transgender eating disorders transgender eating disorders non-binary body image non-binary body image transgender eating disorder recovery transgender eating disorder recovery healing healing community community marginalized marginalized trans eating disorders trans eating disorders trans* trans* transsexual transsexual eating disorders non-binary non-binary eating disorders genderqueer eating disorders gender-fluid eating disorders two-spirit eating disorders transgender eating disorders transgender cultural competency transgender cultural competency transgender healthcare transgender healthcare trans healthcare trans eating disorders trans cultural competency trans sensitivity trans inclusion healthcare marginalized voices marginalized communities
WHO WE ARE
We aim to spearhead the movement of marginalized communities organizing and advocating for more accessible, affordable and culturally competent ED treatment. We envision representative research, media visibility, intersectionally-educated and gender-literate ED professionals, and financially viable treatment options that speak to our diverse experiences.
We are committed to the following values and goals; they shape our purpose, our programming and our organizational structure:
*Firmly situating eating disorders in a social justice context that emphasizes how EDs are caused (genetic pre-disposition aside) by intersectional oppressions of historical and personal trauma produced by a cis-heteropatriarchal, ableist, racist and classist society.
*Increasing the number of gender-literate/culturally competent ED care providers and treatment facilities, as well as making pathways to traditional treatment more accessible and affordable.
*Transparency and accountability to our fiscal sponsor, grantmaking institutions, public funders, our queer/trans community, the medical community, the media and the public at large.
*Collectivity, consensus-based decision making and non-hierarchical/non-oppressive organizational structure.
*Grassroots community organizing and radical queer politics; being responsive to and anticipating community need.
*Harm/behavior reduction and support for individual recovery processes; recovery is a journey and it looks different for everyone. We are not a treatment facility nor a therapeutic practice; we come together to heal ourselves and our community, and we commit to meeting folx where they are in their own recovery.
*Partnering and working with other community organizations whose missions, structures or populations served align with ours; alliances are essential to increasing impact and empowering our community!
*De-stigmatizing eating disorders in both queer/trans communities and society at large; promoting visibility and awareness of EDs in our communities and increasing the number of trans/gender-diverse narratives in ED media.
*Promoting self-love, self-care, body positivity and healthy behaviors at any weight.
*Encouraging intersectional, holistic treatment approaches and challenging the medical community to prioritize trans/marginalized leadership, as well as amplifying marginalized voices and diverse experiences in research, recovery and media representation.
*Constantly improving and reforming our internal processes, materials and politics; continuing to learn and listen and centering the experiences and leadership of marginalized folx whose experiences are less frequently heard or represented.
T-FFED is a collective of trans/gender diverse folx and allies who believe eating disorders in marginalized communities are social justice issues. We are based in Los Angeles but are honored to have national reach in our trainings, support structures, impact, and eventually our Healing Intensives. We are a young organization (founded in April, 2014) but have a strong team committed to this important work and continuing to increase our capacities and reach! We are not a non-profit at this time but hope to have 501(c)(3) status in the near future.
T-FFED arose from the senior thesis research of Program and Policy Coordinator Dagan VanDemark. VanDemark, a trans/genderqueer person, had long suspected that their experience struggling with both gender identity and an eating disorder was far from rare. They sought to find data and resources on the interplay of body dysphoria and dysmorphia, and were confronted with a total lack of information. To assess the gender literacy/trans cultural competency levels of ED care providers, VanDemark called different therapists and facilities on behalf of a hypothetical trans woman friend (knowing trans women face the greatest amount of stigma). They were horrified to find that not one intake professional even knew if their institution accepted or treated transgender people, and they were met with a barrage of invasive, inappropriate and ignorant questions, including asking about VanDemark's 'friend's' genitalia, sexual orientation, documentation, surgeries and hormones, ability to pass, etc. One therapist even concluded that this woman's 'male brain and female brain are at odds, creating an eating disorder.'
This pervasive ignorance is symptomatic of an ED landscape that only caters to the privileged few who can pay for (often cost-prohibitive) treatment, with research generally reifying these ED archetypes of youth, whiteness, cisgender identity, ability, and middle/high-income status; eclipsing the gigantic population of marginalized folx with EDs who don't fit these stereotypes and often fail to seek treatment because of accessibility/affordability issues, a lack of representation in the ED research canon/media, and a lack of cultural competency amongst healthcare professionals. VanDemark founded T-FFED to provide accessible, gender-literate community-led healing spaces for trans and gender non-conforming folx, to amplify marginalized voices and experiences, and to develop a standard for trans cultural competency in the ED recovery field.
Our mission is to make visible, interrupt, and undermine the disproportionately high incidence of eating disorders in trans and gender-diverse individuals through radical community healing, recovery institution reform, empowerment and education.