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)

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.


Bookmark and Share

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.
###