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Triratna has many Facebook pages, personal and collective. Padmavyuha (UK) writes with news about one of the newest, with already nearly 90 members.
The Triratna gender-diverse Buddhist Facebook group is “open to anyone who experiences or identifies themselves as (for example) trans, intersex, genderqueer, gender-questioning or genderless. It’s open to our allies too; anyone who wants to support us better.”
Padmavyuha continues, “The Triratna community is a very nourishing environment for many women and men practising the Dharma, but not everybody experiences themselves simply as a woman or man; increasing numbers of (especially younger) people experience gender as something more broad and nebulous than just those two options. For those of us with a more diverse experience of gender, or who are transgender, or intersex, or consider themselves not gendered at all, it’s sometimes very difficult to feel a part of the Triratna community, since it’s set up chiefly to support women and men in their practice.
I’ve been ordained for 18 years, but four years ago I stopped kidding myself that I’d ever been male, and began a gender transition - a yet more complex path for me, because while I experience myself as female (hence my transition), I don’t experience myself as a woman or man; I am something that the gender model makes no sense of, so I consider myself non-gendered.
I wanted to create something alongside of, and complementary to, existing Triratna institutions, that would help make gender diverse people welcome and supported in ways we mostly aren’t yet. Discussions with Kamalanandi, Parami, and Vajratara led to founding the Triratna gender diverse Buddhist group on Facebook.
It’s a “closed” group - its content is only visible to its members; there’s also a “secret” group just for gender diverse people, for anyone who needs even their involvement to be completely invisible beyond the group.
Our purpose is to support each other and our practice as gender-diverse Buddhists. We also want to help inform and educate the wider Triratna community so it can better accommodate gender diversity, for example, to facilitate trans people attending single-sex retreats. We’ll be running gender diverse retreats soon, and hope to enable more understanding and integration of gender diversity into our broader institutions over time.
+Follow the Triratna gender-diverse Buddhist group on Facebook.
See also yesterday’s item on the Stockholm sangha’s LGBTQ retreat, exploring form and emptiness with regard to gender and sexual identity.