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Trans Family Funday

Celebrate community with TENT and Out Youth with dual Sunday events

By Sarah Marloff, 3:50PM, Thu. Dec. 12, 2013

Seasonal Affective Disorder? Holiday hangups? Sunday depression? Well, stave off those blues, and spend the day with a trans family potluck followed by the third Trans GenderQueer Social.


“The potluck and social are both great ways to get connected with different people in the trans or gender variant community,” says Kayden Althen, one of the event promoters. Althen is also the regional and volunteer coordinator for the statewide organization, Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT). “It’s always a really relaxed environment, and an easy way to meet people for support networks.”

The two-part event will start with a potluck gathering at Out Youth. “It’s going to be a great way to meet some of the youth in our communities,” says Althen. “As the older side of the community, hopefully, we can help inspire the younger ones. Show them that there are people who make it and that it does get better."

Once supper has been supped, the party heads south to Spider House Ballroom for the social, complete with DJs Mouthfeel and Bloodkisses spinning, and drink specials galore. But don’t let this fun time fool ya. According to Althen there’s an underlying purpose for this event.

“There have been a handful of recent studies reporting that trans folks, especially transwomen, are at a higher risk of contracting HIV. This event is a non-invasive way of spreading the knowledge to trans people about testing services here in Austin,” says Althen.

Social attendees will be able to get tested right then and there at Spider House. And for the shyer participants there will also be a resource guide available and safer sex packets handed out.

TENT, along with the Metropolitan Community Church, Allgo, AIDS Services of Austin, Out Youth, and the Q have all joined together in hopes of better supporting Austin’s transgender community. This is their third event – but their first potluck – and Althen is expecting a good turn out.

“We’ve had somewhere between 50-75 people at the past socials, but unlike other events where only a third of the Facebook RSVPs show up, we tend to have more turn out than Facebook RSVPers.”

The Potluck runs 2-4pm, and the Spider House social goes 5-9pm. Althen adds that “anyone and everyone is welcome, and people should feel free to invite friends – just come out and meet some people!”

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