A new project is helping older members of the transgender community to find people to bond and share stories with.
Titled ‘The Abundance Project’, the venture is based on the idea of using Fowlers jars to preserve fruit and vegetables “when they are in abundance.”
The idea behind it is so the food can be shared with others or kept for “leaner” times.
High Tea workshops in Victoria, Australia, are being set up to allow trans people to come together and make their preserves.
It’s being seen as a chance to share their stories and make new friends.
Some of the elders were asked about their day working with the project, along with their self-acceptance stories.
One participant, Sally Conning, said: “I pickled beetroot because it’s one thing that I’ve loved all my life.
“I mightn’t have always loved myself but I’ve always loved beetroot.
“I realise now I don’t try to be anything other than myself.
“I’m proud of myself,” Sally added. “I found out who I am. I am the girl I want to be.”
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Another elder, Toni Paynter, said her favourite fruit to preserve was strawberries.
“The red reminds me of my work at the Fire Museum, where I first started to realise I had a story to tell,” she said.
“I don’t worry about people’s expectations too much anymore.
“I’m not ashamed of who I am any more. I feel free.”
The Abundance Project was inspired by recent research that was conducted into the experiences of trans elders.
The research included a number of older trans people who discussed their experiences of ageing.
It was intended to be a resource for aged care providers to help trans people live openly and comfortably.
The Abundance Project organisers said: “We heard from TGD (trans and gender diverse) people that alongside strategies to address rights violations, there is a need to affirm TGD identities and build hope.
“Abundance draws on the wisdom of TGD elders to document stories, and our wish is that this pantry of stories offers hope for TGD people as they age.”