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


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Popular & American Culture Assoc con - Fat Studies - call for proposals


My partner Julia McCrossin co-chairs the Popular Culture Association Fat Studies Area with her colleague and our mutual friend Lesleigh Owen – next year’s Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association conference is March 27th through 30th in Washington DC. The FS call for proposals (CFP) is here and below -- the deadline is November 30th:  http://pcaaca.org/fat-studies/.  

And fatshionistas and friends, please note: Fat Studies is doing a special joint session (1 to 2 panels) with the Fashion, Style, Appearance, Consumption & Design Area. 

Also, you don’t need to be an academic to join the FB Group, submit, present, attend, etc. My first PCA was last year -- I attended some of the FS panels and the dinner, workshopped my first fat-positive sermon on one panel, and spoke on another -- and it was a wonderful experience.

*******


Fat Studies
PCA/ACA Fat Studies 2013 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.

Please join us in Washington, DC from March 27-30, 2013 for the PCA/ACA National Conference at the Washington Marriott in Wardman Park. Presenters must become members of the Popular Culture Association. Find more information on the conference and organization at http://pcaaca.org/conference/national.php.

The deadline for online submission of presentations is November 30, 2012. Please do not email your abstract to either of the Fat Studies Area Chairs; we will only accept submissions entered into the PCA/ACA online database. You can find instructions here:  http://pcaaca.org/areas/areas.php. In short, under “Fat Studies,” enter the name of your presentation, an abstract, and a short bio. We welcome papers and performances from academics, researchers, intellectuals, activists, and artists, in any field of study, and at any stage in their career.

All submissions are welcome, but please use the information above to ensure your proposal 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.

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

Special Topic Session: For the 2013 Conference, we are inviting proposals for papers and performances for a joint session (1 to 2 panels) with the Fashion, Style, Appearance, Consumption & Design and Fat Studies areas. Possible topics include the intersections between body size, shape, and weight and one’s experiences as a fashion consumer, the ways fashion as an industry shapes the discourse around weight (“plus-size,” “women’s”, “husky,” “King-Size”, and “Big and Tall”) and fashion as a space for reclaiming the fat body through accentuating and adorning it (fatshion). Other topics could include the study of sales and the financial success of the plus-size, women’s, King-Size, husky, and Big and Tall market that have spawned a whole array of specialty stores dedicated to these consumers. Also the influence of fashion design and the evolution of the types of garments manufactured for these consumers to wear could also be suggested. Submit your online proposal for this Joint Session only one time to either the Fashion Area or the Fat Studies Area.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one or both Fat Studies Co-Chairs:

* Julia McCrossin (jmccross@gwmail.gwu.edu)
* Lesleigh Owen (lesleigh.owen@gmail.com).

We look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Trans Pride Oreo!!!


YAY!!! 


And thanks to my cookie monster Julia for finding this for me!


It's the Trans flag -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender_Pride_flag.

Bear Pride Oreo!!!


Squeeeeeee! And wooooooof!

Also -- please tell me that someone else had the junior moment I did: “There should be a Panda Oreo! Oh. Wait. Right.”

Also also -- how can it be that GROWLr and I only have one Facebook Friend in common?!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Nicole Lorenz’s awesome body-positive coloring book "Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace"


To use a vintage meme:

My honorary aunt went to Wiscon 36...and all I got was…this awesome body-positive coloring book -- Nicole Lorenz’s “Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace”! Yaaaaay! 

“The idea for Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace came from a panel at WisCon 34, when one panelist asked ‘Why are there no fat butches in space?’” Squeeeee! Why indeed?! Zero the zombie hunter looks the most like my butch – especially apropos considering mine's latest blog entry -- "Zombies: It's a Lifestyle Change, not a Diet".  


Monday, July 2, 2012

PDA : Public Displays of Adiposity - Kiss-A-Thon - deadline next Wednesday July 11th


PDA: Public Displays of Adiposity's Kiss-A-Thon submission deadline is next Wednesday July 11th. 

Submit 1 or more photos of you kissing your significant other, friends, pets, car, ground, tree, camera….to kissathon@scmslv.com.

Your pictures will be posted on More of Me to Love's PDA Nation Blog – between July 14th and 28th, you ask your fans to vote for you by donating 99 cents to pre-production of “User Friendly Vegas”, a documentary exploring mobility accessibility, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the question of empathy in design; they can vote more than once, and you can vote for yourself.

3 winners will win 1 of 3 prizes; prizes also for silliest, most passionate, and coolest setting.

Sponsored by More Of Me To Love, People of Size and Fat Sex: The Naked Truth.

More at the Kiss-A-Thon's website and Facebook event.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Online condolence gift & card for my partner Julia McCrossin

“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”
 James Matthew Barrie 
(Scottish dramatist and novelist; creator of Peter Pan; 1860-1937)

Julia, myself, her father and mother on Thanksgiving Day of 2009 (J and I met that July 5th) at a hotel dinner in MD; photo taken by our waitress.

My partner Julia McCrossin's friends are passing around an online condolence gift jar and card for her – “Julia’s Jar”. J has had a very challenging past year and some, and her father passed away last week. Please consider giving / signing / sharing (FB, Twitter, Tumblr, email…) / commenting / Liking / etc. 


J and her family are okay financially and otherwise. But this will help further her self-care, help us visit each other sooner and better, and help her move to Boston to live with me (we’ve always been long distance, and our 3rd anniversary is July 5th). J will also donate to Montgomery Hospice's Casey House (Rockville, MD), her father’s hospice – and she invites anyone to donate to them directly. 

This was created by Ginny and Heather – very special thanks to them, and many thanks to everyone involved!  This is yet another excellent example of why the fat and allied community is truly a community; so amazing, wonderful, rare, vitally needed, and much more. 

Julia's thank-you note:

"Thanks to everyone who has sent me words of support and care at this difficult time. I may not be able to respond to everyone personally, but I have benefited from each and every message. Your kindness means the world to me. I've also written a thank you response to anyone connected to the online efforts on my behalf:

I’m still bowled over by all of this, and I wish I had the ability to truly put into words how moved and humbled I am by the efforts you all have done on my behalf. The time, effort, coordination, and infrastructure utilized to make me feel better at such a difficult time is so beyond anything I could ever expect, and for that I am so grateful for your care, concern, and friendship. I don’t know how I lucked into knowing so many wonderfully loving people who think so well of me, and I hope that I can continue to be worthy of your warm regard. Please know that I am blessed to have each of you in my life, and I hope I continue to be the person you think so kindly of. I hope one day to be able to thank all of you in person, and to return the favor when I am able. Big fat hugs to all of you!"

http://juliasjar.com/

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Integrity USA & TransEpiscopal – new documentary now + General Convention next month



Our friends at Integrity USA and TransEpiscopal have released a half-hour documentary -- “Voices of Witness: Out of the Box” (with a study guide coming soon) – http://www.integrityusa.org/OOTB/ | http://www.facebook.com/pages/Voices-of-Witness-Out-of-the-Box/210603212392996.  The 3rd in the VOW series, it focuses on trans people sharing their stories. And one of them is ICTE’s very own Rev. Cameron Partridge.

And TransEpiscopal is leading a team of 15+ – several of them also our local colleagues – to guide the trans work and celebration at the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church from July 5th through 12th in Indianapolis (Twitter hashtag #GC77).  For more info and to give financial and other support to their journey, please visit http://blog.transepiscopal.com/.

This is all particularly meaningful to me because this is one of my two personal faiths, and one of my family’s two primary ones (the others are Judaism; yay Trewscopalians).


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MTPC's ICTE update ~ Tuesday June 19th 2012


Happy Pride season, ICTErs!  Can you believe how long and full it has become? 

It was good to see some of you at our first Community Gathering in April, the Boston edition of MTPC’s Trans Town Hall Meetings, the Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference, the Erev Pride Liberation Seder, and of course Boston Pride Day where MTPC was a Grand Marshal and tabled.  I didn’t make it to the Pride Memorial Vigil or Pride Interfaith Service this year, but I heard good things.  We postponed our ICTE Community Conference Call because there was so much else going on, but we will try again at the end of the summer. 

Next Monday June 25th is our next Gathering, from 6:30 to 8:00 at 14 Beacon Street in Boston.  Please RSVP to Mycroft@MassTPC.org if you can, but please know that it’s more than okay to just show up.  We gather the 4th Monday of each month.  Share information, inspiration and support with other trans and allied people interested in working at the intersection of trans and faith communities.        

It’s actually time to start thinking about Trans Awareness Week in November, which includes the Trans Day of Remembrance.  We’d love to see even more faith communities participate than last year.  One great collecgtion of ways to do that is through MTPC’s “I AM : Trans People Speak” project (http://www.transpeoplespeak.org/) – the Community phase means we’re now accepting stories from anywhere in the country, and we’d love to have more people of faith. 

We’re also planning to start a discussion group for trans people of faith.  And we’re thinking about faith-site trainings and policies – including helping faith-based social services better serve their trans clients. 

About next year – the Trans Equal Rights Bill we passed in November didn’t include public accommodations, so MTPC will be filing a new bill in January.  We will be coordinating the faith campaign, including the 2nd Transgender Faith Action Week (the 1st was last April).  We will also be looking to add signatures to our Declaration of faith-based support for trans equal rights (an open letter to the MA legislature, signed by hundreds of people and communities of faith).  So please keep next year in mind, and in mouth, as we journey through this transitional year. 

Best wishes,
Mycroft Masada Holmes
Chair, MTPC’s ICTE
http://www.masstpc.org/about/committees/interfaith/
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=7923372429


Monday, June 11, 2012

Celebrate my birthday & Pride Month by fundraising for MTPC!



I'll be 36* on Thursday June 28th (also the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, which explains a lot). Please help me celebrate that and GLBTQIA Pride Month by helping me fundraise for the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. 
(*Double chai, the Hebrew word for "life", symbolized by the number 18. $613 is to honor the traditional number of mitzvot in the Torah -- but please feel free to exceed it.) 

MTPC works to end discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. I chair their Interfaith Committee for Transgender Equality (ICTE). We passed most of the MA Trans Equal Rights Bill into law in November, but public accomodations was not included, so we need to file that bill in January and pass it asap. And we have a lot of other work to do. 

Please consider giving -- and whether or not you can give, please share this Wish with everyone you can. 

PLEASE NOTE -- donations go through BAGLY (Boston Alliance of GLBT Youth), MTPC's fiscal sponsor (fairly common arrangement between an older larger nonprofit and a newer smaller one). 

Thank you, 
Mycroft


Call for Papers - Fat Studies journal - special issue re: visual representation


Call for Papers: Special Issue of Fat Studies on Visual Representation


Special issue of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society on Visual Representation, 
edited by Stefanie Snider, PhD
 Visual representations of and/or by fat people are powerful tools of both oppression and empowerment. This special issue of Fat Studies seeks to explore the wide variety of ways in which visual representations have helped to give voice to and affirmed fat-positive cultures as well as fostered institutionalized fatphobia on local, national, and international levels. Further analysis of positive, negative, and neutral visual representations from a Fat Studies perspective can help to increase our cultural awareness of just how prevalent and important the visual world is to issues of social justice in our everyday lives.

Visual representations should be taken to include any and all forms of visual media, including, but not limited to: photography, the “fine” arts, mass media imagery, film, live performance, museum installations, posters, and ephemera. Submissions do not need to be bound by historical timeline or cultural boundaries, but please be culturally- and historically-specific in your analyses. Fat Studies analyses do not need to be restricted to particular body sizes or shapes; Fat Studies approaches can examine numerous ways in which body weight, size, and shape might have particular social meaning – and in the case of this special issue of the journal, particular visual significance.

Potential topics might include, but are not limited to:
  • The use of visual representations in teaching Fat Studies
  • Intersections of body size, race, class, sexuality, gender, and other forms of cultural identification in television shows such as: Roseanne, The Gilmore Girls, Huge, Drop Dead Diva, Dollhouse, The Biggest Loser, Glee, Mike and Molly, etc.
  • Nineteenth and twentieth century advertisements for fattening and/or dieting products
  • The use of visual media to represent “the obesity epidemic”
  • Moving beyond the “rubenesque” in paintings of fat subjects
To submit a proposal for inclusion in this special issue of the journal, please send a 250-500 word summary of your article as well as a current CV to Stefanie Snider, at Snider.Stefanie@gmail.com by July 1, 2012. Any questions about the special issue can be directed to this email address as well.

Final submissions should be between 3,000 and 6,000 words, including all notes and references. If you wish to include reproductions of visual images with your essay, you will need to receive permission to do so from the artists/ copyright holders of the image(s). All authors will need to sign a form that transfers copyright of their article to the publisher, Taylor & Francis/ Routledge.

Fat Studies is the first academic journal in the field of scholarship that critically examines theory, research, practices, and programs related to body weight and appearance. Content includes original research and overviews exploring the intersection of gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, age, ability, and socioeconomic status. Articles critically examine representations of fat in health and medical sciences, the Health at Every Size model, the pharmaceutical industry, psychology, sociology, cultural studies, legal issues, literature, pedagogy, art, theater, popular culture, media studies, and activism.

Fat Studies is an interdisciplinary, international field of scholarship that critically examines societal attitudes and practices about body weight and appearance. Fat Studies advocates equality for all people regardless of body size. It explores the way fat people are oppressed, the reasons why, who benefits from that oppression and how to liberate fat people from oppression. Fat Studies seeks to challenge and remove the negative associations that society has about fat and the fat body. It regards weight, like height, as a human characteristic that varies widely across any population. Fat Studies is similar to academic disciplines that focus on race, ethnicity, gender, or age.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference – May 31st through June 1st



The 11th annual Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference starts at the end of this month -- Thursday May 31st through Saturday June 2ndIt’s the largest trans con in the world – about 2,000 people from all over the country and world – and it’s FREE!  3 full days of workshops and activities focused on the health and well-being of transgender people, communities and allies.  Last year there were more than 185 workshops and 30 other activities.  Also a great space for our families, friends, allies and providers.  Since 2006, PTHC has been a program of the Mazzoni Center. 


I’m a member of PTHC’s Spirituality Advisory Group, which is helping to organize the Spirituality track for the 4th year in a row – this year is the largest and most diverse ever.  I’m co-chair of the SAG’s Jewish Working Group  (with Shelley Kapnek Rosenberg in Philly), which helps organize the Jewish workshops and other programming – including the 1st/4th annual Erev Shabbat dinner and service*!  This is actually my first time working on and attending the con, and it’s been a great experience.      

The day before PTHC starts, Wednesday May 30th, will be the 2nd annual TransFaith Caucuses – including a Jewish one:

PTHC Spirituality track:
(2nd link doesn’t include workshops, but you can search for them at the Schedule tab)


*PTHC Erev Shabbat dinner and service, Friday June 1st.  ALL are welcome – Trewish (trans and Jewish) or not!  Joy Ladin will be speaking at both, and the service will be led by Jewish Working Group members and other attendees.  Please pre-register and pre-pay if possible, and please contact us with any issues:

The day after PTHC ends,  Sunday June 3rd, there will be worship opportunities.  Stay tuned for more information about that.    

Friday, April 20, 2012

MONDAY ~ ICTE's Community Gathering ~ Boston

THIS MONDAY (April 23rd) is MTPC’s ICTE Community Gathering! 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 14 Beacon Street (American Congregational House building) in Boston, in the 1st floor conference room.   

An open house for current and future ICTE supporters -- and leaders and volunteers; open to all.  To celebrate ICTE’s move to within MTPC, share what you’d like to see this year and next (and...), and hear about our plans and ideas.  And of course we’ll also be celebrating the successful faith campaign for the Trans Equal Rights Bill and ICTE becoming a project of MTPC.  An informal but meaningful get-together.

Tuesday May 1st is the ICTE Community Conference Call.  7:00 – 8:00 p.m. (though this can be changed if needed); we’ll let you know the number to call and code to use.    

Pretty much a con call version of the Gathering for those who couldn’t make that – especially if they live in Central or Western MA – though less interactive, etc.  Similar to MTPC’s past Community Conference Calls.  

Hoping to see or hear you soon,
Mycroft Masada Holmes
Chair, MTPC’s ICTE
~~~~~~~
http://www.interfaithcoalition.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=7923372429
http://www.masstpc.org/about/committees/interfaith

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Trans Faith, Trans Web" article - Becky Garrison - The Revealer


My colleague and fellow ICTE leader Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge and I are in an article published today!  


It's about trans blogging etc. 


Becky Garrison's “Trans Faith, Trans Web” for The Revealer. 


http://therevealer.org/archives/11001

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Friend of Marilyn" - fat-positive blog, Tumblr, radio show, Facebook


Do you know about the flabulousness that is FOM?  ‘Cause you should.  


“Friend of Marilyn is a fat positive blog (http://www.friendofmarilyn.com), Tumblr (http://friendofmarilyn.tumblr.com/), and radio show (http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/friend-of-marilyn/id462034226). FOM promotes that fat people deserve the same rights and dignity as non-fat people. Your home for all things FATLICIOUS!”  


The image is FOM's Cat Pausé's "Standard" poster -- my post about the campaign it's part of:
http://masadarts.blogspot.com/2012/02/healthy-response-to-georgias-harmful.html  

Monday, March 12, 2012

“Fat Sex: What Everyone Wants to Know but is Afraid to Ask” - Persephone Magazine.


I've been trying to post this as a Facebook status update since Friday afternoon -- originally to help with the "double mitzvah" of making love during Shabbat -- but FB hasn't let me.  It (FB) doesn't say anything, it just tries for a few minutes then gives up.  Mrph!  Is it too naughty for FB, or what?  It seems to have worked as a Note today.    

“Fat Sex: What Everyone Wants to Know but is Afraid to Ask” in Persephone Magazine.

Photos (of the author demo-ing positions) are actually SFW; text isn’t but it’d be quite hard for anyone else to read.  Also?  I couldn't choose a thumbnail in Notes, but it was going to be (out of 48 of them!) the author's avatar photo of a half a pomegranate (they're very Persephone, and Jewish, and I love them) and I think it will work here on my blog.

http://persephonemagazine.com/2012/03/fat-sex-what-everyone-wants-to-know-but-is-afraid-to-ask/

Monday, March 5, 2012

ICTE is becoming a project of MTPC!


Greetings, ICTE Supporters!

Thank you again for all your work in passing the Transgender Equal Rights Bill in November.  You can watch MTPC’s video of the public signing ceremony in January here:  http://vimeo.com/36157220

Our opponents removed the public accommodations piece of the bill before it passed into law, but we plan to file that piece as a bill next year. 

As we prepare for that, and have more time for other work, we bring you more good news -- ICTE is becoming a project of MTPC, and will be renamed Interfaith _Committee_ [formerly Coalition] for Transgender Equality.  MTPC Steering Committee member Mycroft Masada Holmes will continue to chair ICTE, and can be reached at Mycroft@MassTPC.org.  ICTE will continue its blog (moving to MTPC’s website and linking to our former blog as an archive) and Facebook group (with a slight name change), and will be adding a Twitter.  Both groups are excited about the potential for this new phase of our relationship.      

To celebrate all of the above, share our ideas for this year and hear yours, ICTE will be having a community gathering on Monday, April 23rd from 6:30 to 8:30 in Boston.  We will also be holding a community conference call on Tuesday, May 1st.  Please save the dates and spread the word!  More details and a Facebook event to follow.    

We look forward to your continued support in our work for transgender social justice and transgender welcome and inclusion in faith communities. 

Best wishes for your Spring (or whatever season it may be next!),

Mycroft Masada Holmes
ChairInterfaith Committee for Transgender Equality, Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition
(New MTPC webpages coming soon!)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Zine - fat queers of color - call for submissions

http://ucsdcrossculturalcenter.tumblr.com/post/18462814628/calling-for-submissions-chubby-queers-of-color


UCSD Cross-Cultural Center

Submit   The vision of the Cross-Cultural Center (CCC) is to empower UCSD to recognize, challenge, and take proactive approaches to diversity for the campus and the San Diego community. We strive for meaningful dialogues and context across all cultures, particularly those of underrepresented or underprivileged backgrounds. We offer supportive and educational services through art, programs, workshops, and outreach, and we welcome creative venues for enhancing social consciousness and equity. 
“Calling for Submissions! “Chubby Queers of Color!”
Hi folks! My name is Anthony and for my Student Initiated Project (SIP) through the Cross-Cultural Center, I am working on putting together a Zine that reflects the experiences of Queer folks of Color who identify as, but not limited to, Chubby, Thick, Fat, and/or Big. I am currently in the process of looking for submissions from the community about your experiences as a ‘Chubby’ Queer person of Color. The purpose of the zine is way to bring together narratives, spoken word, art, poems, self-portraits, pictures, quotes, etc. that have helped you in your process and development as a Chubby Queer person of Color.
You can submit your contributions to anthony.sip.2012@gmail.com
Also, if you have any questions or want any more information about the project, please email me at the above email address. Thank you!
-Anthony Del Real

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Beit Ahavah - Queen Esther’s Drag Ball & Dance Party - Northampton - March 10

Facebook event:  http://www.facebook.com/events/279402615462427/




Queen Esther's Drag Ball - Purim 2012


Queen Esther logo
Fourth Annual
 
QUEEN ESTHER'S
DRAG BALL


Saturday, March 10, 2012
7:30-10:30 p.m.

Diva's,
492 Pleasant St.,
Northampton, MA

Ages: 21 and over with ID

Tickets:
$20
$15 for students with ID

Email or call Beit Ahavah for tickets: info@beitahavah.org, 413-587-3770

Tickets also available at the door
 
Purim was never a drag, until now!

It’s almost Purim, which means it’s time to dig out your diamond tiara and your dancing shoes!

Please join us for the best Purim celebration in the Valley. Show off your finery. Dance, schmooze, and nosh on hamantashen. Dress in drag or just dress up.

Live entertainment includes a performance by our own drag queen, Betty B, and local singer Felicia Sloin, performing her Queen Esther’s Rap. We will also mark the passage of the Transgender Rights Bill by presenting the Queen Esther Human Rights Award to Tynan Power, honoring his dedication to transgender rights in the Pioneer Valley and beyond.

Tynan Power is a transgender Muslim writer, educator, and activist, and he founded the lay-led, LGBT-inclusive Pioneer Valley Progressive Muslims. He is also, along with his partner, a member of Beit Ahavah. Power has been involved in the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) since its inception, and testified before the state legislature on behalf of transgender rights. Ty was also instrumental in organizing “An Act of Faith: Western Massachusetts Interfaith Service for Transgender Rights,” held in Northampton in 2009. Spearheaded by Beit Ahavah's Rabbi Riqi Kosovske, the event raised essential support for the eventual passage of the transgender rights bill. Power's passionate commitment to education, advocacy, peace, and interfaith community-building has increased awareness of transgender rights throughout the Pioneer Valley and its communities of faith.

The holiday of Purim celebrates the courage of Persia’s Queen Esther. At risk to her life, Esther revealed herself as a Jew to her husband, the king Achashverus, in order to save her Jewish community from destruction at the hands of the King’s malicious adviser, Haman. The holiday celebrates the courage of fighting oppression, and encourages social action, creative expression, and celebration. Jews have celebrated Purim for hundreds of years with parties, carnivals, gifts of food to the poor, gift baskets to friends, and retellings of the Purim story amidst joyful revelry and parades; a drag ball is the perfect addition. Guests are encouraged to come dressed in drag, come in costume, or come as they are.


Purchase tickets by emailing info@beitahavah.org or calling 413-587-3770



This page last updated: 2012 February 13 (fz)

Monday, February 27, 2012

A healthy response to Georgia’s harmful “Strong4Life” campaign

As you may know, there’s an extremely negative and harmful campaign in Georgia called "Strong4Life” (http://strong4life.com/default.aspx) that’s against childhood “obesity” 
and is shaming fat children and their parents. 

With the leadership of Marilyn Wann, Ragen Chastain, and Shannon “Atchka” Russell, a group has formed to create a response campaign -- "Stand4EveryBody" (http://stand4everybody.com/ ; site provided by our friends at More Of Me To Love).   

Marilyn created a poster of herself and invited others to do the same.  Dozens of people, pairs and groups have submitted their photos and text and had their posters created and published; many more posters are in process.  And we're still taking submissions!  We’re calling these posters “Standards”.  
(The image that accompanies this post is my and my partner Julia McCrossin*’s Standard – we stand for love that comes in all shapes, sizes and genders.)  
See all the current Standards posters here:  http://istandagainstweightbullying.tumblr.com/


Some Standards will become bus shelter posters in Atlanta!  And we'll have billboards!  We gathered 1,010 donors (from all over the country and world) and raised $21,721.20, including a $5,000 matching grant from More Of Me To Love.  Then we solicited submissions and votes from our supporters, voting for up to three of seven designs.  Here's the winner (and good news about Disney's anti-fat exhibit "Habit Heroes"):
http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/disney-and-georgia-billboard-updates/  

*Julia is a Fat Studies scholar who co-chairs that area of the Popular Culture Association and serves on the editorial board of the new Fat Studies Journal.  Inspired by the "Stand4EveryBody" campaign, she's written two amazing, heartbreaking pieces -- the first about just one of her many damaging experiences as a fat child (when she was in junior high school in Maryland, her school partnered with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in an attempt to get her and several other students the school had selected to lose weight); the second about "the rest of the (fat) story", in which she shares more of her lifelong experience with fat shaming (which includes depression and a suicide attempt) and how it intersected with the development of her fat and queer identities, including her gender identity and expression.  
http://ponderousboundaries.blogspot.com/2012/01/stand4kids.html
http://ponderousboundaries.blogspot.com/2012/02/rest-of-fat-story.html
Today at 41, Julia is happy, healthy, and a wonderful partner – but still healing from these traumas and being affected by current fat shaming.    

There are many ways to be part of the response campaign -- including your own ideas, which we welcome.  Please learn about both campaigns, connect with ours, and find out how you can join us in this vital work.  Whatever your experience of fatness, I hope you can see that shaming children or anyone else is harmful, not helpful – and certainly not healthful.  Stand with us -- for all children, youth and adults.  Help us tell Strong4Life and everyone else that we’re not going to stand for this kind of thing any longer.  However well-intentioned it may be, it's bullying, it's abuse, and it needs to stop -- and we can stop it.


Facebook communities:
“Stop Strong4Life's Fat Shaming Campaign” (more than 600 members and growing)
Tumblr (where you can see the Standards posters)

I also want to raise up an impressive piece by one of my transgender colleagues, Joelle Ruby Ryan.  We don’t have an “epidemic” of “obesity”.  We have an epidemic of fat hate.  And it doesn’t just harm and kill fat children, youth and adults – it harms everyone. 

Communing With Our Trans Kindred - A Conversation for the Black Church

Communing With Our Trans Kindred - A Conversation for the Black Church is Saturday March 24th in Philadelphia!  

Chris Paige (of TransFaith Online and the new Interfaith Working Group) writes:

"I am so excited about this ground-breaking event, which creates an opportunity for African American Church communities to gain more understanding about Black transgender experiences. We know where to find transgender and LGBT activists. But for this event we need your help reaching out to folks who are not already in those circles.

We need help making this Spirit filled worship opportunity known to mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, pastors who mean well, and others who may need a helping hand on the journey to understanding.

-- Could you make a personal invitation to someone you know who would benefit from this?

-- Could you think of pastors, deacons, church mothers or other folks immersed in Black Church community and make sure they hear about this event?

-- Could you pass this along to others who may be supportive and ask them to do likewise?

-- Would you take a moment to pray for this opportunity to reach the people who are most in need of this kind of opportunity?

Details can also be found here (including an article and postcard in pdf form): 

Communing With Our Trans Kindred — A Conversation for the Black Church

http://hub.transfaithonline.org/events/philadelphia_pa_in_march_2012/transkindred/

or

http://hub.transfaithonline.org/events/philadelphia_pa_in_march_2012/

Thanks so much!

Chris"

Friday, February 24, 2012

HBGC - Lesbians of Color Symposium - March 3rd


Inaugural Lesbians of Color Symposium

Event: 
Saturday, March 3, 2012 - 9:30am - 6:00pm

In celebration of Women’s History Month, please join the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC) and fellow lesbians/queer identified women for Boston’s Inaugural Lesbians of Color Symposium.  We invite you to participate in a series of workshops designed to solidify our culture and strengthen our presence within the LGBTQ community.  Allies are welcome! 
Special Guests Include:
  • Mandy Cater - Social Justice Activist and Co-Founder of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) and Southerns On New Ground (SONG).  
  • Ryan Holmes & Genesis Tramaine - Founders of bklyn boihood.  bklyn boihood is a collective that creates visibility and builds community within masculine of center bois, lesbians, queers, trans-identified, studs, doms, butches and AGs of color through online media, events, workshops and collaborative projects.
  • Alyssa Asomani, Founder & Editor of STUD Magazine. Stud Magazine is an online based magazine founded in Toronto with an aim to redifine the term stud and introduce non gender conforming people to mainstream media.
Workshop Topics Include:
  • Health and Wellness
  • Gender Expression/Identity
  • Spirituality
  • Self Advocacy/Social Activism
  • Relationships …and more  
Review the listing of full workshop descriptions by clicking here.
Location: Harvard Law School  1545 Mass Ave  Cambridge, MA 
Registration Fee: $25.00  REGISTER ONLINE BY CLICKING HERE