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.

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Nehirim East 2015 / 5775 -- the last NE!

Today was day two of three of, and my only day at, Nehirim East – and this is actually the last NE; Nehirim announced on Monday the 4th that they can’t continue as an organization beyond this year, and #NehirimEast isn’t one of the programs that they can find a new home for.  Bittersweet, though many people at the retreat and elsewhere hadn’t yet heard the news, and it looks like that will take a while to change.  I was thinking that this would be a good thing to add to my annual work calendar, at least when it was in the DMV, but.    

Due to the financial forecast that led to Nehirim’s end as an organization, even teachers could only attend a half day without paying – normally we’d have the option of doing more pro bono work at the retreat, but due to the low registration for NE – about half of the hope -- that wasn’t possible.  My workshop being this afternoon, I planned on arriving after lunch and staying through dinner and perhaps for the duration.

As it turned out, I was lucky to make it to the retreat, or out of the house, at all, as I had a sciatica attack this morning and almost had to cancel altogether.  (And I didn’t even have it for ‘sexy’ reasons, in any sense – while looking at my face in the bathroom mirror, I leant in a little further (as I do every morning), and my back went berserk.)  But thankfully my pain and mobility improved enough for Julia to schlep me the hour from our home to Pearlstone in time for my workshop with fifteen minutes to spare.  I remained in some pain and somewhat stiff, but with ibuprofen and my mother-in-sin’s walker and special back cushion (she is disabled by arthritis and issues), it was okay.  And more importantly, it was worthwhile.  

My workshop was “Conceal?  Reveal?  Honor?  Claim?  Navigating Interfaith Experiences & Identities”, which I described thus:  Our retreat theme, ‘Concealed and Revealed: Honoring our Depths and Claiming our Wholeness’, seems made to include conversation about our interfaith experiences.  What does it mean to be a Jewish and/or interfaith person /  couple / family, community member / worker / leader?  How do these faith / religion / spirituality experiences and identities relate to our LGBTQIA+ ones?  How do they affect our process around disclosure, often known as “out”ness?  What do we do with questions about whether we’re too interfaithful to be Jewish? How is the faith community responding to these “new” challenges?  Your teacher will share some thoughts from hir personal and professional Jewscopalian / Trewscopalian journey and facilitate a group discussion.”

In addition to Julia I only had two attendees, but they were quite the bashert attendees, and we had a great conversation.  And in quite the setting – we sat in the end of a large room in a windowed area that was like a small solarium, and looked out over one of the natural landscapes (Pearlstone includes a farm and much more) – especially interesting when the edge of a thunderstorm storm passed through.    

Then on to dinner with everyone, where I got to catch up with retreat co-chair and fellow recent transplant to the DMV Rabbi Julia Watts Belser, and meet a trans person who lives very near to us (my Julia and I).  Then it was time for Mishpacha groups, and so Julia and I retired to one of the common areas, and ended up having a chat with fellow faculty member Bet Mish’s Rabbi Laurie Green.

We were tempted to stay for the service, and even for the havdallah, dancing and open mic, but Julia had to get up early for her volunteer work at Washington Ear, and I wanted to help my back recover as well as possible.

The other retreat co-chair was Nehirim’s Executive Director Rabbi Debra Kolodny; the other faculty were Sabrina Sojourner, Eryca Kasse, Dr. Dana Beyer, Rabbi Joel Alter, Rabbi John Franken and Michael Alterman.  This NE was sponsored by the World Congress of GLBT Jews (Keshet Ga'avah, Rainbow Pride), Bet Mishpachah, GLOE (the DC JCC's Kurlander Program for GLBT Outreach & Engagement), and Bolton Street Synagogue.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Open Door Metropolitan Community Church’s Tasha’s Follies

Julia and I had such a good time at our first and Open Door Metropolitan Community Church’s 19th Tasha’s Follies – Open Door’s almost-annual fundraising variety show with raffle to benefit WUMCO Help! Thanks, everyone!! 

We went tonight; it is, unbelievably, tomorrow night too. This year’s theme was Country Vs. Rock & Roll. They brought new meaning to ‘being a fool for the Lord’, and I truly do mean that in a wonderful way. To some extent, of course, ‘you had to be there’ – and I’m particularly sorry that some of you couldn’t be. But here are some of my highlights:

  • Maxie Pearl as the Narrator
  • Marie Osmond being played by a fat person, and wearing a sandwich board that had weight loss ads on the front and a “healthy is not a size” poster on the back; and returning to play the “little sister” during Billy Idol’s White Wedding
  • Jerry Lee Lewis throwing rainbow pom-poms into the audience during Great Balls Of Fire
  • Dolly Parton pulling all of her props out of her bra
  • June Carter Cash being played by a blow-up doll
  • Elton John changing his glasses several times
  • Ozzie Osbourne biting the heads off of Peeps
  • The Oakridge Boys’ Elvira including Elvira Mistress Of The Dark
  • Garth Brooks’ Friends In Low Places including a limbo contest and a crew of miners
  • Wynonna Judd losing it – and she was singing, not lip synching – because among other things Naomi was being too funny during their duet Rockin’ With The Rhythm Of The Rain
  • A version of Tina and Ike Turner doing Proud Mary that has actually, amazingly, ruined me for the original
  • The blow-up guitar used in a few of the performances having “Lucille” written on it 

Also:

  • Marie was joined by Donny
  • Tammy Wynette did Stand By Your Man
  • Dolly did 9 To 5 and Jolene
  • Mick Jagger and Keith Richards did Satisfaction
  • June was joined by Johnny for Jackson
  • Joan Jett did I Love Rock And Roll
  • The Beatles and others did Yellow Submarine and A Little Help From My Friends
  • American Idol with Simon Cowell, J. Lo, Randy Jackson; Justin Timberlake, Dolly, Elton, Ozzie, Elvis 
  • The cast did Miley Cyrus’ Party In The USA (a guilty pleasure of mine as well)
  • Family Feud with Richard Dawson, and Garth, Patsy and Dolly vs. Elton, Elvis and Ozzie
  • An Everly Brother did Wake Up Little Susie
  • Patsy Cline did Crazy
  • Elvis did Blue Suede Shoes – or rather, Green Neon Shoes, as in the sneakers zie was wearing
Plus tasty treats during intermission, and a number of extras that are hard to describe. Here is the flyer.  And, we made Julia’s outfit into her latest Massculine Fatshion post; though I was so into that that I forgot to get photos of my own outfit, oy.