Peer Support for Trans*Persons,
Friends and Family
Who we are
A person's perception of her or his gender identity may indeed deviate from that person's sex as assigned at birth. When a born male feels that she is a woman or when a born female feels that he is a man there might be a case of transsexualism.
The idea of our peer support group arose from a number of transgender persons' desires for a stronger and face-to-face exchange about transsexualism back in 2003. Exchanging true experience and information can help reduce worries and fear, can simply make you feel better, free your mind and help instigate undared steps of development. This is particularly important if you are at the start of the avenue to your transsexual life when questions about your gender identity may seem to move in circles.
The Hamburg, Germany Magnus Hirschfeld Centrum has become a home to our open group and our meeting point. Any transgender person with a desire for face-to-face exchange may take part in our discussions, or just listen to other peers' thoughts and feelings. We also welcome intersexuals as well as friends, family members and other interested persons.
In case you are unsure - give us a call or even better: write an email.
We meet every second Tuesday in a month at about 7 p.m. at the Magnus Hirschfeld Centrum (mhc-Café), Borgweg 8, 22303 Hamburg.
Free map from WebMart Homepage Tools
Check out the exact dates of forthcoming Switch nights via What's up in the navigation side bar.
You will find us at the mhc-Café to your right as you enter. Or follow the bar, turn left, then straight ahead through the doorway between the bar and the winding stairs, turn right and enter our room through the door to your right just before the descending stairs if you should be late. Too complicated? Ask the bartender. Welcome!
P.S.: You do not like the idea of walking into the cafe on your own? Drop us a line in due time and ask us to pick you up at the front door. However: You may just come in, there is nothing to worry about!
Freedom from barriers:
You can access our meeting room and the mhc cafe free from barriers, but the washrooms are only accessible via stairs and are not accessible toilets in any way.
Germans say "shared suffering is half the suffering" - this might characterize the concept of peer support best. As caring and competent as physicists, psychologists, family and friends may be; talking to people who share your feelings or are experiencing the same difficulties or have already gone through that is an important element in overcoming or at least damping down fear, emotional suffering and the feeling of being alone with your monster.
See how Harry learned to love his monster in a cartoon video entitled Vielen Dank für das Gespräch/ Thanks for Talking (on YouTube). The only German sentences printed in it are "Schon mal an Selbsthilfegruppen gedacht? - Ever thought of peer support groups?" and "Drei Millionen Menschen in Deutschland sind in der Selbsthilfe aktiv. Viele von ihnen sind in deinem Alter. - There are three million people engaged with peer support in Germany. Many of them are your age." The video was made in the framework of the project „Portal Junge Selbsthilfe"/ Young Peer Support Portal run by the Nationale Kontakt-und Informationsstelle zur Anregung und Unterstützung von Selbsthilfegruppen (NAKOS)/ National Contact and Information Desk for the Stimulation and Support of Peer Support Groups.
Peer support has its share in restoring as well as safeguarding health. German public health insurances are obliged as per the Fifth Book of the Book of Social Law/ Fünftes Buch Sozialgesetzbuch (SGB V) to give a few cents per insured person and year for the purpose of peer support.
Apart from NAKOS, the Kontakt- und Informations-Stellen für Selbsthilfegruppen (KISS)/ Contact and Information Desk for Peer Support Groups are major hotspots in many German cities and regions for anybody seeking peer support or wanting to establish a peer support group, e. g. KISS Hamburg.
We trust that more and more of these links will be available in various languages soon.
Sorry, they are only available in German so far. An English flyer is coming up soon!
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