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)

THE MOCO PRIDE CENTER'S LAUNCH PARTY IS OCTOBER 25TH! Facebook Event | EventBrite Site


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Transgender Faith Action Week - Bay Windows ad

We put an ad about Transgender Faith Action Week in this week's issue of Bay Windows!

It's on page four in the print edition (published today, Thursday, March 31st; it doesn't seem to be elsewhere on Bay Windows' website):


And here is the PDF of just the ad (this is what we submitted to Bay Windows):


Those were the particpating faith communities as of press time. There are now more than 100!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Guardian (United Kingdom) article re: transgender clergy & more, in US and UK

Today the Guardian (United Kingdom -- England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) newspaper published Becky Garrison's article "Trans clergy are finally gaining greater acceptance (As we approach Transgender Faith Action Week, progress can be seen in attitudes to trans people within the church)".

(The Manchester Guardian is one of England's national newspapers, first published in 1821. The Guardian is affiliated and shares offices and a website with the Observer, another English newspaper, first published in 1791 -- the oldest Sunday newspaper in the world.)

ICTE and lots of other Massachusetts awesomeness is included -- including Rev.s Cameron Partridge and Christopher Fike, the MA diocesan bishop, the local history of Transgender Day of Remembrance, and Transgender Faith Action Week!

Warning -- alas, many of the comments are NSFS (not safe for sanity).


Trans clergy are finally gaining greater acceptance

As we approach Transgender Faith Action Week, progress can be seen in attitudes to trans people within the church


Last week, the Rev Dr Christina Beardsley, vice-chair of Changing Attitude, a network of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and heterosexual members of the Church of England, was one of the voicesfeatured on 4Thought.tv's week of short films featuring trans people and faith.

While the US Episcopal church developed a maverick reputation within the Anglican communion for blessing same sex marriages and ordaining gay and lesbian clergy, the House of Bishops of the General Synod of the Church of England's report Some Issues in Human Sexuality, issued in 2003, contained a chapter titled "Transsexualism". Currently, one can find about a half dozen trans clergy in the UK and US. These numbers are imprecise, as some clergy do not wish to go public beyond the scope of their individual parish or diocese – a concern that's understandable given that the trans community seldom receives even the legal protections afforded gays and lesbians .

Beardsley, who was ordained for 23 years prior to her transition in 2001, observes that "some within the Church of England feel the issue of trans clergy has been settled" by citing such cases as the Rev Carol Stoneand the Rev Sarah Jones. However, she says: "Not all trans clergy have been supported by their bishop, as these two priests were, and some have been excluded from full-time ministry because of Church of England opt-outs from UK equality legislation."

During the 2008 Lambeth conference, a decennial gathering of Anglican bishops, Beardsley organised a panel titled "Listening to Trans People". While only four bishops attended this gathering, it represented the highest number of bishops to participate in an Inclusive Network to date. Also, this panel helped consolidate Changing Attitude's networking with Sibyls, a UK-based Christian spirituality group for trans people, and the US-based online community TransEpsicopal.

The Rev Dr Cameron Partridge, interim Episcopal chaplain and lecturer at Harvard University, served on this panel as the sole US representative. He transitioned in 2002 during his ordination process and has been an instrumental player in guiding the passage of four resolutions supporting trans rights during the US Episcopal church's2009 general convention.

The Rev Vicki Gray, a Vietnam vet before her transition, and currently a deacon with an emphasis on ministry to the homeless, noted that their goals at general convention were to assert that we exist as flesh-and-blood human beings, to demonstrate that we are here in the church as decent and devout followers of Jesus Christ, and to begin the process of education and dialogue that will lead to full inclusion in the life of the church, not only of the transgendered but of other sexual minorities such as the inter-sexed (known to some as hermaphrodites).

Following the murder of trans rocker Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts, in 1998, a vigil held in her honour became the impetus behind the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual event held on 20 November. Even though this day to reflect and remember those who have been killed by anti-transgender hatred or prejudice is not a religious service, in 2010 memorial services were held for the first time at Episcopal cathedrals in Boston and Sacramento.

The Rev Christopher Fike, vicar of Christ Episcopal Church in Sommerville, Massachusetts, who transitioned in 2003 after having served in a fairly high-profile position as a female cleric, believes that moving this memorial to the cathedral signifies that the church views this as a justice issue. He says: "The more we normalise people who are outside the typical in their gender expression, the more room there is for that range of expression. We no longer have to hide our real identity from the church."

The Rt Rev M Thomas Shaw, SSJE, Bishop of Massachusetts, admits that ordaining and providing pastoral oversight to trans clergy proved to be a life-changing experience for him. Initially, he struggled with the idea and the reality of having trans clergy until he saw they were doing the same ministry as everyone else.

From 3-10 April, Transgender Faith Action Week will be held in the Boston area in the hope of bringing forth faith leaders from different traditions to increase awareness of the trans community in religious circles. Partridge, one of the organisers, says: "We call upon the church to consider carefully its vision of theological anthropology, its theological vision of the human person. How does gender factor into our conception of the human?" After all, in Genesis 1:26, God created ha-adam, a nonsexual term that means "human being". Then, after he created humanity, she declared that it all was "very good".

ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) reintroduced

ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) was reintroduced today. Here's MTPC statement (http://www.masstpc.org/?p=1325):

March 30, 2011

Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition Applauds Representative Barney Frank for introducing a transgender inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

Boston, MA [03.30.11]— The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) applauds Massachusetts’ own Representative Barney Frank for introducing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) at a Capitol Hill news conference.

This ENDA is the same bill as introduced in 2009. The language is fully inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity. In the past, the bill has received support from the public (90% of Americans are in favor of equal employment rights for LGBT individuals) and President Obama.

“This bill is absolutely necessary for the transgender community,” said MTPC Executive Director Gunner Scott. “It affects transgender youth, adults, and their families. No one should feel they have to hide who they are for fear of being fired from their place of employment. When people are not treated fairly and equally, we all suffer.”

The National Transgender Discrimination Survey, conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, shows rampant employment discrimination for transgender individuals, with 76% of survey respondents reporting that they experienced harassment or mistreatment on the job. In addition, MTPC frequently intakes calls from community members who have either experienced discrimination, or are fearful that they may lose their job if they come out to their employer.

###

About MTPC: The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is dedicated to ending discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. MTPC works for a world where persons of all genders are treated with respect and fully participate in all areas of society, free from fear of prohibition, harassment or violence based on their gender identity and/or expression. Its members educate the public, advocate with state, local, and federal government, engage in political activism, and encourage empowerment of community members through collective action.

Trangender Faith Action Week - MEDIA ADVISORY

MTPC and ICTE released this media advisory today:

Contact: Mycroft Holmes
617.778.0519
InterfaithCoalition@gmail.com

MEDIA ADVISORY
FAITH LEADERS TO SPEAK OUT FOR TRANSGENDER EQUALITY
Boston, MA
March 30, 2011

The Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality (ICTE) is holding a press conference on Monday, April 4th, 2011. The press conference will take place at the Massachusetts Statehouse at 11:00 a.m. in Hearing Room B2.

The press conference will be led by the Reverend Dr. Cameron Partridge, an openly transgender man and Episcopal priest who received his doctorate from Harvard Divinity School and is currently serving at Harvard as Interim Episcopal Chaplain, Denominational Counselor for Episcopal students at the Divinity School, and a Lecturer at the Divinity School and in the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality. Rev. Partridge has served in urban parish, young adult internship, divinity school and college chaplaincy settings; focusing on poverty, sexuality and gender.

Featured speakers include:

The Rt. Reverend M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE, Bishop Diocesan. Bishop Shaw was consecrated the 15th bishop of Massachusetts in 1995 and is well known for his advocacy for equality, peace and justice, as well as his leadership and involvement with Evangelism programs for young adults.

Rabbi Joseph Berman, the spiritual leader of Temple B’nai Israel in Revere. Originally from Kansas, Rabbi Berman received his BA from Wesleyan University and rabbinical ordination from Hebrew College (Newton, MA). He has worked in Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist synagogues, on college campuses, and with Interfaith Community Boston; and has been an educator, community organizer, and farmer.

Sean Delmore, an openly transgender man, is the Assistant Minister at College Avenue United Methodist Church (Somerville) and a member of Cambridge Welcoming Ministries (United Methodist), and is pursuing ordination as a Deacon in the United Methodist Church. A graduate of Bates College and Boston University’s School of Theology (MTS, Sociology of Religion), Sean is a member of BU’s School of Theology Alumni Board, as well as a member of the New England chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action and Program Coordinator MIT’s Rainbow Lounge (offering support for GLBT students).

Faith leaders are standing up and speaking out in support of the passage of An Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights, which amends Massachusetts’ non-discrimination laws and hate crime statues to protect transgender youth, adults, and families from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education and credit.

Thirteen states and more than 132 cities and counties nationwide have already passed similar non-discrimination laws and have implemented them successfully.

The Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality is also organizing Transgender Faith Action Week during April 3rd – 10th to demonstrate that the Massachusetts faith community largely supports transgender equal rights, and wants to see this vital legislation passed this session.

For more information please visit http://interfaithcoalition.blogspot.com or contact Mycroft Holmes at 617.778.0519 or InterfaithCoalition@gmail.com.

###

Founded in 2007, the Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality is a gathering of clergy and lay leaders that organizes the Massachusetts faith community in support of transgender social justice. As the interfaith partner of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), ICTE focuses on faith-based work in support of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Transgender Faith Action Week -- participating faith communities

Transgender Faith Action Week starts this Sunday, April 3rd and continues through next Sunday, April 10th!
ICTE and our partners – Keshet, MTPC and MassEquality – are looking forward to a successful Week and a powerful faith campaign for the Transgender Equal Rights Bill (An Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights, House Bill 502 / Senate Bill 764).

More info:

If your community is below -- thank you so much!

If not -- email InterfaithCoalition@gmail.com to talk about what you can do and how we can help.

TRANSGENDER FAITH ACTION WEEK 2011
PARTICIPATING FAITH COMMUNITIES (as of Friday, April 1st)
100+ communities are participating -- these are those that can be publicly listed:

American Baptist

Old Cambridge Baptist Church

Episcopal

The Cathedral Church of Saint Paul (Boston)
The Crossing (Boston)
Christ Episcopal Church (Somerville)
Church of the Good Shepherd (Watertown)

Independent Catholic Christian Church

Oratory of Saint Catherine of Siena (Jamaica Plain)

Jewish

Temple Israel (Boston)
Congregation Am Tikva (Boston)
Temple Sinai (Brookline)
Temple Ohabei Shalom (Brookline)
Nehar Shalom Community Synagogue (Jamaica Plain)
Falmouth Jewish Congregation
Beit Ahavah (Northampton)

Presbyterian

First Presbyterian Church of Waltham

Roman Catholic

Dignity Boston

United Church of Christ

Old South Church (Boston)

United Methodist

Cambridge Welcoming Ministries
Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church (Cambridge)
College Avenue United Methodist Church (Somerville)
Lexington United Methodist Church
Saint Nicholas United Methodist Church (Hull)
Holy Trinity United Methodist Church (Danvers)

United Church of Christ & United Methodist

Ballard Vale United Church (Andover)

Unitarian Universalist

Unitarian Universalist Association (national)
Unitarian Universalist Mass Action Network
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
First Universalist Society in Franklin
Unitarian Universalist Society of Wellesley Hills
First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Chelmsford
First Parish of Sudbury, Unitarian Universalist

Friday, March 25, 2011

Faith campaign for Transgender Equal Rights Bill - UPDATE

Happy Spring, ICTE supporters!

Transgender Faith Action Week starts a week from this Sunday – Sunday, April 3rd through Sunday, April 10th! We and our partners – Keshet, MTPC and MassEquality – are looking forward to a successful Week and a powerful faith campaign for the Transgender Equal Rights Bill (An Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights, House Bill 502 / Senate Bill 764).

We published a press release today – it’s here:

If your faith community is participating in the Week -- thank you so much! Participating communities as of press time will be recognized in an ad in next week's issue of Bay Windows newspaper (next Thursday, March 31st ). All participating communities will be recognized in our other materials.

If you know a faith community that might like to participate -- there’s still time to do so and be publically recognized.

Here is what we are asking of communities:

1) RSVP, invite others, and promote the Week’s Facebook event:

2) Choose one or more of the following:

a) Have a postcard party (we provide pre-printed postcards and deliver them to your legislators)
b) Have a gathering that raises up the issue of transgender equal rights (you can adjust an existing service, coffee hour, oneg etc.; or request a live or video presentation or training)
c) Phone bank with MassEquality
d) Attend Transgender Equal Rights Lobby Day at the Statehouse – Lobby Day is being rescheduled from Thursday April 14th – stay tuned for the new date
e) Support MTPC’s event Lawyers For Transgender Rights on Thursday, April 7th
f) Ask your members to do all of the above as individuals and groups
(through your community’s announcements, bulletin, newsletter, etc.)
g) Have another idea? Let us know!

3) Decide whether your community can be publicly listed as a participant. If not, you are still welcome to participate.

4) Email InterfaithCoalition@gmail.com to talk about what you can do and how we can help.

Thank you again for your support! Whatever your role in the Week and the rest of the campaign, we are deeply grateful to you for helping us send this powerful message to the legislature – the Massachusetts faith community wants to see this vital legislation passed this
session.

Best wishes for your April observances, and Shabbat shalom,
Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality (ICTE)

Transgender Faith Action Week - PRESS RELEASE

We published the first press release about Transgender Faith Action Week and the rest of the campaign today:

Contact: Mycroft Holmes
InterfaithCoalition@gmail.com
617-778-0519

THE INTERFAITH COALITION FOR TRANSGENDER EQUALITY TO HOLD TRANSGENDER FAITH ACTION WEEK
APRIL 3rd – 10th

[Massachusetts - 3/25/11] The Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality (ICTE) is announcing the upcoming Transgender Faith Action Week, to begin on Sunday, April 3rd and end on Sunday, April 10th.

Founded in 2007, the Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality is a gathering of clergy and lay leaders that organizes the Massachusetts faith community in support of transgender social justice. As the interfaith partner of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), ICTE focuses on faith-based work in support of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill.

The Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality is organizing Transgender Faith Action Week to demonstrate that the Massachusetts faith community largely supports transgender equal rights, and that many transgender people and allies are people of faith and members of faith communities.

Transgender Faith Action Week comes as a continuation of the campaign “An Act of Faith: Massachusetts Communities of Faith Speak Out for Transgender Equality”, which has included participation in lobby days, public hearings and press conferences in the Statehouse, and faith
voices in MTPC’s I AM: Trans People Speak multi-media public education campaign.

Events planned for Transgender Faith Action Week include postcard and letter writing parties, phone banking, educational presentations, and a press conference at the State House on Monday, April 4th, featuring key faith leaders. Over twenty congregations have already signed on to
participate in Transgender Faith Action Week, including the Cathedral Church of Saint Paul, the seat of the Episcopal diocese of Massachusetts, Temple Israel, the largest Reform congregation in New England; and Dignity Boston, the Roman Catholic community.

Mycroft Masada Holmes, Chair of the Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality, said, “The Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality and its partners are very proud to announce this historic week of action. We’re grateful to the many faith communities across the state who are voicing their support for the Transgender Equal Rights Bill. This sends a powerful message to the legislature—the faith community wants to see this vital legislation passed this session.”

Gunner Scott, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, said, “Faith and spirituality are integral parts in the lives of many transgender individuals. I’m pleased to see faith communities standing up for transgender youth, adults, and families in
Massachusetts and supporting our community and this legislation.”

For more information on Transgender Faith Action Week and how to get involved please visit http://interfaithcoalition.blogspot.com/.

Phone banking and Lobby Day for the bill

MassEquality is hosting phone banking for the bill, and MTPC is scheduling a Transgender Equal Rights Lobby Day for the bill -- LOBBY DAY HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED from Thursday April 14th TO TUESDAY MAY 3RD!
-------

Volunteers are Needed for Phone Banking for Trans Equality

In order to provide our priority legislators with positive constituent contacts for the Transgender Equal Rights Bill, MassEquality will be hosting three phone banks every week
-- and we need volunteers that can commit to shifts. We are looking to generate 100 patch-throughs to all the Senate and House Judiciary members by April 15th and in order to do this we will need a groundswell of volunteers. Phone banking is easy, fun, and a great way to educate people on transgender rights. Groups can do shifts together.

Tuesdays & Thursdays ~ 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Saturdays ~ 11:00 a.m. -- 4:00 p.m.
Sundays ~ 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
MassEquality
262 Washington Street -- 7th Floor
Boston, MA
(Downtown Crossing - Red and Orange Lines)

Pizza & other refreshments will be provided to those that attend.

You can also phone bank from home. On Sundays, MassEquality provides training for folks who want to phone bank from home. Come in for a one-time training on how to use the system -- then you can do your phone banking from the comfort of your home.

If you have any questions or want to volunteer, please contact volunteer coordinator Clare at 617-878-2325 or clareciervo@massequality.org, or sign up online at http://www.massequality.org/events/volunteer.

Here's MassEquality's update from today:

-------

Lobby Day for Transgender Equal Rights
TUESDAY, MAY 3RD, 2011
(RESCHEDULED from Thursday, April 14th)
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Massachusetts State House
Grand Staircase
(Park Street - Red and Green Lines)

Please RSVP to Rachel@masstpc.org or 617.778.0519.

What Should I Do to Prepare for Lobby Day?

Please make appointments with your legislators for that day; it can be anytime during that day. To find out who your legislators are visit http://www.malegislature.gov/People/FindMyLegislator

What Will Happen at Lobby Day?

We will gather at the Grand Stair Case at 1 pm for a short program where we will hear from legislative supporters, policy makers, and community members. Throughout the day supporters will meet with their legislators to talk about the bill and why it so important to pass this Transgender Equal Rights Bill this year!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

GLSEN Massachusetts conference - also this Saturday

GLSEN Massachusetts
(Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Straight Education Network - MA chapter)
Annual conference
Teaching Respect : Making It Better
Saturday, March 26th, 2011
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

MIT (MA Institute of Technology)
Stratton Student Center
84 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139

Co-sponsored by LGBT@MIT -- http://web.mit.edu/lbgt/.

More information:

Official conference page:

Facebook event:

Flyer:

This all-day conference will include well-renowned speakers, as well as experienced trainers who are enthusiastic about helping you prevent bullying and harassment in your community. If you've attended in the past, you know about the amazing benefits of this conference. This year there will be many new and exciting presentations to provide you with the most current and relevant resources and tools.

I'll be on a panel with three colleagues -- "Looking Back on LGBTQ Youth Activism in Boston", about the history of the local GLBTQ youth movement. We presented this workshop for the first time at last year's GLSEN MA con.

Mycroft Masada Holmes is a transgender leader specializing in faith, religion and spirituality. Mycroft is Chair of the Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality, Chair of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition's Training Committee, Emeritus Founding Chair of Keshet's Transgender Working Group (TWiG), and a board member of Congregation Am Tikva. Mycroft is also committed to working for fat / size acceptance and social justice, and is a writer and an artist.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spiritual Wellness and the LGBT Community - this Saturday

Spiritual Wellness and the LGBT Community

Saturday, March 26th, 2011
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

All Saints Church, Episcopal
10 Irving Street ~ Worcester, MA



Hosted by the Kairos Spiritual Center and the Alliance of All Saints Church.


A daylong gathering for all who identify as LGBT, queer, questioning, and allies to explore, strengthen and celebrate connections between spiritual wellness and life in community.

The day will include a keynote presentation on desiring God and how we “practice” that desire in our lives, and workshops on the following topics: transgender issues, LGBT immigration challenges, queer theology and radical love, spirituality and sexuality, persons of color and outreach, healing, Sabbath practice, and campus life. Participants will begin and end the day with worship together.

Registration for the day is $30, which includes lunch; scholarship aid is available. For more information about the day or for registration materials, please contact Nancy Elder-Wilfrid at kairoscenter@allsaintsw.org or call 508-752-3766, ext. #15.

ICTE's very own Rev. Cameron Partridge is presenting a workshop!

Building Up the Body: Trans People and the Growth of the Church
This workshop invites trans people to claim their identities and embodiments as part of an ongoing process of spiritual growth, envisions churches as places to cultivate that process, and sees the full participation of trans people in the life of the Church as a sign of its commitment to its own process of growth. Open to all participants.

The Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge is an Episcopal priest and interim Chaplain at Harvard University. He specializes in the study of religion as related to sex, gender and sexuality.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fenway Health's 5th annual "T-Social"

Fenway Health is having its fifth annual "T-Social" this Thursday. I've attended most or all of the previous T-Socials, and will be attending this one, representing ICTE and helping to represent MTPC and Keshet.

T Social 5:
We Live in a Vibrant Culture
Thursday, March 24th, 2011
6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Club Cafe -- Moonshine Room
209 Columbus Avenue
Boston

Join us for the 5th annual T-Social. Connect with the Boston area’s broad community of transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, gender non-conforming people, cross dressers, friends, and allies of anyone crosses mainstream society’s notions of gender.

Free and open to the public, featuring light fare, door prizes and entertainment.

For more information call Alex at 617.927.6449 or email livingwell@fenwayhealth.org.

Sponsored by Fenway Health's Living Well program and the Boston Public Health Commission.

Fenway page:

Facebook event:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

NCTE's Policy Conference & Lobby Day

The National Center for Transgender Equality's annual Policy Conference and Lobby Day is today through Tuesday in Washington DC.


The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is there
-- nesia tova, bon voyage.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'm in today's Boston Metro newspaper

Photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki.

Yesterday the Boston (MA) City Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the passage of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill into law:


Today, the Boston Metro newspaper included an article on it -- "Council supports transgender bill":


The photo is from the MTPC's launch party for our public education project "I AM: Trans People Speak" (http://www.transpeoplespeak.org/). When the Metro published that article
public-awareness) they cropped me out, so I'm particularly pleased to be included this time. I'm on the far left. However, please note that alas, Gunner is not actually in either version of the photo.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Boston City Council passes resolution supporting Transgender Equal Rights Bill

Today the Boston (MA) City Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the passage of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill into law. Yet another reason I love my hometown!

Here is MTPC's press release (http://www.masstpc.org/?p=1300):

Boston City Council Unanimously Passes a Resolution in Support of An Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights

[Boston, MA 03-09-11] — The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is pleased to report that on Wednesday March 9, 2011, the Boston City Council unanimously passed a Resolution in Support of An Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights.

The resolution was originally offered by Boston City Councilor At-Large Felix Arroyo and quickly supported by Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley and Councilor At-Large John Connolly, as both asked to join Arroyo in offering the resolution. As the councilors discussed the resolution, in a strong show of support, the remaining nine city councilors (President At-Large Stephen Murphy, Councilor Maureen Feeney, Councilor Charles Yancey, Councilor Salvatore LaMattina,
Councilor Bill Linehan, Councilor Robert Consalvo, Councilor Matt O’Malley, Councilor Michael Ross, and Councilor Mark Ciommo) asked to be included in offering the resolution, and then unanimously passed it.

The resolution, in part, states, “The City of Boston currently protects transgender youth and adults on the basis of gender identity and gender expression in the city’s non-discrimination ordinance and has done so through ordinance since 2002; and Massachusetts transgender youth, adults, and their families continue to face pervasive discrimination and violence because of widespread prejudice.” The resolution concludes with, “The Boston City Council goes on record in support of “An Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights” HB 502/SB 764 and urges the Boston delegation of the Massachusetts Legislature and the leadership of the legislature to support a timely passage of this bill.”

Several of the councilors spoke of behalf of the resolution. Councilor Arroyo spoke passionately about his continued support for the legislation. Councilor Yancey recalled the work of former City
Councilor Chuck Turner, who in 2002 introduced the original city ordinance, while Councilor Feeney detailed the work she did to help pass that Boston ordinance back in 2002.

Many of the city councilors who spoke thanked Gunner Scott, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, and MTPC for the work they have done advancing the rights of transgender individuals.

“I am extremely moved by the unanimous passing of this Resolution in Support of An Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights. The continued leadership from the Boston City Council in supporting the rights of transgender youth, adults, and families, is admirable and we hope that
the legislators will follow their lead and pass the Transgender Equal Rights legislation this session. Once again, we thank the Boston City Council for their support” said Gunner Scott.

The continued support from the Boston City Council clearly shows that passing resolutions, ordinances, and legislation concerning transgender equal rights is a non-issue and is vital to strengthening the city of Boston. When some do not have the same rights as others, we all suffer, as proven through overwhelming accounts of discrimination and mistreatment that transgender individuals living in the Commonwealth face.

For more information on MTPC and the Transgender Equal Rights legislation, please go to www.masstpc.org

###

About MTPC: Founded in 2001, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is dedicated to ending discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression.

Monday, March 7, 2011

“Transgender Rights: Still Fighting" -- new 3-minute video

UPDATE -- Thursday, April 21st -- MTPC has won the contest! Here's the press release:

WGBH is southern New England's public television and radio station.

WGBH Lab (http://lab.wgbh.org/) is a website for independent media. Its mission is to produce and showcase innovative content for public media outlets with a focus on short duration and small formats.

The Lab's Open Call project invites anyone and everyone to create and submit a video short; the Lab provides a theme and also optional free, uncopyrighted video clips to use in production. One of the current Open Call themes is "Stonewall Uprising" -- "in a 3 minute video, show us where Stonewall’s legacy of courage is today" -- http://www.thewgbhlab.org/open-call/stonewall.

MTPC created and submitted a three-minute video titled "Transgender Rights: Still Fighting (Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition’s response to where Stonewall is now)”. The video is based off of MTPC's public education campaign "I AM: Trans People Speak" -- http://www.transpeoplespeak.org/. MTPC was honored to interview Miss Major, a Stonewall veteran.

Watch it here:

I'm very proud to say that I'm in it -- it includes a clip from my "I AM" video.

The Lab will curate the best for a panel of guest judges, who will help decide which five earn a $1000 prize, and which one may air along with the television debut of "Stonewall Uprising" on the public television show American Experience (about American history).

Voting is still open! The yellow stars to the right of the video. You can also comment, but you must register first.

Thursday, March 3, 2011