating an inspiring experience for an audience of compassionate listeners.

To stay informed about this project, sign up for the FORGE and MenHealing mailing lists and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date with this storytelling collaboration.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is this project about?

Voices of Healing: Trans & Non-binary Survivors SPEAK OUT is a collaborative effort between FORGE and MenHealing designed to support, uplift, and foster the resilience of trans and non-binary** survivors of sexual victimization*** (SV). The project focuses on using creative expression — words, movement, art — to empower trans survivors to share their story, connect with others, and enhance healing for both themselves and the broader community.

Our aim is to create powerful public moments of resilience and dialogue that challenge the invisibility and isolation of trans and non-binary survivors, and build community.

10 presenters will be selected to participate in a series of 6 trauma-informed, trans-focused group workshops; receive 1-1 coaching; connect with peer mentors; and hone their story in preparation of debuting their story to an online audience of supporters at two Premiere Events on March 31 and April 1, 2022.

Who is included when you say “transgender and nonbinary?”
At FORGE and MenHealing, we honor and recognize the complexity and multiplicity of gender, identity, and language. When using the words trans and non-binary, we use these words in their broadest meanings, inclusive of those whose identities lie outside of these often limiting terms.

If you identify in any way as trans or non-binary, or have a transgender history, we welcome you.

What do you mean by sexual victimization?
We use the term sexual victimization to encompass a wide range of experiences, including, but not limited to childhood sexual abuse, adult sexual assault, sexual violence, sex abuse through trafficking, and other forms of unwanted touch.

If you identify in any way as a survivor of sexual victimization, we welcome you.

Who should apply?

We welcome trans and non-binary survivors of SV who are at a place in their healing process, ready to share their resilience and strength through storytelling, poetry, music, movement, or other creative modalities. 

 

We invite submissions from people who:

  • Identify under the broad umbrella of transgender or non-binary**
  • Are ages 18+
  • Are survivors of sexual victimization*** 
  • Are open to being public about their story/experience; and 
  • Are at a point in their healing to focus on creative expression. 
  • A desire to share parts of your story, experience resilience with a public audience.
What kind of stories are you looking for?
  • Anything you want to share about your healing journey, and what healing means for you
  • Steps you’ve taken toward healing; things that have been helpful for you
  • Sources of strength, support, and joy that you’ve experienced
  • Your experiences with breaking your silence about sexual victimization
  • How you decided to seek therapy or join a 12-step group, and what you’ve gained from it
  • What it means for you to share your story publicly
  • What kinds of support from others (e.g., friends, partners, family) have been helpful for your healing
  • How you’ve navigated intimacy and romantic relationships 
  • How you’ve navigated your gender identity and/or sexuality as a survivor
  • How your experience with sexual violence intersects with other parts of your life or identities, like your gender identity, race or religion, or views of sexual victimization in your community
  • Intersections of sexual victimization with other forms of violence that you’ve witnessed or experienced 
  • Challenging myths about trans and non-binary sexual victimization survivors, based on your experience
  • Journeys of change, or shifts in perspective you’ve had 
  • Social action you’ve taken with regard to sexual victimization or related topics
  • Next steps in your healing journey, what you want for your future
  • Insights gained, public statements you want to make about your life & experience
  • Letters to people in your life
  • Infinite other possibilities!
Is this only about writing? What about other forms of creative expression?

We encourage you to find and express your voice in the mode that best fits you and your story. We welcome your exploration and presentation in any of these formats (or others!):

  • Narrative
  • Poetry 
  • Performance art
  • Dance 
  • Movement 
  • Music
  • Sounds
  • Still image art or graphics
  • Multimedia presentations that combine multiple elements 
  • And MUCH MORE!  

 

Craft your story in ways that speak to you — and find the mode of expression that is right for you.

How to apply?

We encourage you to read through the list of questions before applying. This will allow you to think through some of the narrative questions. It will be helpful for you to draft out your responses to the longer questions ahead of time and then copy and paste your responses into the submission form.

When you are ready to apply, click through to the application form to share some brief demographic details, respond to a few questions about your interest in the project, and to share a sample overview of your story and interest in being part of this project.

Written submissions should be 1500 words or less.

Video or audio submissions should be limited to 3 minutes or less.

Submission deadline is October 15, 2021.

I’m having problems submitting my application.
If you experience any problems, please reach out to us. Caleb, Jordan, or michael will get back to you.
When are submissions due?

Between September 1, 2021 and a firm deadline of October 30th, 2021.

We encourage you to apply early!

What happens after I apply?

A team from FORGE and MenHealing will carefully and systematically review all submissions.

After reviewing all submissions, up to 20 applicants will be selected for interviews. We will reach out to you by phone or email and set up a time to talk by Zoom.

A joint review committee of project staff from FORGE and MenHealing will use a systematic process to select the final 10 presenters. The rubric will look at specific elements to make sure we select people from a wide range of ages, races, gender identities, geographic location, modality of presentation, general content of submission/story, readiness to craft a compelling presentation, and other variables that will ideally create a more representative group of presenters.

Selected presenters will be notified by November 15, 2021. (The first workshop will begin the week of December 2, 2021!)

What is involved if I’m selected?

If you are selected to be in the group of 10 presenters, we ask that you commit to the following:

  • Be committed to participate through the duration of the project.
  • Attend and participate in at least 5 of the presenters workshops, including the first & last ones. 
    • All workshops will be on the following dates
    • Workshop #1 December 2, 2021
    • Workshop #2 December 9, 2021
    • Workshop #3 December 16, 2021
    • Workshop #4 January 6, 2022
    • Workshop #5 January 13, 2022
    • Workshop #6 February 2, 2022
    • Workshop #7 February 10, 2022

 

The times for each workshop are:

4:00 – 6:30pm PT
5:00 – 7:30pm MT
6:00 – 8:30pm CT
7:00 – 9:30pm ET

 

  • Work on and craft your story, through the workshops, coaching, mentoring, and on your own time
  • Connect with your coach throughout the project.
  • Connect with your mentor throughout the project.
  • Record/film (with the project’s support and team!) your presentation (after the end of the workshops)
  • Maintain a spirit of connection, community, and support to uplift yourself and others in the project.
  • Attend & participate in the March 31 and April 1, 2022 live Premieres.
Who will be leading the workshops, coaching, and programming?
  • The project is jointly staffed by FORGE and MenHealing
  • All staff are trauma-informed.
  • All staff are trans-knowledgeable and trans-affirming. (Many staff are trans, non-binary, or gender-expansive.)
  • All people are deeply committed to trans and non-binary survivors — their/our resilience, healing, and empowerment.  
  • All staff have participated in similar projects. 
  • All staff will meet regularly throughout the project to tweak, adjust, process, and make sure we are doing all we can to support you.
When are the live Premieres?
The live premieres are the evenings of
March 31, 2022
April 1, 2022

Each person’s story will be pre-recording before the live premieres.

During the live premiere events, we will have project staff presenting live information — welcome, land acknowledgement, spiritual blessing, transitions. The videos of 5 performances will be shown on each evening, followed by a panel discussion with presenters (you!), and some staff to moderate conversation.

Who are the SPEAK OUT lead organizations?

FORGE

FORGE reduces the impact of trauma on trans/non-binary survivors and communities by empowering service providers, advocating for systems reform, and connecting survivors to healing possibilities. FORGE strives to create a world where ALL voices, people and bodies are valued, respected, honored, and celebrated; where every individual feels safe, supported, respected, and empowered. Learn more about FORGE at www.forge-forward.org and www.trans-survivors.com. (FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube.) 

 

Lead FORGE SPEAK OUT Project staff:

michael munson
Caleb Weinhardt
Tristen Taggart

MenHealing

MenHealing provides healing resources for adult males who have experienced sexual victimization during childhood or as adults. Weekends of Recovery (WOR) and Days of Recovery (DOR) provide a powerful and dynamic environment for healing. These healing events allow male survivors to 

  • break through their isolation and join community with other survivors, 
  • challenge myths and barriers about masculinity, and 
  • help survivors overcome shame and embrace their authentic self. 

MenHealing is grounded in the core values of intentionality, self-care, integrity, transparency, and relationship. Learn more about MenHealing at www.menhealing.org. A library of videos that feature male survivors sharing their stories of healing and recovery is also accessible at the MenHealing website.  (FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube.) 

Lead MenHealing SPEAK OUT Project staff:

Jim Struve, MenHealing
Jordan Masciangelo, MenHealing

...but WHO is leading this project from FORGE and MenHealing?

michael munson, FORGE (you can learn more about michael michael-Staff intro)

Jim Struve, MenHealing

Caleb Weinhardt, FORGE (learn more about Caleb Caleb-staff intro)

Jordan Masciangelo, MenHealing

Tristen Taggart, FORGE (learn more about Tristen Tristen-Staff intro)

A team of workshop facilitators, coaches, curriculum developers, and application reviewers will be posted here as the team solidifies.

If I want to learn more, is there someone I can contact?

You bet! We want you to feel confident and comfortable. We are here to answer your questions, or listen to any comments or concerns you have. 

You can reach out to us at <<LINK TO EMBEDDED CONTACT US FORM>>. Caleb from FORGE will be happy to help.


Learn more through videos!

Click on the images below to transport you to collections of videos sharing more about collaboration, community, the power of storytelling, and making an impact.


Still have questions? Contact us!