Just confirming that as usual, I had a good time at First Event a week ago Shabbat.
Special thanks to Bobbi Taylor for co-presenting ICTE’s Interfaith Trans & Allied Discussion Session with me and schlepping the MTPC table materials and myself and journalist Becky Garrison; Chris Miller for presenting MTPC’s Know Your Rights & The State of Trans Equal Rights Movement (which alas, I missed); Alishia Ouellette, Maxwell Ng and friends for tabling for MTPC; Konnor Crewe, FE 2013 Workshop Coordinator; Joelle Ruby Ryan for her Beauty Bias: Exploring Weightism, Looksism and Body Image in the Trans Community and more; and Raven Kaldera for his Transgender Spirituality and more.
For more about the 3 workshops I attended and the 6 others I most wanted to attend, read on…
The 3 workshops I attended:
Dr. Joelle Ruby Ryan
Do you have a positive body image? Have you ever been judged by another trans person about your appearance or weight? Could your self-esteem use a little boost? Then please come and join us for this facilitated discussion and sharing circle! The workshop leader will begin by sharing her own story, and provide examples of looksism and weightism in the trans community. She will also link these issues to gendered presentations/expressions and notions of “passing.” Then she will open up for others to share and reflect on these important topics. The goal of the workshop is to question society’s beauty standards and promote healthy self-esteem for people of all appearances, weights, shapes and sizes! (Saturday 11:30am-12:50am Salon B)
Dr. Joelle Ruby Ryan is a Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). She is a member of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women and the Chair of the Transgender Policy and Climate Committee (T-PACC). She also co-directs the annual Gender Identities Awareness (GIA) in November and the Transecting Society Conference in April. She is the founder of TransGender New Hampshire (TG-NH) and sits on their Steering Committee. She is also a member of the Trans-Feminine Working Group for the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference. In addition to trans issues, her areas of professional and academic interest include: feminism, asexuality, sex worker rights, media studies and production, fat studies, weightism and body image.
Mycroft Masada Holmes, Bobbi Taylor
(Saturday 2:30-3:50pm Independence)
Mycroft Masada Holmes is an interfaith transgender leader based in hir native Boston, Massachusetts; Chair of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition’s Interfaith Committee, board member of Congregation Am Tikva. Mycroft is also a thin ally in the movement for fat social justice, and a writer and artist. Bobbi Taylor is a transgender activist living and working in the Boston area. In addition to being a housewife, husband, and father, as well as a member of various committees of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, Bobbi has a background in Zen Buddhism, evangelical Christianity, and Paganism.
(Saturday 4:00-4:50pm Constitution)
Raven Kaldera is a queer FTM transgendered intersexual shaman. He is the author of too many books to list here, including “Hermaphrodeities: The Transgender Spirituality Workbook” and and “Double Edge: The Intersection of Transgender and BDSM”. He and his partner and co-presenter Joshua Tenpenny have been teaching and presenting workshops regularly for many years to the transgender, BDSM, Neo-Pagan, Sex/Spirituality, and other communities. ‘Tis an ill wind that blows no minds. Website: www.ravenkaldera.org
The 6 other workshops I most wanted to attend:
Reverend Sarah Carpenter was raised in a conservative Republican, Pre-Vatican II Catholic household and has known she was an M to F transsexual from age 5. It was only through counseling that she transitioned and began living as herself. Reverend Sarah Carpenter was ordained in 1996 with a Bachelors Degree in Religion and Philosophy. She received a Masters Degree in Biblical Studies in 2000 and was awarded a Doctorate in New Testament Theology in 2006.
Raven Kaldera with Bella Kaldera and V. Eugenides Hardy
(Saturday 2:30-3:50pm Constitution)
Raven Kaldera is a queer FTM transgendered intersexual shaman. See the complete bio above.
V. Eugenides Hardy is an FTM transsexual artist and radical queer Christian who finds fulfillment in spiritual service. He is dedicated to helping transgendered, queer, and otherwise sexually unusual people to feel good about themselves and their place in the Universe.
Bella Kaldera is an MTF transsexual who lives on a small farm in Hubbardston, MA. She loves target practice, watercolors, and heritage skills, and can often be found holding forth on a wide variety of subjects.
Dr. Joelle Ruby Ryan
(Saturday 4:00-4:50pm Salon D)
Dr. Joelle Ruby Ryan is a Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). See her complete bio above.
(Saturday 1:00-2:20pm Constitution)
Founded in 2001, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is dedicated to ending discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. Chris Miller is the chair of MTPC’s training committee and a steering committee member. For the past seven years he has been a self-employed multicultural consultant conducting trainings and providing executive coaching addressing issues of privilege/oppression in the workplace. See their Web Site and a Bio for Chris Miller.
As transgender people we can often have a difficult relationship with the organized religion in which we were raised–or a difficult time finding loving affirming religious community as adults. What if we enlarged the discussion? What if we drew together the best of what faith and spirituality have to offer us? What if we decided to create our own relationship to the Divine, own understanding of God? To experience God in a much more personal, yet universal way? Interested the journey? Workshop will be a guided discussion introducing participants to a new, comforting, inspiring way to approach All That Is.
For those who have decided on a new name, Rev. Weekley conducts a rite of passage ceremony to honor this very special milestone. Held Sunday morning, 10:15-11:15am.