Mycroft Masada is a queer trans faith leader who moved to the Washington DC area of Maryland’s Montgomery County from their lifelong home of Boston in 2014. Mycroft co-chairs the MoCo Pride Center, is a TransFaith National Council member, a TransEpiscopal Steering Committee member and former Congregation Am Tikva board member. Mycroft is particularly called to pursue justice at the intersections of LGBTQI+ and fat communities, and is an advocate, organizer, consultant, educator, trainer, writer and artist. They are partnered with Julia McCrossin, the massculine fatshion blogger, and with her co-parents a dogter. Their central online home is MasadArts.blogspot.com.

Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | My artwork (stationery, jewelry & more)



Friday, December 1, 2017

My Aunt Pat, a professional artist in Boston, gives art lessons


One of my maternal aunts is Patricia Trapp, a professional artist back in Boston (where I lived until 2014). She offers art lessons, prints and stationery of her photography (of her flowers, her many glass sun-catchers and their rainbows, her charcoal sketches of cats, and more) as well as other crafts (including fabulous hand-painted chicken eggs), and takes commissions for paintings and possibly other artwork.

I help her with her PR, especially because she's not online at all and never has been; this is her permanent ad, and I put a temporary one on Craig's List Boston each week.  My artwork is here (and via the "My artwork" link in this blog's header).

Patricia Trapp, a professional artist in Boston, is offering art classes for individuals and small groups of all ages. She is also available for freelance mural work. She can be reached at 617.522.2046.

Classes include:

- Basic instruction in the fundamentals of painting

- Beginning through advanced techniques

- Brushwork 

- Color, light and shade / shadow, and perspective

- Describing form, how to build a painting

- Illustrating animals, landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes

- Creating natural textures, such as foliage

- How-tos of students' requests

- Ink, watercolor, acrylics and pastels -- no oils

There is a shopping list of basic required materials, which are to be purchased by students. 

Patricia is a native of the Boston area, and has been a professional artist here and in Europe for many years. She is currently a professional freelance muralist, for the decorators of the Boston Design Center and private clients. 

She attended Boston's Museum of Fine Arts' School, and received her BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in Theatre Design from Boston University. She was the resident designer and head of the painting department at Decocitel in Brussels, Belgium. She has also been a designer and instructor at the University of Massachusetts / Boston, the Boston Conservatory, and the Boston and Brookline Public Schools (through a grant from the Massachusetts Council for the Arts), and currently teaches art in a Cambridge school. 

Please call her at 617.522.2046.

The above image is one of Patricia's commissioned paintings, done entirely by hand -- the original is 6 feet by 8 feet.  The below is a dragon t-shirt she made for me -- an iron-on transfer of a scan of her original 8”x10” painting, additional iron-on transfers of scans of her original painted framing corners, hand-applied 3D gold glitter t-shirt paint, and hand-sewn beads.



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire (Boston) -- 75th anniversary (1942 - 2017)


Tonight is the 75th anniversary of the fire in Boston’s Cocoanut Grove nightclub, and the 75th yarzeit of my paternal grandparents Adelaide "Addie" (Levin) Wasserman and Theodore Wasserman (pictured, probably on their honeymoon in Bermuda), my great-aunt Sadie (Levin) Levin*, and all but one of their party (Sadie’s husband, my great-uncle Benjamin "Ben" Levin).  On this night in 1942 -- Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend -- corruption and other issues led to the deaths of almost 500 people (and injured more than 160), may their memories be a blessing.

(*Yes, she was a Levin who married a Levin!)

When my father's parents and aunt were killed, they were about a decade younger than even their youngest grandchild my brother is now (and my brother was named after this grandfather); their son my father was two, and his two brothers were in infancy and seven.  Sadie and Ben had two daughters (one passed away this year).  The Wassermans had recently moved from Portland Maine to Brookline MA (a suburb of Boston where my father and later my brother and I spent part of our childhoods). 

Another of Adelaide's sisters, Lillian "Libby" (Levin) Finn, and her husband Irving Finn, were part of the family party that night, but as usual that couple opted to go to a performance at Boston's Symphony Hall instead.  They began to find out about the fire after they left the Hall and saw all of the emergency vehicles.  Libby wrote a letter about the night not long afterwards, which I hope to read someday.  They adopted their three orphaned nephews, my father and his two brothers.

Two months after the fire, on January 31st of 1943, Adelaide and Sadie’s eldest brother, Major Clarence “Clarry” Levin, was killed by a German landmine in North Africa (during his service in World War II). Their brothers Harold and Dr. Sydney Levin survived for many years.  Apparently there are at most eight Grove survivors left now.   


And I do believe that this is a social in/justice story -- though I also believe that all stories are – especially as the fire was so much the result of corruption within and between the club management and the City, and the deaths and injuries especially due to the club’s furnishings releasing extremely toxic gas when overheated.  And this is the primary reason why there has been so much silence around the Grove.  And as far too often, even with the positive changes that resulted, the corruption and silence has led to the forgetting and thus repetition of history -- for instance, the Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island's West Warwick in 2003.


However, the 70th anniversary of the Grove fire in 2012 inspired more acknowledgement and even some action, including the formation of the Cocoanut Grove Coalition -- though I'm not sure how active they've had the time and energy to be.

And in 2013, the 71st anniversary, there was an official ceremony at the site followed by a reception at a nearby hotel, and I attended both with my father; this included survivors and their families as well as the unveiling of a street sign saying “Cocoanut Grove Lane”, which joined a plaque in the sidewalk that had taken many years to install and had long been the only marker.

In January 2014, I moved to Gaithersburg Maryland (Montgomery County, bordering DC) after a lifetime in the Boston area, to begin living with my partner of what was then four and half years long-distance, Julia (she has always lived in MD or DC, and needed to remain here to care for her mother).  I have missed my usual annual visit(s) to the Grove site, where I would leave flowers and/or other small gifts.  My father visited last anniversary, but in March he moved to Ohio to join my brother -- who is a firefighter and EMT.  My father and I have been able to visit Boston a few times since we left, but we haven't been back to the site yet.

I have been angered and saddened to learn that since I moved, luxury condos have been built on the Grove site -- and how much more so that their management, some tenants and others have added insult to injury by complaining about having to remember the Grove fire, and have managed to have the commemorative plaque removed and moved down the street.  But, I am glad to hear that this mishigas prompted the mayor to announce that he supports the installation of a full-on memorial.  Too, an old friend of our family called the mayor's office today to complain about the plaque's move, and the person who took the call said that they have been receiving a lot of calls about it. 

A great thing that happened this year was that I connected online with Jessica Pollard Lantos, Research and Outreach Coordinator at Documenting Maine Jewry, when she found this blog post through Googling about the Grove (I'm not sure if her comment or the other will still appear here, after this update). Her grandparents and parents were friends and neighbors of my grandparents, in Massachusetts and Maine -- indeed, her grandfather was called from Portland to Boston to identify my grandfather's body. Jessica has her father's World War II journal and photographs, and has posted them on Facebook, and two entries mention my family (one when he hears about the fire, and the other when he hears about the death of fellow soldier Great Uncle Clarry). She has just written an article about the fire for DMJ's newsletter, and I look forward to reading and sharing it. While the Grove was never a Jewish place or filled with Jewish people, the loss of Jewish and other lives there was a particular loss for the Jewish communities in Auburn and Portland Maine.


There is a great deal of other material being published for this year's anniversary, because it is the 75th, and I will go through it as I have time and energy.  I see that there was another official  memorial event in Boston this past Saturday the 25th, and that it included the premiere of a new 30-minute documentary about the Grove fire -- Zachary Graves-Miller's Six Locked Doors : The Legacy Of Cocoanut Grove, which has been at a few events since then, including a Boston Public Library one tonight.  (I would have been at both events if I were in town.)  And not too surprisingly, Six is not the only movie on this subject being made.  


There is also a newish play about the Grove fire -- James Hansen Prince's "Inferno : Fire At The Cocoanut Grove 1942" (Prince, who wrote and directed, had a relative at the Grove that night); I have heard some good things, and hope to at least read it soon.  And I intend to read the old and new books about the fire -- especially now that eBook technology is making them much more accessible (though it turns out that a photo labeled as having Sadie in the background and Adelaide and Ted in the fore is incorrect about at least the latter).  Over the years, I have also been to presentations about the Grove at the Brighton and Boston Public Libraries.  More detail about these things coming soon.    


I will continue to work on this blog post, as well as a fuller piece about this part of our family’s story -- though I think a truly full version may need to wait until after more people pass away.  And I don't know how much information I will ever have. Sad to say, the trauma of the fire intensified the existing issues in our family, and I'm sure in many others.  Which is a large part of why I feel so strongly about something that happened many years before I was born, and about people who I never met.  It is also fascinating and challenging to me -- as a trans person and advocate -- that the Grove anniversary is a week after the international Transgender Day Of Remembrance (TDOR, November 20th); too, all of November is Trans Month.  And again, of course, there is Thanksgiving -- especially interesting as that is also that National Day Of Mourning for many Native / Indigenous people.   

ברוך אתה ה' א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, דין האמת.
Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha'olam, dayan ha-emet.
Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the universe, the Judge of Truth, the Just Judge.

(Baruch Dayan HaEmet, Blessed is the True Judge.)

Friday, November 24, 2017

Mycroft Masada ~ MasadArts ~ my artwork

These are some of the options for my sushi stationery sets -- little kits for creating offline mail that look like boxes of takeaway sushi.

Happy Black Friday / Furday and Erev Small Business Saturday, and welcome to the MasadArts art department.   

I’ve updated my artwork portfolio, and made it into 3 albums: 
  • Stationery (greeting cards in several formats, gift tags / ornaments, keepsake books, sushi stationery sets…) 
  • Jewelry (earrings, pendants, friendship pins…) 
  • Miscellaneous (wrapped pomegranates and candles, juice bottle cap tea-light holders, eyeglass cases…)
My work is mostly handmade, and made mostly of vintage / recycled / found / thrifted / gifted etc. materials; and I do take commissions, personalize, customize and so on. 

I invite you to enjoy, Like, comment, share, shop, etc.

Also, my Aunt Pat back in Boston is also an artist, and offers lessons, paintings, photography, greeting cards and more

Monday, October 16, 2017

Massachusetts' height/weight anti-discrimination bill -- House Bill 952!

#Massachusetts’ height/weight #antidiscriminationbill has a hearing TODAY!  Before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, along with many other bills, between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. in A-2; #HouseBill952, An Act Making #Discrimination on the Basis of Height and Weight Unlawful.

As always, I thank Representative Byron Rushing for presenting #HB952, and Representative Denise Provost for being among the sponsors, and for their work on both halves of #TransLawMA (MA's transgender civil rights law, which has been put on next year's ballot by opponents!).  And Marilyn Wann and Sondra Solovay for first making me aware of this bill some years ago. My testimony is below the hashtags.


#weightdiscrimination #heightdiscrimination #employmentdiscrimination #antidiscrimination #fatjustice #fatactivism #fatpolitics #MApoli #MALeg #ByronRushing #DeniseProvost


October 16, 2017


Senator William N. Brownsberger Representative Claire D. Cronin
Senate Chair, Joint Committee on the Judiciary House Chair, Joint Committee on the Judiciary
Sonia Chang-Diaz, Vice Chair James M. Cantwell, Vice Chair


Massachusetts State House
24 Beacon Street -- Rooms 136 and 504
Boston, MA  02133


Via email: Caroline Sherrard
Legislative Director,
Office of Representative Byron Rushing, Assistant Majority Leader
Massachusetts State House
24 Beacon Street -- Room 234
Boston, MA  02133


Dear Senators Brownsberger and Chang-Diaz and Representatives Cronin and Cantwell --

My name is Mycroft Masada Holmes, and I lived in greater Boston for more than 37 years, from my birth in 1976 until January of 2014, when I moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland to begin living with my partner.  I love and miss Boston and the rest of Massachusetts, and have always been proud to call them my home.

I write to you today primarily as a faith leader – my current national roles include membership in TransFaith’s National Council and TransEpiscopal’s Steering Committee; I also co-chair the MoCo Pride Center here in Montgomery County.  Before my move, I was the Chair of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition’s Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality (ICTE), and a board member at Congregation Am Tikva.  I was one of the leaders of the interfaith campaign for both of Massachusetts’ transgender civil rights laws, the second of which went into effect a year ago this month (and unfortunately has been put on next year’s ballot by opponents).

Today, I testify in support of House Bill 952 -- 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.  This bill and the second trans rights bill actually crossed paths in the hearing two years ago this month.

In my personal and professional life, I have experienced and witnessed a great deal of discrimination – especially in employment -- and much of it has been based on physical appearance and information, including height and especially weight.  This discrimination is wrong, profoundly damaging, pervasive, and rapidly increasing -- in Massachusetts and the rest of our country -- especially since the election in November; those who would discriminate in these ways are among those who have been empowered by the new Presidential administration.  We must do what we can to change this as soon as we can, and HB 952 can help.  This bill is also an critical educational tool – its implementation process will help dispel the widespread and increasing ignorance, misinformation and fear about 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 the Adam, the first human being, all people are made b’tzelem Elohim – in the image of God -- people of all weights, heights, sizes and shapes.  Our infinite diversity of bodies and their changes over our lifetimes are gifts and blessings, meant to be lived and shared with joy 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 more than eight 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 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 very privileged to live in Maryland, not to mention Montgomery County, for many reasons.  Our county, state and neighboring DC have trans-inclusive civil rights laws, and DC’s Human Rights Laws consider height and weight included in “physical appearance”.  We are privileged in other ways as well – as much as we and those like us struggle, daily life is far more challenging for those directly facing 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.  I pray that this can be another way for my home state to provide social justice leadership to the rest of the country.    

My partner and I want to visit Massachusetts together, hopefully have our wedding there, perhaps make our next home there.  And we have much to offer my great state.  I want her 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 our communities than she already 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 postal and e-mail addresses]

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Pete Fosselman's Out For Pete campaign event

Tonight I went to Out For Pete -- an LGBTQ-focused event for Pete Fosselman’s campaign for Montgomery County Maryland’s Council (District 1) at Denizens Brewing Co. (where the #MoCoPrideCenter had our second Social last month, which is the first time I'd been there).

I know Pete because he’s been a fellow Visionary (founding leader) at the Center -- though of course we don’t endorse candidates -- and he would indeed be the first openly LGBTQ member of the Montgomery County MD Council; he is a cis (non-trans) gay man.

And a highlight of the event was a talk by candidate Danica Roem, who would be the first openly trans legislator in Virginia (and her election for Delegate is November 7th).  

#PeteFosselman #DanicaRoem #DenizensBrewingCo #OutForPete #MCMDCouncil

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition -- my first meeting

Tonight I went to my first Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition (MCCRC) meeting -- their August meeting; they meet monthly, trying to move around the County each time, and they co-sponsor events. I wanted to see #MCCRC for myself, and represent the MoCo Pride Center, where I’m a Visionary (founding leader). It was also a good way to see the Islamic Center of Maryland for the first time.  MCCRC is a citizen body, not a County one -- “We are individuals and organizations organizing to protect our civil liberties and civil rights everywhere by protecting them where we live — in Montgomery County, Maryland.”
Senator William C. Smith, Jr. presented and took questions, and then we broke into committees -- I attended #PoliceAccountability, where we focused on “student resource officers” (SROs, police officers in / on call for schools). Then we regrouped for committee reports -- the others were #AntiIslamophobia, #Sanctuary / #Immigration, #Surveillance and #BystanderIntervention training.  We were joined by some County and state candidates, and invited to #IslamicCenterofMaryland’s prayer service which began during the meeting.

MCCRC is also working on forming an LGBTQ committee, and is part of the upcoming event Resisting Surveillance of MoCo Youth, which is also at and with the ICM. Special thanks to MCCRC member Lee Blinder for helping me get connected.

More about the meeting is here in MCCRC's e-mail, and on Facebook as an event and as a post.

#MoCoCivilRights #MontgomeryCounty #MoCoMD #MoCoMaryland #MoCo #civilrights #resist #MoCoPrideCenter #IslamicCenterMaryland #IslamicCenterMD

Saturday, August 5, 2017

4th (Mostly) Annual Maryland Trans*Unity Potluck

Today was the 4th (Mostly) Annual Maryland Trans*Unity Potluck (we took a break in 2015, and have sometimes called it a picnic, which it also is), this time at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church (CLUUC) in Bethesda (which is where Trans*Unity lives).  

It was for all transgender, genderqueer, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people and their allies – including families of all kinds and children of all ages. We the organizers supplied some food, non-alcoholic drinks (this event is alcohol-free), paper products and games, and invited guests to bring something to share they could, but to know they were welcome if they couldn't – their presence was our present. And members of groups that serve the trans community were welcome to wear their flair and/or bring their materials.


It was co-sponsored by the Church and the new MoCo Pride Center (founded last year shortly before that Potluck and announced at it). And for the first time we had Heart To Hand with us, with their mobile testing unit and staff -- HTH "supports those infected and affected by sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, in Prince George’s County".

The Facebook event is here, and the flyers (the pictured one, and a quarter-page version) are here, though they will probably be taken down when the MoCo Trans Day Of Remembrance (TDOR) ones are put up. And here is our fabulous cake, as last year custom-colored like the trans and other community flags by Costco.