Saturday, August 1, 2015

DMV Fat-Friendly Community Clothing Swap

The photo used for the Facebook event.

Alas, we missed the DMV Fat-Friendly Community’s latest clothing swap today, at a Community member’s home (thanks!). But the people who went sound really pleased, yay.

And as always, if you desire fat-friendly community in the DMV (DC / MD / VA), come on down. Or up, or over, or whatever, depending upon where you live. We have more plans being planned, and are open to questions, suggestions and more -- but it's also more than okay if you need to just "lurk" and/or be online-only. My Julia founded the DMV FFC a few years ago, and we have almost 90 members in the Facebook Group now! And we do have a good amount who actively participate online and off – but the more the merrier.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A waist is a terrible thing to mind

Waist not, want not.

"A waist is a terrible thing to mind."

My flabulous little find at Goodwill of Greater Washington (Gaithersburg) today. Plastic keychain, about 1” x 2”, same design both sides -- and it never wears off, because it's actually a little sign sandwiched in clear plastic. And at twenty-nine cents, it may well be my thriftiest thrift yet.

Though it is based on the United Negro College Fund's "a mind is a terrible thing to waste".

‪#‎fathrifting‬ ‪ #‎sharetheGood‬ ‪ #‎myGoodwillfind‬  #waistnotwantnot

Monday, July 20, 2015

MA HEIGHT/WEIGHT ANTI-DISCRIMINATION BILL HEARING TOMORROW TUESDAY 7/21!

REMINDER:  MASSACHUSETTS' HEIGHT/WEIGHT ANTI-DISCRIMINATION BILL'S HEARING IS TOMORROW TUESDAY JULY 21ST AT 12:30 P.M. AT THE STATE HOUSE!  Click here for more details about the bill and hearing.  My testimony is here and will be there, and yours is needed.

July 21, 2015

Senator Daniel A. Wolf
Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development
State House, Room 405
Boston, MA 02133

Representative John W. Scibak
House Chair, Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development
State House, Room 43
Boston, MA 02133

Via email:  Daniel.Wolf@masenate.gov | John.Scibak@mahouse.gov

Dear Senator Wolf and Representative Scibak --

My name is Mycroft Masada Holmes, and I lived in greater Boston for more than 37 years, from my birth until last January, when I moved to Maryland to begin living with my partner.  I love Boston and the rest of Massachusetts; our great city and state have always truly been my home and I hope they always will be.

I write to you today primarily as a faith leader – my roles include being a Community Engagement Adviser at TransFaith and a member of TransEpiscopal.  Before my move, I was the Chair of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition’s Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality, and a board member of Congregation Am Tikva.  I’ve been one of the leaders of the faith campaign for Massachusetts’ Trans Equal Rights Law, passed in November 2011, and its bill An Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination, currently in progress.

Today, I testify in support of House Bill 1764 -- An Act Making Discrimination on the Basis of Height and Weight Unlawful, as I have done in person and/or in writing for the last few legislative sessions.  At one hearing, I also read the written testimony of attorney Sondra Solovay.

Section 4 of Chapter 151B and Sections 92A and 98 of Chapter 272 of the Massachusetts General Laws currently state that persons cannot be discriminated against in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations on the basis of race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, or ancestry.  HB 1764 would amend these statutes to include height and weight to the list of unlawful forms of discrimination, providing a legal remedy to those who have experienced discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on their weight or height.  As you know, this bill was approved by the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development last session but did not come up for a vote before the House of Representatives and had to be re-filed for the current session.

In my personal and professional life, I have experienced and witnessed and a great deal of discrimination – especially in employment.  Much of it has been based on physical appearance and information, including height and weight.  This discrimination is wrong, profoundly damaging, and occurs many times every day in every part of our state.  It must be ended as soon as possible, and HB 1764 will help to end it.  The bill is also an critical educational tool – its implementation process will help dispel the widespread and every-growing ignorance, misinformation and phobia about height and weight.  You will be given expert testimony about these issues today and during the rest of this session – ample evidence of the significant and urgent need for this legislation.

My faiths teach that like Adam, the first human being, all people are made b’tzelem Elohim – in the image of God -- people of all sizes, shapes, weights and heights.  Our infinite diversity of bodies and their changes over our lifetimes are gifts and blessings -- meant to be lived and shared with happiness and pride.  God creates and loves all of us, equally, in body and spirit.  And all of us should be equally recognized and protected by the law.

And as much as I speak to you as a person of faith, I also speak as a life partner.  My wonderful partner of six years, Julia McCrossin, and I are the same height, and she weighs well over twice what I do; I’ve always been thin, she has always been fat.  Julia is a native and lifelong resident of Maryland and Washington DC, and visited me in Massachusetts several times.  After her father passed away, I moved to Maryland to begin living with her, largely so that we could help care for her disabled mother and the family dog.

We are privileged to live in Maryland and near DC; both have trans-inclusive civil rights, and DC’s Human Rights Laws includes height and weight in “physical appearance”.  We are unusually privileged in other ways as well – as much as we and those like us struggle, daily life is far more challenging for those who have other intersecting oppressions, such as racism, classism and ableism.  At the same time, we worry about moving to and through places where we are legally unprotected, which we often need and want to do.  We and so many others need An Act Making Discrimination On The Basis Of Height And Weight Unlawful to pass into law as soon as possible.

We want to visit Massachusetts, have our wedding there, make our home there someday.  And we have much to offer my great state.  I want my partner to have full civil rights wherever she is.  I want her to be able to continue to live, work and play better than she has done, contributing even more to her society than she has.  I want this for all residents of and visitors to Massachusetts.  I don’t want anyone to experience discrimination – and yet I know that some will, and I want them to be able to take appropriate action.

I urge you to do everything you can to further this vital and long overdue legislation so that it can be passed into law this legislative session.

Thank you,

Mycroft Holmes
{my home and e-mail addresses}

Cc: Dave VanderWoude
Office of Majority Whip Byron Rushing
State House, Room 235
Boston, MA  02133
Via email: david.vanderwoude@mahouse.gov

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

MA HEIGHT/WEIGHT ANTI-DISCRIMINATION BILL HEARING NEXT TUES. 7/21!

HEARING ON MASSACHUSETTS HEIGHT/WEIGHT ANTI-DISCRIMINATION BILL NEXT TUESDAY JULY 21ST AT 12:30 P.M. AT THE STATE HOUSE! PLEASE NOTE THAT EVERYONE CAN SUBMIT WRITTEN TESTIMONY -- I will be doing so, as I've done for the past few sessions; I've also testified in person twice. Just got this e-mail; will put more info on my blog and post that:

Hi All,

As past supporters of Representative Rushing’s legislation regarding height and weight discrimination, I am writing to let you know that the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development has scheduled a hearing for the bill (H. 1764,An Act Making Discrimination on the Basis of Height and Weight Unlawful) on Tuesday, July 21, which begins at  12:30 p.m. in Gardner Auditorium in the State House.  I apologize for the short notice; I just found out about the hearing.

This bill would amend the state’s anti-discrimination laws to add height and weight to the list of protected categories, which currently include race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, or ancestry.  It would provide a legal remedy to those who have experienced discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on their weight or height. 

As you may remember, this bill was approved by the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development last session but did not come up for a vote before the House of Representatives and had to be re-filed for the current legislative session, which began in January 2015.  Also, please note that the House has a new Chair of the Committee this session who is likely unfamiliar with the issue.

As you may know, many legislative committees limit spoken testimony to approximately 3 minutes per person.  However, you can submit both written and verbal testimony, and are encouraged to do so, if you are worried about conveying your full message within the three-minute timeframe.  If you would like to submit testimony but are unable to be in attendance, you can submit testimony via email to Daniel.Wolf@masenate.gov orJohn.Scibak@mahouse.gov, or via the mail to the following addresses:

Senator Daniel A. Wolf
Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development
State House, Room 405
Boston, MA 02133

Representative John W. Scibak
House Chair, Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development
State House, Room 43
Boston, MA 02133

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Best,
Dave

Dave VanderWoude
Office of Majority Whip Byron Rushing
State House, Room 235
Boston, MA 02133

Sent: Tuesday, July 14, 2015 4:07 PM
To: HOU-DL - HOUSE STAFF; HOU-DL - HOUSE AIDES; HOU-DL - HOUSE REPS; SEN-DL-ALLSTAFF; SEN-DL-SENATORS
Subject: Notice of Public Hearing (With Changes): Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development hearing on Workplace Discrimination and Workplace Safety -7/21 in Gardner Auditorium from 12:30-5

Image1
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
JOINT COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133
Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development
Rep. John W. Scibak
Sen. Daniel A. Wolf
House Chairman
Senate Chairman

PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE
Date of Hearing: Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Time: 12:30 PM-5:00 PM
Location: GARDNER AUDITORIUM

Workplace Discrimination and Workplace Safety

Bill No.
Sponsor
Title
H1682
Benson, Jennifer E. (HOU)
An Act relative to discrimination in the workplace
H1687
Brady, Michael D. (HOU)
An Act requiring health care employees to develop and implement programs to prevent workplace violence
H1689
Calter, Thomas J. (HOU)
An Act relative to needle stick injuries suffered by first responders
H1728
Kocot, Peter V. (HOU)
An Act prohibiting the bullying of public school employees
H1733
Livingstone, Jay D. (HOU)
An Act to establish pay equity
H1736
Malia, Elizabeth A. (HOU)
An Act regulating the use of credit reports by employers
H1756
O'Day, James J. (HOU)
An Act to further define standards of employee safety
H1757
Orrall, Keiko M. (HOU)
An Act relative to non discrimination training in the workplace
H1764
Rushing, Byron (HOU)
An Act making discrimination on the basis of height and weight unlawful
H1769
Story, Ellen (HOU)
An Act establishing the Massachusetts pregnant workers fairness act
H1771
Story, Ellen (HOU)
An Act addressing workplace bullying, mobbing, and harassment, without regard to protected class status
H1781
Zlotnik, Jonathan (HOU)
An Act Relative to Non Discrimination Training in the Workplace
H1783
Zlotnik, Jonathan (HOU)
An Act Relative to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
S123
Barrett, Michael J. (SEN)
An Act regulating the use of credit reports by employers
S954
Barrett, Michael J. (SEN)
An Act providing fair chances for employment
S956
Brownsberger, William N. (SEN)
An Act establishing the refusal to provide certain records as an unfair labor practice
S960
Chang-Diaz, Sonia (SEN)
An Act ensuring uniformity in education discrimination complaint procedures
S970
Donnelly, Kenneth J. (SEN)
An Act requiring recordkeeping at public construction worksites in order to protect first responders
S983
Jehlen, Patricia D. (SEN)
An Act to establish pay equity
S984
Joyce, Brian A. (SEN)
An Act preventing discrimination based on veteran's status
S986
Joyce, Brian A. (SEN)
An Act relative to health and safety on public construction projects
S988
Keenan, John F. (SEN)
An Act relative to electrical panels and workplace safety
S989
L'Italien, Barbara (SEN)
An Act relative to nondiscrimination regional advisory boards
S991
Montigny, Mark C. (SEN)
An Act relative to fair hiring practices
S999
Pacheco, Marc R. (SEN)
An Act to further define standards of employee safety
S1007
Spilka, Karen E. (SEN)
Resolutions to encourage equitable and diverse gender representation on the boards of companies in the Commonwealth
S1020
Timilty, James E. (SEN)
An Act relative to equity in the workplace

Please be advised that the schedule and agenda are subject to change at the discretion of the chair per committee rules. Due to the expected number of attendants, testimony will be strictly limited to 3 minutes. Panels will be limited to a size of four individuals or fewer, and each panel will be ask to keep their testimony limited to ten minutes.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

DMV Fat-Friendly Community field trip to Curve Appeal

Sadly, we missed the DMV Fat-Friendly Community field trip today to Curve Appeal Full Figured Consignment Boutique (Millersville MD), and lunch – and thus we missed Curve Appeal altogether, because that was actually their last day in business, alas. But we are hearing good things, about them and the trip.

And it reminded me to tell / remind you that if you’re looking for fat-friendly community in the DMV (DC / MD / VA), come on down. Or up, or over, or whatever, depending upon where you live, ha ha. We have a clothing swap scheduled for next month, and some other things being planned, and are always open to suggestions, members, etc. My Julia founded it just a few years ago, and we have almost 90 members in the Facebook Group now! And we do have a good amount who actively participate online and off – but again, the more the merrier.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ramadan 2015


Tonight we went to one of the American Turkish Friendship Association (ATFA)’s Iftar dinners for the second year in a row; last year we were invited by Episcopal Church of the Ascension and went to one at ATFA’s Rockville space, this time Ascension hosted one and we went to that.

A few of our ATFA hosts spoke, as well as our rector Rev. Randy Lord-Wilkinson, Rev. Mansfield “Kasey” Kaseman, and one of U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski’s staffers – the senator couldn’t attend, but sent quite a letter. Randy is also the convener of the Gaithersburg Interfaith Alliance, and Rev. Kaseman is the Interfaith Community Liaison of the Office of Community Partnerships. And we had a pretty large and diverse group of guests, from Ascension and elsewhere.

We watched Terry Spencer Hesser’s documentary Love Is A Verb, about Turkish Muslim leader Fethullah Gülen and the Gulen movement / Hizmet / Cemaat; narrated by Ashley Judd. And then The Islamic Institute’s “The Journey Of Fasting”, an 8-minute film about Ramadan.

Pictured:
+ One of Ascension’s signs – I especially like the font choice, which I would have made too
+ Apricot nectar and water
+ Soup with chicken, rice, spices…?
+ Rice; ground meat / potato / eggplant / tomato / ?; bread; salad; falafelish thingies?
+ ? with pine nuts; cookies topped with walnuts; cookies topped with with cinnamon / powdered sugar; rice custard squares topped with cinnamon

I didn’t get a picture of my outfit, oops, but I did a post about it anyway.

P.s. If you use the hashtags ‪#‎Ramadan‬, ‪#‎Iftar‬, ‪#‎EidMubarak‬ and/or ‪#‎Eid‬ on Twitter, it automatically adds an icon to each, also known as a hashflag.
‪#‎RamadanMubarak‬ ‪#‎RamadanKareem‬

P.p.s.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Back And Fourth Of July

Tomorrow is my 6th anniversary with Julia, and I have to give GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) credit for making an e-card that also works for that. They have three others, too – they don’t really do it for me, but they have their points, and you can see and send them here.

Much more importantly, Byron Rushing reminds us that and why the the Episcopal Church's Collect for July 4th isn’t right – primarily, it forgets slavery – and gives us two better options.

Byron is the Vice President of the Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies, and a MA state Representative. I first met him when I was a high schooler in the early 90s and he was advocating for the Gay & Lesbian Student Rights Law (yes, it’s been updated since!). He has continued to be an amazing LGBT ally, including with the Trans Equal Rights Law and current trans rights bill – see more at Freedom Massachusetts. And he has been advocating for the bill to include height and weight in MA’s anti-discrimination law for years as well!  #fatjustice

I saw it this via his Facebook post.

"My annual 4th of July collect e-mail:

Let me take this opportunity to remind Episcopalians in the United States that many of us do not consider the words--"the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us"--in the Independence Day collect
to be accurate. Look around your congregations and reflect if all the ancestors of the "us" got their liberty then.

Listen to the words of Collect (BCP, p.242) for Independence Day July 4th

Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

This phrase is only possible because slavery was forgotten—or the “us” was not meant to include me.
A better and approved BCP collect for the 4th is "For the Nation" (p.258 or 207):

Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Also the Canadians’ Canada Day collect (July 1) also works for us in the USA and all the other countries in which TEC is.

Almighty God,
whose wisdom and whose love are over all,
accept the prayers we offer for our nation.
Give integrity to its citizens and wisdom to those in authority,
that harmony and justice may be secured in obedience to your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

--Byron"