Mycroft Masada is a faith leader who moved to the Washington DC area from hir lifelong home of Boston MA in January 2014; a founding member of TransFaith’s National Council, steering committee member of TransEpiscopal, and former board member of Congregation Am Tikva. Mycroft is called to work for social justice at the intersections of faith, LGBTQI+ and fat communities, and is a writer and artist. Zie is partnered with Julia McCrossin, the mas(s)culine fatshion blogger, and they co-parent a dogter.

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

Friday, December 23, 2011

Lowell Sun's anti-trans editorial -- faith community response


The Lowell (MA) Sun published an anti-trans editorial this week -- focusing on Chaz Bono and the Transgender Equal Rights Bill -- authored by Dan Phelps and titled "Christmas Carols -- With A Twist":
http://www.lowellsun.com/portal/ci_19577635?IADID=Search-www.lowellsun.com-www.lowellsun.com&fb_source=message&_loopback=1#ixzz1h1UIAkMG

Here is the faith community's response, emailed to the Sun today.  Special thanks to the Transgender Equal Rights Coalition media team for all their help!


It was disappointing to read Dan Phelps’ recent column mocking our transgender parents, siblings, children, neighbors, and friends. It was even more heartwrenching to read it during this time of year, which is typically marked with a spirit of goodwill toward all.

Transgender people bear the burden of misunderstanding and marginalization. That is why so many people of faith -- including the 2008 Diocesan Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, the Right Reverend M. Thomas Shaw and more than 150 other faith leaders around the state -- supported passage of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill, which extends basic civil rights protections in housing, credit, schools, and employment to some of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents.

It is up to all of us -- particularly during this holiday season -- to recognize the dignity and worth of all people, including transgender people. We should do this within our individual faith traditions as well as within the broader community. We are a stronger, more compassionate society when everyone is valued for who they are, and treated with dignity and respect.

Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge
Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality, Episcopal Chaplain at Boston University

Marla Marcum and Rev. Leigh Dry
Co-Chairs, Reconciling Ministries Sub-Committee of the Committee on Church and Society of the United Methodist Church in New England

Idit Klein
Executive Director, Keshet

Mycroft Masada Holmes
Chair, Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Trans & a patient at Fenway Health within the last 3 years?


I am, and so I got this email last Wednesday:

"Fenway Health is currently conducting a research study to learn about the best ways to ask patients about transgenderism and transgender identity on the Fenway Health registration form (sometimes called a patient intake form).  If you are transgender, 18 years or older, and have been a patient at Fenway Health in any department at any location (1340 Boylston Street, South End Associates, or Sidney Borum, Jr. Health Center) in the past three years, we invite you to take a brief survey. 

The survey will ask for your reactions to current and potential alternative transgenderism/transgender identity questions on the registration form.  It will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.  Your answers will be anonymous and will not be included or linked to your medical record.  Your doctor and care providers will not be given a copy of your answers.

You make take the survey online or on paper.  To take it online, follow this link to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/transregform.  For a paper copy, call 617-927-6348 and we will mail it to you for you to fill out and return by postage-paid mail to us.

The information that you provide will be important and the results of the study will guide possible changes at Fenway Health.  Please consider participating and/or sending this information along to a friend who might be interested.  For questions or more information, please call Aimee Van Wagenen at 617-927-6348."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Marilyn Wann's wannderful work

(‎Photos from the VoluptuArt site -- copyright © 2011 Ani Yaffa, LLC; all rights reserved.)

Need awesome fat-positive holiday gifts for yourself and others?

Marilyn Wann* writes: "I'm excited to announce that the 2012 FAT!SO? Dayplanner is now available exclusively from Voluptuart, Nomi Dekel's fat-positive shop! It's a year full of body-love holidays, quotes, art, survival info, and more...like Ragen Chastain dancing and doing a belly bump with me (in flipbook format). Each one comes with a fat animal paperclip and surprise gifts. ($14 plus shipping.) Please check it out and tell your friends..."

Price: $14.00

Have a fabulous year! Double pages for each month and week. Lots of blank pages (lined and grid) and sturdy cover. Original art on a fat animal theme each month by Barry Deutsch, Jill Pinkwater, Les Toil, and more. Plus: a built-in flipbook of national dance champion Ragen Chastain, body-positive tips and resources, quotes from fat pride and Health At Every Size® leaders, games, and DIY projects. Your Dayplanner comes with a fat animal paperclip and surprise gifts. (Printed on 100% post-consumer paper by worker-owned collective.)

Artist: Marilyn Wann and contributors Dimensions: 4.25" x 6"

And don't forget to scroll down for more of Marilyn's merch, like Fat!So? t-shirts and Yay! Scales.


(*More about Marilyn: "I'm a fat rights activist. I want to end weight-based prejudice and discrimination, for the good of people of all sizes and for the good of society. I aim to celebrate all kinds of diversity, including weight diversity. Since the medical establishment is a major promoter of prejudice and discrimination against fat people, I find the Health At Every Size approach necessary for health, happiness, and human rights.

In the mid-90s, I created a print 'zine called FAT!SO? and then wrote the FAT!SO? book. I'm proud to have been part of successful lobbying that resulted in San Francisco adding height and weight to its anti-discrimination laws in 2000. I have performed with fat activist groups like the Bod Squad cheerleaders, Big Moves dance, and the Padded Lilies synchro swimmers.

I have given hundreds of weight diversity talks in all kinds of settings, in the US and internationally. I also comment on weight-related topics in the media."


Also, have you seen that Marilyn has been doing a blog for the SF Weekly's website (SF as in San Francisco)? She's done 9 pieces so far.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cartoonist Barry Deutsch & his toons re: fat, LGBT people, & much more

I wanted to point out the great work of cartoonist Barry Deutsch, especially his awesome political cartoons -- which include fat- and LGBT-positive (http://www.leftycartoons.com/category/lgbt-cartoons/) ones.

I first noticed him because of his fat-positive cartoon last February -- "Top Ten Reasons Discrimination Against Fat People Is Perfectly Okay":

fat_discrimination

I was reminded to blog about him by his toon last month -- "When I Get Thin...":


Here are his sites:

Monday, December 5, 2011

LGBTQ Kabbalat Shabbat Service & Potluck - Cambridge MA - THIS FRIDAY

THIS FRIDAY, December 9th, my shul Congregation Am Tikva is co-hosting a Celebrate LGBTQ Kabbalat Shabbat Service & Potluck with our friends Congregation Eitz Chayim of Cambridge, at their home in Central Square. I've had a good experience of Eitz Chayim -- I've done a transgender workshop there through Keshet, they've hosted Keshet's "Trew Tales" event (transgender Jewish, or 'Trewish', open mic), and they've supported the Boston Transgender Day of Remembrance, especially by providing food for its reception.


FRI
DEC
09
Congregation Eitz Chayim
7:00PM - 10:00PM

Celebrate LGBTQ Kabbalat Shabbat and Potluck

Cost: FREE - Registration not required.
December 09, 2011—07:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Congregation Eitz Chayim, 136 Magazine Street,
Cambridge, MA 02139

Congregation Eitz Chayim celebrates the LGBTQ community December 9, 2011. Join us for a joyful lay-lead participatory Kabbalat Shabbat service at 7pm, which will include readings from GLBTQ liturgy and writers. After the oneg at 8pm we will have a fabulous potluck tisch.* Bring food (veggie/dairy), a bottle of wine, a story, a song, a dvar, or a poem to share, or helping hands to arrange the tables. As we head into winter, help us create a really warm spot in Cambridge!

Our special guests for the evening include members of GLBT shul Congregation Am Tikva in Brookline http://www.amtikva.org/. Our tisch will be led by guest facilitator Yaakov Reefhttp://yreef.com/ from TBS.

We will do a short text study during the service, pondering what it was like for Dina to go out into the land, into an unfamiliar and hostile territory. There will be ample time at the tisch to dig deeper into Dina’s story or any part of Parashat Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4 - 36:43), and to hear the stories you bring to the table.

RSVPs are greatly appreciated, in order for us to plan the food, but are not required. If you can bring food, savory rather than dessert would be best. Contact Penina Weinberg at president@eitz.org to RSVP or for more information.

Eitz Chayim is an egalitarian, inclusive, non-denominational synagogue whose members are of all ages and family configurations, and who come from a wide range of religious, ethnic, class, family, and cultural backgrounds. We welcome YOU to celebrate Shabbat with us.

A parking consideration is in effect on Friday nights. Park within a couple blocks of Eitz Chayim and put a note on your dashboard that you are attending services.

"The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks." --Tennessee Williams, Camino Real

*A tisch is literally a table – but in the Hasidic world it’s much more than that! Come prepared to eat, sing, bang on the table, tell stories, teach, and learn a little, maybe drink!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My partner Julia McCrossin now has a blog too!

...and in related news -- my flabulous partner (Julia McCrossin, Fat Studies scholar) has finally given in to her fans and begun her own blog! Yay!

She's named it "Ponderous Boundaries", and herself Chubmudgeon -- "Scholar in (self-imposed) exile. Queer Sphere. Battle-ax and Bulldozer in equal measure. Panda-loving dragons are my weakness." The profile photo is her handsome self during a visit to Ireland some years ago (drinking a Coke).

I am so glad that she is finally blogging. And doing so in her awesome and unique style. Every time I start to wonder if she can become any more amazing and wonderful a person or partner...she does!

Popular & American Culture Associations conference (2012) - Fat Studies area - update!

My partner Julia McCrossin co-chairs the Fat Studies area of the Popular & American Culture Associations with Lesleigh Owen. Here's their CFP (call for papers) for next year's national conference (April 2012, Boston -- Julia should be living here with me by then, and I plan to attend the con for the first time; I also want to present, but I probably won't have time to create a proposal).

Please note that the submission deadline has been extended a week -- from Thursday December 15th to Thursday December 22nd!

PCA/ACA Fat Studies 2012 Call for Papers

Fat Studies is becoming an interdisciplinary, cross-disciplinary field of study that confronts and critiques cultural constraints against notions of “fatness” and “the fat body”; explores fat bodies as they live in, are shaped by, and remake the world; and creates paradigms for the development of fat acceptance or celebration within mass culture. Fat Studies uses body size as the starting part for a wide-ranging theorization and explication of how societies and cultures, past and present, have conceptualized all bodies and the political/cultural meanings ascribed to every body. Fat Studies reminds us that all bodies are inscribed with the fears and hopes of the particular culture they reside in, and these emotions often are mislabeled as objective “facts” of health and biology. More importantly, perhaps, Fat Studies insists on the recognition that fat identity can be as fundamental and world-shaping as other identity constructs analyzed within the academy and represented in media.

Proposals in the area of Fat Studies are being accepted for the 2012 PCA /ACA (Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association) National Conference in Boston, MA (April 11-14, 2011, meeting after, not before, Easter Sunday), at the Marriott Boston Copley Place. We welcome papers and performances from academics, researchers, intellectuals, activists, artists, and others, in any field of study, and at any stage in their career. We also welcome panels and roundtables on a variety of topics under the heading “Fat Studies.”

Topics may include but are not limited to:

- representations of fat people in literature, film, music, nonfiction, and the visual arts
- cross-cultural or global constructions of fatness and fat bodies
- cultural, historical, inter/intrapersonal, or philosophical meanings of fat and fat bodies
- the geography and lived experience of fatness and fat bodies
- portrayals of fat individuals and groups in news, media, magazines
- fatness as a social or political identity
- fat acceptance, activism, and/or pride movements and tactics
- approaches to fat and body image in philosophy, psychology, religion, sociology
- fat children in literature, media, and/or pedagogy
- fat as it intersects with race, ethnicity, class, religion, ability, gender, and/or sexuality
- history and/or critique of diet books and scams
- functions of fatphobia or fat oppression in economic and political systems

By THURSDAY DECEMBER 22nd (recently extended from Thursday December 15th) 2011, please send an abstract of 100 - 250 words or a completed
paper to Fat Studies Area Co-Chairs Julia McCrossin (jmccross@gwmail.gwu.edu)
and Lesleigh Owen (goddess_les@yahoo.com).

Please include your complete contact information and a CV and/or 50 word bio, along with anticipated A/V needs. All submissions are welcome, but please use the information above to ensure your paper fits within the academic and political scopes of Fat Studies. Please also be mindful that Fat Studies is a political project and not merely an umbrella term for all discussions of larger bodies. Also, we encourage submitters to rethink using words like “obesity” and “overweight” in their presentations unless they are used ironically, within quotes, or accompanied by a political analysis.

Presenters must become members of the Popular Culture Association. Find more information on the conference and organization at

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

11th annual Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference (May/June 2012)

The 11th annual Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference is next May 31st – June 2nd; there will probably be additional programming on the 30th and 3rd. I’m a member of the PTHC Spirituality Advisory Group, and I’m co-chairing the Jewish Working Group (J-WoG? J-WorG?) with Shelley Kapnek Rosenberg (in Philly); we organize the Jewish programming for the con. Here’s the Spirituality Call for Proposals (and the other Calls), also available at http://www.trans-health.org/2012specificcallforproposals#spirituality and as a Word document.

*******

11th Annual Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference
May 31st-June 2nd 2012 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center
(Philadelphia, PA)
a program of the Mazzoni Center

Please forward/spread the word to friends and colleagues!

*Call For Workshop Proposals in the area of Spirituality*

The *11th Annual Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference* (PTHC) will be held*
**May 31st-June 2nd 2012* at the *Pennsylvania** Convention Center
(Philadelphia, PA)*.

The Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference hosts over 175 workshops each year. In this fourth year of extended *spirituality programming* at the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference, we continue to embrace the power of spiritual practice, reflection, and community as tools that can support personal health and wholeness.

Our programming includes a wide range of spiritual perspectives, reflecting a diverse range of spiritual and religious paths. Through multiple programming approaches, we will nurture personal strength, explore transgender experiences of the sacred, build community, and create
opportunities to (re)claim religious traditions in a transgender-friendly environment. We will also work to support spiritual and religious leaders in making the world a more supportive place for transgender people, our family, and friends.

*Leadership*
If you have never presented at PTHC in the spirituality track, then we would love to hear from you! PTHC emphasizes grassroots empowerment and we put together a variety of non-sectarian and multi-faith offerings in addition to religiously specific workshops. We are particularly eager to hear from transgender people who are willing and able to talk about their experiences in faith traditions or spiritual practices outside of Christianity, including spiritual practices that may not even be considered "religious." We would love to hear from you, if you have a perspective to
share. Please contact chris@trans-health.org or 267-507-5507 to explore possible opportunities for leadership and representation -- OR if you can help to put us in touch with other relevant people.

Meanwhile, please help us expand the circle by sharing this call for proposals with others you know who may want to participate or have gifts to share.

*Spiritual Opportunities*
We need your ideas for creative affirmations, spiritual practices, and religious observances that facilitate exploration and/or rediscovery of spiritual vitality beyond the workshop schedule. Traditional examples of spiritual opportunities at PTHC have included meditation practice (e.g.
guided or Buddhist), yoga practice, Pagan ritual opportunities, Jewish prayer service, and Christian worship and/or prayer. In past years, we have also offered non-sectarian opportunities like 12 step meetings, naming ceremonies, a celebration/gratitude table, and an artful meditation room.

With your help, we can expand our offerings to even better represent the breadth of religious experience -- as well as opening further to the amazing spiritual strength of our communities. Join in the existing conversations about Eastern traditions, Indigenous traditions, Judaism,
Black Church contexts, Islam, and Catholicism -- or help us to better represent additional traditions like atheism, ancestor worship, African traditions, Hinduism, New Thought, and more! We embrace and affirm the incredible diversity of spiritual paths and practices among transgender folks, our families, friends, and allies. We need creative conversation partners as we look at new ways to facilitate the sharing of wisdom and strength in our communities in ways that transcend religious institutions. Please contact chris@trans-health.org or 267-507-5507 to share your ideas.

*Workshops*
In the area of spirituality programming, we are seeking workshop proposals and faculty that nurture spiritual strength and expression in and around transgender communities, including:

§ Spirituality and our bodies (e.g. ritual and spiritual practice, sacred significance of body modification, how spirituality supports personal health, etc)

§ Uniquely transgender experiences of the sacred (e.g. gender-giftedness, insights from beyond the binary, etc)

§ Safe spirituality (e.g. finding your spiritual path, new transgender-friendly spiritual practices, finding/building alternative spiritual communities, etc)

§ Transgender-friendly perspectives on religious traditions (e.g. exploring Christian Scripture or Jewish texts, gender-giftedness in pagan traditions, gender diversity in Buddhism, etc)

§ Strategies for making change (e.g. how spiritual practice supports activism, how to connect with adversarial religious types, the role of moral authority in trans-activism, equipping transgender leaders to impact local religious communities, etc)

§ Innovative efforts to address transgender spiritual and religious issues (e.g. Black Church town hall meeting, seminarian caucus, transgender clergy networking, etc)

§ Your other creative ideas, nurturing spiritual strength and expression in transgender communities

We are also seeking proposals that will equip religious and spiritual leaders to better serve transgender people, our family, and friends. Examples of workshop topics include:

§ Pastoral counseling with the transgender community

§ Experiences of family and friends of transgender people in religious communities

§ How to make your religious community more trans-inclusive

§ How religious communities can make a difference for transgender people, our family, and friends

§ Your other creative ideas, nurturing cultural competency and trans-advocacy among religious leaders

*Special Events*
We are also looking for organizations that are interested in partnering with us to provide additional opportunities and impact. If your organization would like to explore opportunities for partnership or invite PTHC participants to attend a special event hosted by your religious/spiritual community during or around the conference, please contact chris@trans-health.org.

Also, please check back for more details on a pre-events being planned for Wednesday, May 30, 2012. Opportunities are also in development for Sunday, June 3, 2012.

*How To Submit Your Proposal*
At www.trans-health.org/propose-a-workshop, you can propose your own workshops as well as review a list of topics and past workshop descriptions. We are eager to hear your creative ideas!

*The workshop proposal deadline is January 15, 2012.* However, earlier submission is strongly encouraged!

There is no registration fee to participate in the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference, but if travel expenses would prevent you from offering your workshop idea, please be in touch with the planning committee about your needs. A limited amount of funds may be available to provide travel and lodging assistance for presenters with pressing need. Go ahead and submit your workshop proposal in the online system and also contact jacsen@trans-health.org with information on what kind of support you would need to be able to attend.

*General Call for Proposals*
In addition to this specific call for proposals, we are seeking proposals in many other areas of programming. Please see the website www.trans-health.org/2012generalcallforproposals for more details about this.

*For More Information*
Please watch http://www.trans-health.org for more conference developments as plans are finalized, including details about sponsorship, advertising, and vending opportunities, as well as housing options, pre-registration, and more program details. Jacsen is the logistical coordinator on staff at the Mazzoni Center and can be reached at jacsen@trans-health.org or on the phone at 215-563-0652. Jacsen is available to answer questions as well as help people submit workshops who do not have regular access to or the ability to use computers. For questions specific to *spirituality programming* *or to volunteer with spirituality programming* please contact
Chris Paige at chris (at) transfaithonline (dot) org (chris@transfaithonline.org).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Governor signs MA Transgender Equal Rights Bill

Governor Deval Patrick Signs Transgender Equal Rights Bill Today, Public Signing To Be Held in Near Future

November 23rd, 2011

Today, Governor Deval Patrick is expected to sign the Transgender Equal Rights Bill privately, as he has just a 10-day window in which to sign bills into law. The bill was passed by the legislature last week. A public signing ceremony will be scheduled for a future date. The law will take effect on July 1, 2012.


“Governor Patrick has been a vocal supporter of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill since the bill was first filed in 2007” said Gunner Scott, executive director of the Mass. Transgender Political Coalition. “We applaud the Governor because he has been a staunch advocate in recognizing the transgender community and leader in getting this bill passed.”


Gov. Patrick was a vocal proponent of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill, advocating, he has submitted written testimony in support of the bill at all three public hearings. Last February, he signed an executive order prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in state employment, which reaches 43,500 executive branch employees and 13,500 state contractors.


In 2008, Gov. Patrick appointed the first transgender person, Diego Sanchez, to a Democratic National Committee standing committee. Diego Sanchez is a former co-chair of MTPC and has since gone on to work as the first out transgender legislative staffer for Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).


MTPC thanks the members of the Transgender Equal Rights Coalition for all of their efforts in passing “An Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights.” Some of the 104 members of the coalition include MassEquality, MassNOW; ACLU of Massachusetts; Jane Doe, Inc., The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence; National Association of Social Workers, MA; Mass AFL-CIO; Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders; Mass Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus; Jobs with Justice; the Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality; and Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition.


The House voted 95-58, and the House vote tally is here:http://aclum.org/sites/all/files/legislative/2011/trans/mass_trans_house_vote.pdf. The Senate passed the bill on a voice vote (see MTPC Senate co-sponsor list).


MTPC encourages all community members to thank the Representatives and Senators that voted for the bill and most especially, the lead sponsors, Representative Carl Sciortino & Byron Rushing, and Senators Ben Downing, and Sonia Chang-Diaz; the legislature’s leadership House Speaker Robert Deleo and Senate President Therese Murray; and especially, Governor Deval Patrick.


MTPC will alert community members to the date and location of the public signing ceremony so community members may attend and MTPC plans to hold an additional community event on or about the same day to share in this historic moment.


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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

THE MASSACHUSETTS TRANSGENDER EQUAL RIGHTS BILL PASSED TODAY!

Contact: Gunner Scott

617-778-0519

gscott@masstpc.org


For Immediate Release


Transgender Equal Rights Now a Reality in Massachusetts


BOSTON, MA [11/16/11] – The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is proud to announce the passing of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill in the House and the Senate extending civil rights and hate crimes protections to the state’s transgender residents.


Last night, just before 9:00 PM, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the Transgender Equal Rights bill without any amendments. This morning by 10:30 AM, the bill passed in the Massachusetts Senate. The bill must still be approved once more in Senate the Governor can sign it. As we wait for Governor Deval Patrick to officially sign this bill into law, we can celebrate the impact this will have on our transgender youth, adults, and families across the Commonwealth.

MTPC thanks our legislative lead sponsors Representative Carl Sciortino, Representative Byron Rushing, Senator Ben Downing, and Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz; all of the House and Senate co-sponsors, and the leadership of House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray for providing vital protections for approximately 33,000 transgender residents here in Massachusetts.

This bill will give transgender people equal protections when seeking employment, housing, credit, and education. The bill also expands the state's hate crimes protections to now include transgender people; a community that experiences alarmingly disproportionate levels of harassment and violence.

The final version of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill passed by the legislature unfortunately does not include protections within public accommodations. MTPC and our coalition partners fought hard to try to get public accommodations restored in the Senate version of the bill, and were unsuccessful in doing so. Although this bill does not include public accommodations, this is a historic and important victory in the fight for achieving transgender equality in Massachusetts.

“This is not the end of our fight, and MTPC is committed to getting public accommodations protections for our transgender youth, adults, and families. MTPC plans on introducing a bill for the 2013 legislative session for those public accommodations protections,” said Gunner Scott, Executive Director of MTPC. “For now, let’s be proud of the difference this bill will make in the daily lives of thousands of people across the state who need jobs, a safe place to live and access to education.”

MTPC expresses our deepest gratitude to our community members, who have spent countless hours educating their legislators and the general public about the issues transgender people face. "It is because of the courage of our community members to come forward and tell their personal stories about themselves, their family members, and their friends that we have accomplished this milestone," said Nancy Nangeroni, Steering Committee Chair of MTPC.

MTPC thanks the members of the Transgender Equal Rights Coalition including MassEquality, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), National Association of Social Workers (NASW), ACLU of Massachusetts, MassNOW, Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association, Jobs with Justice, and Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality for their tireless work on behalf of transgender equal rights.

###

Founded in 2001, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is a 501(c) 3 that works to end discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. MTPC educates the public, advocates with state, local, and federal government, engages in political activism, and encourages empowerment of community members through collective action.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My "I AM : Trans People Speak" video is online

"My name is Mycroft Masada Holmes --

and I'm an interfaith leader,

I'm a writer and an artist,

I'm a life partner,

and I am also a transgender person."

And -- if you've somehow missed my wonderful life partner squeeing about it -- my "I AM : Trans People Speak" video is online. YAY! You can watch it on the "I AM" site (4 minutes 8 seconds) -- http://transpeoplespeak.org/ -- or You Tube -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMNvzYPMp_Q.

I'm also in the trailer for the "I AM" project (1 minute 31 seconds): http://www.masstpc.org/?p=1167.

Here's the official announcement:

Monday, November 7, 2011

New national survey - majority of Americans support transgender equal rights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

November 3, 2011

Contact: Shannon Craig Straw

New Survey: Strong Majorities Favor Rights and Legal Protections for Transgender People

Americans have Solid Understanding of Transgender Identity

Washington, D.C. – Overwhelming majorities of Americans, across the political and religious spectrum, believe that transgender people should have the same general rights and legal protections as other people, a new survey finds.

The August and September Religion and Politics Tracking Surveys were conducted by Public Religion Research Institute and released amid the increased attention towards transgender issues following Chaz Bono’s appearance on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. The combined surveys constitute one of the first independent studies of attitudes on transgender issues and Americans’ knowledge of transgender identity.

"Three out of four Americans say Congress should pass employment nondiscrimination laws that protect transgender people," said Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute. "This strong support is also broad, persisting across party lines and the religious spectrum."

Approximately three-quarters (74%) of Americans also favor Congress’ recent expansion of hate crimes legislation to protect transgender people. Additionally, the survey found that roughly two-thirds of Americans both report being well informed about transgender people and issues, and generally understand what the term "transgender" means.

"To explore whether Americans know what the term ‘transgender’ means, we allowed them to define ‘transgender’ in their own words," said Daniel Cox, PRRI Research Director. "More than two-thirds of Americans were able to give an essentially accurate definition of the term ‘transgender’ without any assistance."

Among the Findings:

Overwhelming majorities of Americans agree that transgender people should have the same general rights and legal protections as others.
  • Approximately 9-in-10 (89%) Americans—including strong majorities of all religious and partisan groups—agree that transgender people deserve the same rights and protections as other Americans.
Approximately three-quarters of Americans both say Congress should pass employment nondiscrimination laws to protect transgender people, and favor Congress’s recent expansion of hate crimes legislation to protect transgender people.
  • Three-quarters (75%) of Americans agree that Congress should pass laws to protect transgender people from job discrimination. This support persists across the political and religious spectrum.
  • Approximately three-quarters (74%) of Americans also favor Congress’ recent expansion of federal hate crime laws to include crimes committed on the basis of the victim’s gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, compared to only 22% who oppose.
Approximately two-thirds of Americans both report being well informed about transgender people and issues, and generally understand what the term "transgender" means.
  • Two-thirds of Americans agree that they feel well informed about transgender persons and issues, while 3-in-10 disagree.
  • In order to determine whether Americans understood the term "transgender," PRRI conducted a follow-up survey in September 2011 that asked respondents to report what the term "transgender" meant to them in their own words. Among the 91% of Americans who report that they have heard of the term transgender, 76% give an essentially accurate definition. Thus, overall, more than two-thirds (69%) of Americans are able to identify what the term "transgender" means without any assistance.
To read the topline questionnaire and survey methodology, click here:http://publicreligion.org/research/american-attitudes-towards-transgender-people

Both the August and the September Religion and Politics Tracking Surveys were designed and conducted by Public Religion Research Institute. Results of the August survey were based on random digit dial telephone survey of 1,006 adults conducted between August 11, 2011 and August 14, 2011. Results of the September survey were based on random digit dial telephone survey of 1,013 adults (301 were reached by cell phone) conducted between September 14, 2011 and September 18, 2011. The margin of error for both surveys is +/- 3.0 percentage points.

Public Religion Research Institute is a non-profit, nonpartisan research and education organization dedicated to work at the intersection of religion, values and public life.
###

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Boston Transgender Day of Remembrance - press release

For Immediate Release
PLEASE CIRCULATE
Contact: Nancy Nangeroni, 978-969-2346, nancy@gendertalk.com

BOSTON TO HONOR TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE
Community Speak-Out, Vigil on Sunday, Nov 20 in Boston

Each November 20, the worldwide transgender community turns its attention to its family, friends and loved ones lost to violence and prejudice. A tradition inspired by the Allston, MA vigil for slain transsexual Rita Hester in 1998, this day has become the worldwide rallying point for a community long under siege.

In Boston, folks will gather in St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral downtown for a program of speakers, community speak out, and a candlelight vigil on the Common. This free program begins at 4 pm and concludes with a reception featuring hot drinks and food. For more details, please visit www.masstpc.org/dor.

Boston’s Transgender and LGB community extends a warm welcome to all who would like to attend this important event to memorialize our dead and underscore the serious suffering in our communities. No persons should be subjected to violence simply because of their gender identity or expression. No persons should be denied the basic rights that enable their safety and security. No one should consider taking their own life to escape harassment and bullying. Please join with us on this day to remember those who are gone, whatever the cause of their departure.

This event will benefit the Transgender Emergency Fund, which provides assistance to low-income transgender people across Massachusetts. Sponsors include the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, TransCEND Boston and AIDS Action Committee, Boston Health Care for the Homeless, The Crossing, Human Rights Campaign, Boston Alliance of GLBT Youth and more.

Event Background:
Twelve years ago at this time, Boston’s LGBT community recoiled in horror at the discovery of the latest victim of transphobic violence. Rita Hester, a popular figure in the local rock ‘n roll scene, who also happened to be a transsexual, had been found brutally stabbed to death in her Brighton apartment. Like so many killings of gay and transgender persons, the victim was subjected to enough brutality to kill her many times over.

A local community of queer activists, rockers, family, friends and allies – over 250 of them – came together and held a speak-out and candlelight vigil in Rita’s honor, forming a human stream of light winding its way through Rita’s old Allston stomping grounds.

One year later, a memorial vigil was held in San Francisco; the following year Boston and a few other cities joined in, and this year hundreds of observances will be held in dozens of countries.

Boston’s transgender community remembers local victims Chanelle Pickett, Debra Forte, Monique Thomas, Georgette Hart, Denise Pugliesi, Monique Rogers, Lisa Daniels, CJ Garber, and Rita Hester. There have been many more, mostly uncounted and unnoticed by all but their friends and family.

Organized by the all-volunteer Boston Transgender Day of Remembrance Organizing Committee.

Monday, October 24, 2011

THIS THURSDAY - PFLAG transgender event w/ Joanne Herman - Wayland MA

General GBPFLAG banner 2
Fall 2011
Greater Boston PFLAG
Announces
Joanne Herman Author
Transgender Explained Thursday,
Oct. 27 at 7pm
Temple Shir Tikva
Wayland


Dear Friends,


Greater Boston PFLAG invites you to join us on

Thursday, October 27

7 to 9 pm at Temple Shir Tikva

141 Boston Post Road, Wayland, MA 01778


Free and open to all! Light refreshments available.


We are thrilled to introduce our Featured Speaker:

Joanne Herman, Author, Transgender Explained


Since her transition to live as a female in 2002, Joanne Herman has been active as a spokeswoman for transgender awareness and understanding. Joanne is the first transgender person ever elected the Boards of Directors of Fenway Health, Point Foundation, and GLAD, the first transgender member of historic Old South Church in Boston, and one of the first openly transgender alumnae of Dartmouth College as a graduate of Dartmouth's last all-male class.


Joanne Herman has received praise for her non-complicated explanations of transgender for almost a decade. Now she has written down her explanations for all to read in Transgender Explained For Those Who Are Not. Organized by topic into short, easy-to-read chapters, Transgender Explained is perfect for parents, relatives, colleagues, friends, allies, and even journalists who want to quickly get up to speed on what it means to be transgender.


You will also have the opportunity to hear from parents with transgender children who will share their personal experiences and talk about Greater Boston PFLAG's support group for parents with transgender children.


Finally, you will have the opportunity to take action and support the transgender rights bill.


We look forward to seeing you!


Please feel free to contact me with any questions.


All the best,

Pam Garramone, Executive Director

Greater Boston PFLAG

pam@gbpflag.org

781 891 5966