At trans.cafe, we strongly encourage YOU to submit original content! First things first: there are no “right” answers when it comes to talking about gender and identity. We value the opportunity to include a diverse range of personal stories, and to facilitate an ongoing global dialogue about issues related to transgender identity and lifestyle. So please, join the conversation!
Here are some guidelines to get you started…
We envision trans.cafe as a a safe space for all kinds of people to learn about trans-related issues around identity, health, lifestyle, relationships, work and more. Think of us as an inclusive party where you can engage friends with questions you might otherwise be afraid to ask, or confessions that you want to get off your chest. We think honesty is one of the most powerful elements of good writing, and we particularly love submissions that invite readers to feel empathy and engage in self-reflection.
We genuinely believe that “honesty is the best policy,” and as part of that, we recognize that many people are closed-minded when it comes to learning about transgender folks. Our aim is not to express hostility toward those who need to learn, but to encourage writers to share educational content that is positive and down-to-earth. Of course, we acknowledge the fact that we live in a world filled with many forms of systemic discrimination and violence. But we also know that education is the best weapon with which to fight hate.
While some topics might require professional expertise, we also believe that personal experience is one of the most valuable when it comes to a topic as personal as gender identity. Of course, if you’re not a hair removal specialist and know nothing about it, you probably don’t want to write an article entitled “Questions to Ask Your Hair Removal Specialist.” But maybe you’ve done a lot of research and want to cite your sources. Or perhaps your experience with electrolysis feels like fodder for a personal essay. Use your judgment, and always check your privilege!
Now for a few specific tips:
- How To’s: If you are going to write an article that seeks to give tips or offer any kind of imperatives to the reader, please provide actionable tips that help the reader walk away from the article feeling empowered to take action—whether that be about interior design, clothing, personal care routines and beyond. Please remember that there aren’t “right answers” about self-expression, so when giving tips about a particular topic, remember to highlight your audience. For instance. if you want to write an article that shares your secrets on how to apply feminine makeup, note that there’s no universal way to be feminine, and qualify your tips with a statement like, “...if you are aiming to pass as high-femme.” Plus, not all people like wearing makeup—whether they’re cis, trans, non-binary, whatever.
- Personal Essays: When writing essays about yourself and your experience, try to hone in on something specific—an event, experience, person or turning point—during your journey. Please try to communicate a sense of growth and self-reflection. While personal essays don’t necessarily have to be uplifting, we prefer stories that are framed by an overarching movement toward self-acceptance and empowerment.
- Labels: Be careful with labels. We get that language can be tricky, but please recognize that globalizing phrases like “the transgender community” or “all women” are a bit misleading; there is not a singular transgender community, as every human is different and relates to their gender differently. Keep things individualized and pegged to specific examples whenever possible. Generalizations get us all into trouble sometimes.
Bottom line? We’re all about good vibes at trans.cafe. We like writing written in an accessible, engaging tone. We know that some of the content on the site will be heavy, and that life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. But we want readers to walk away from the site feeling good, not bad. Keep it real, keep it honest.
To submit, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Your pitch: what you want to write about
- A short bio of who you are, that includes any relevant links you’d like to share with our readers (your website or blog, and any social media including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, tumblr and beyond).
- A headshot to accompany your bio. If you’re not big on photos of yourself, no problem, we get it.