WesternBoys is a local peer support group for people who were assigned as female at birth but no longer feel comfortable with that gender identity.1.2
It is a local group for people based in the South West of England and people visiting the area.
We aim to support people by offering, when possible, monthly group meetings, a summer camp and Christmas party. We also aim to offer online support by answering emails, maintaining a website and secret Facebook group.
When addressing the mailing list/s, members’ privacy will be protected by the use of blind carbon copying (BCC). The mailing list/s shall be kept up to date by the responsible trustee/s. No address on the mailing list/s, or other contact information, will be shared without express permission from the addressee. No photos or information will be posted online or shared in emails or other communications without the express permission of the subject. People will not be added to the mailing list/s or Facebook group without their express permission. Their contact information will be deleted from the mailing list/s, and or Facebook group, at their request.
The support offered is based on the personal experience of members and trustees. WesternBoys is not an advice service. We aim to listen to each other, share knowledge information and experiences. The trustees are not professional experts and will be mindful of this in all meetings and communications.
We will administrate a bank account in the name of WesternBoys to fund group activities. The trustees will act as signatories for the bank.
Membership is open to anyone who was assigned as female at birth but has come to question that gender identity, or has begun transitioning to live as male, or has been fully transitioned for a number of years, or identifies as somewhere on the gender spectrum other than with the female label they were given at birth. For example, they may identify as “trans-masculine”; “gender queer”; “non-binary”; “androgine”; “bi-gendered”; “gender neutral”, etc. (These identity descriptions are here collectively termed as “trans*”). All gender identities will be respected within the group, none will be considered more valid than others. People who are intersex, who have been raised as female but don’t feel comfortable with that gender identity, will also be welcome. Members are not expected to undergo, or plan to undergo, physical transition, such as surgery and/or hormones. Members will be supported whether they choose to undergo any physical transition or not. We recognise that everyone’s gender identity is unique to them and all expressions of individual gender identity will be respected and supported.
WesternBoys is not equipped to support people who were assigned as male at birth.
WesternBoys is not equipped to support people who have serious psychological or mental health problems, such that their behaviour is disruptive to the meetings, events, Facebook group or other communication channels. In this case, the trustees will take a decision as to whether to refer them to other, more appropriate support.
People under the age of 18 cannot attend meetings unless accompanied by a responsible adult. Some meetings may have pre-planned discussion topics that are not appropriate for people under the age of 16. In these cases, the trustees will make it clear beforehand that under 16s should not attend. The Facebook group and mailing list is open to people aged 16 and over. We are not equipped to support people under the age of 16 and will signpost them to more appropriate support where possible.
SOFFAs (significant others, friends, families and advocates) are welcome at meetings and events unless the theme is decided beforehand to be appropriate to trans* people only. In these cases, the trustees will make it clear beforehand that SOFFAs should not attend. SOFFAs are welcome to join the mailing list/s but the Facebook group is only open to trans* people.
Any offensive behaviour, including racist, sexist or inflammatory remarks, or disruptive behaviour, will not be permitted. Anyone behaving in an offensive or disruptive way may be asked not to attend further meetings or events and/or be removed from the Facebook group; and/or be removed from the mailing list/s. The individual concerned shall have the right to put their case to the trustees before a final decision is made. Due to the vulnerable nature of the group’s members, a safe, non-threatening atmosphere is of paramount importance in the context of meetings, events and communications.
There is no formal membership process, but rather “member” is an informal term for anyone who has been to a meeting, or WesternBoys event, at least once or who has opted to join one of the WesternBoys mailing lists or the Facebook group.
There is no membership fee but a small charge will be asked of people who attend monthly meetings to cover the cost of food, refreshments, materials and venue hire. Members will also be asked to contribute a monetary fee to attend the Christmas Party and Summer Camp. Again, the fee will be to cover costs. A raffle may be held at the Christmas Party for which attendees may choose to buy tickets, the money from which will be used to create a reserve in the WesternBoys bank account, after costs have been met. Fees and concessions will be decided by trustee majority decision and will not be publicised before they are agreed. Fees will not be set above the level of what would reasonably cover costs. The intent is not to make a profit. Any reserve in the bank account is there primarily to allow concessions for those who wish to attend but cannot afford full fees. It may also be used to pay for equipment or guest facilitators for the group. The bank account will not be used to make any purchases without the majority agreement of the trustees.
The responsibility for fulfilling the aims of the group falls to the “trustees”. At any one time there should be no fewer than 4 trustees. Decisions about the running of the group will be made by the majority vote of the trustees. If there is a disagreement between the trustees about the running of the group where there is an even split, the trustees will collectively consult with an agreed adviser. In any case the direction of the group should be guided by this constitution. If the number of trustees falls below 4, WesternBoys’ activity will be suspended until a 4th trustee can be found and agreed upon by the majority of the remaining trustees.
The trustees must agree to take on responsibilities that are demonstrably within their capabilities and external time constraints. If a trustee is found to be repeatedly not fulfilling the responsibilities they have agreed to take on, the trustees will collectively take a majority decision about the distribution of responsibilities.
If a trustee is found to be acting in the name of WesternBoys without the agreement of the majority of the trustees, or in opposition to the constitution of the group, the remaining trustees will have a vote as to whether said trustee will have their status revoked, or have certain responsibilities removed from their charge.
Because of the small size of the group who attend meetings regularly, the trustees will be co-opted rather than elected by the members, i.e. new trustees will be nominated and chosen by the majority vote of the existing trustees.
All trustee communication pertaining to the running of the group will be recorded in writing, either by the use of online group chats (on Facebook or Whatsapp or similar) whereby all the current trustees are included in the chat, or, if meeting in person, minutes of the discussion will be taken, then agreed as soon as possible afterwards.
If a time comes when it is agreed that WesternBoys should be closed, the assets and funds will be given to a charity agreed upon by the majority of the trustees, after all debts have been settled.
In the event that the group is closed, the name “WesternBoys” will not be passed onto a new group of trustees unless they agree to fulfil the terms of this constitution and they are agreed to be fit to uphold WesternBoys’ good reputation by the majority vote of the former trustee board. Where possible, the group’s original founders will be consulted.