Friday, March 13, 2009
“Fenway's annual T (Trans) Social is an action-packed party for trans folks and their allies. Whether you're FTM, MTF, Gender Queer, Intersex, a Cross-Dresser, a SOFFA, someone who crosses mainstream gender boundaries, or just a friend -- please join us for an evening of camaraderie, fun and support. Meet new friends and stand with a vibrant, diverse culture. There will be food, entertainment, prizes and good people. This event is 18+ and is free and open to the public. This event is not a fundraiser, it is a time for community support and networking. RSVPs appreciated but not required. For more information please call Alex Solange of Fenway’s Transhealth Navigation Program at 617.927.6449 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
I was particularly impressed by how few people I knew, even by sight – a rare pleasant surprise.
I staffed the Keshet and ICTE information table, conveniently (for me and all) located between the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) and AIDS Project Worcester tables.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Congregation Am Tikva, or “CAT”, is the GLBT synagogue of Boston and where I’m a member.
Tonight we celebrated Purim (rather like the Jewish Halloween, at least here in the States) by having a Costume Dinner at Molana, the Persian restaurant in Watertown. I’d never been to Molana (and I don't think I'd been to another Persian restaurant, or had much Persian cuisine) and want to return – we had an excellent experience.
Alas, many of the guests weren't able to attend due to last minute conflicts. But that turned out to mean we had a perfect intimate group, and were able to all be part of one conversation. And the costumes were wonderful – a Queen Vashti, two Queen Esthers (all three very different), an explorer (complete with pith helmet), and our Indian Muslim member in native dress of his own design and making. I wore my anime (Japanese animation) cat ears.
I took some photos of us with my cell phone, and will figure out how to put those online asap...
Monday, March 2, 2009
My colleague and friend Meike Watzlawik is a doctor of psychology who specializes in GLBT issues. We met in the late 1990s, when I was a youth peer leader at Tobacco Education for GLBT Youth (TEGLY) and she was an intern for that and the affiliated youth health education programs ELITE (tobacco ed for East Boston students and other youth) and Healthy Strong & Proud (sex ed for GLBT youth). A native of Germany, she lives there and travels; I see her maybe once a year when she visits the States.
Last Summer, she came to live in Worcester and work and study at Clark University for a year contract. It’s been good to have her in the same state! She and the other ‘internationals’ live in the same apartment building (a former corset factory – I love corsets!) and have been getting together as a varying group one night a week to eat, share their work and lives, and socialize. They call themselves the Woop Woop Society or Woop Woopers, after the Australian wine they drank at their first gathering. During most of their weekly gatherings they watch a movie recommended by one of their members, then discuss it.
At Meike’s suggestion, the Woop Woopers invited me to be their guest speaker to help them discuss transgender issues. Tonight was the night – despite the snowstorm, I traveled to and from Worcester and the experience was well worth the trip. I gave a brief talk, showed the film “Toilet Training” (the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and Tara Mateik’s documentary about transgendered people and others and their restroom and other issues), and led a question and answer and discussion session. Six of the Woop Woopers attended, from Brazil, Germany, Portugal, and Spain. We were also joined by their professor, from Estonia. Everyone asked excellent questions and contributed to the discussion – I especially appreciated their sharing their experiences of GLBT people and issues in their home countries.
Thank you for having me, Meike and fellow WWs! And thank you Keshet for loaning me your DVD.
Meike has another contract, and we hope to work together again – perhaps by co-teaching one of the sessions of a class she hopes to teach.