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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Monday, October 12, 2015

2nd annual Fat Activism Conference (2015) #FatActCon

The Con's website and Facebook header image.

The second annual Fat Activism Conference (#FatActCon) was this past weekend (Friday October 9th through Sunday October 11th, 2015) -- and I was on the keynote panel Fat And Faith! 

The conference was again virtual – you could listen live or later, on your phone or computer.  And one of the great – and alas, all too rare – things about it was that presenters were paid, through profit-sharing, as well as having the option to earn money through an ‘affiliate’ program, where we received a percentage of the registrations of those who used our personal link. 

My fellow panelists were Rev. Gina Pond and Rabbi Minna Bromberg.  And we pretty much did what it said on our tin:  "This panel will look at the places where body size and various faiths collide, including ways that faith is used as a tool of fat oppression, as well as ways in which faith can provide a platform for size diversity activism for those who are interested.”  Or at least made a good start at it.  We were introduced and facilitated by Con organizer and tech guru Jeanette DePatie and moderated by Gina.  We pre-recorded the panel, and then added a live intro and Q&A (where Jeanette read us a few of the questions that had been submitted by attendees) after it was played during the Con; this was all done by conference call. 
It definitely wasn’t my best work, but I certainly learned a lot, and made some important connections in all senses. 

The collage the Con made for their website out of our panel's submitted photos (top to bottom it's Minna, myself, Gina).

My bio for the Con:  “Mycroft Masada is a faith leader who moved to the Washington DC area from hir lifelong home of Boston MA a year and a half ago.  Zie is a Community Engagement Adviser at TransFaith, a member of TransEpiscopal, and maintains the online presence of the Interfaith Coalition for Trans Equality.  Mycroft is called to fat justice, and is a writer and artist; hir piece “Good News: A Sermon On Fat Justice” appears in the current issue of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society (the Special Issue on Religion and Fat).  Zie is partnered with JuliaMcCrossin, the Fat Studies scholar, and their dogter Ursula is named after the flabulous Little Mermaid character.  More at http://MasadArts.blogspot.com/.”

Gina’s:  “Rev. Gina was initiated into an Alexandrian-type coven in 1999, and received her Third Degree on Beltane of 2010 as co-founder, along with her wife Sarah Thompson, of the Circle of Cerridwen (http://st4r.org).  In November 2013, she was approved for ordination in the Progressive Christian Alliance, and had her ordination ceremony on March 15, 2014. She graduated from Pacific School of Religion with a Masters of Divinity in May 2014. Rev. Gina also served on the Minister’s Board at City of Refuge, UCC, which is a radically inclusive Christian congregation, until the summer of 2015.  Rev. Gina is the host of the This Week In Heresy podcast (http://www.thisweekinheresy.com). This Week In Heresy is a weekly interview podcast where Rev. Gina interviews those who are exploring the boundaries of progressive thought, religion, and social justice. She is also a writer, yarn spinner, soaper, tech geek, and volunteer for her local Democratic party.”

Minna’s:  “As a singer, songwriter, rabbi, and voice teacher I use the tools of singing and songwriting to help people bring more of their inherent wholeness into the world. My fat activism began in 1989 when, as a 16 year old, I decided to give up dieting. Once I began connecting with the larger world of fat activism and fat feminism I brought what I was learning into my singing and songwriting (as exemplified in The Bathing Suit Song). My approach to voice teaching is deeply body positive and infused with knowing singing as an inherently integrative practice that brings together body, heart, mind, and soul. My fat Torah draws on the understanding that every human being is created in the image of the Divine and that every unique body is thus deserving of kavod (respect and honor) just as it is. I live in Jerusalem with my husband, Alan (who is also a rabbi as well as a supervisor of Clinical Pastoral Education — he teaches people to be better spiritual caregivers). I am inspired in my work by this verse from the Song of Songs: “Let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet!” Indeed, the world is listening for your voice, your unique contribution to the weave of creation. You can learn more about my work at minnabromberg.com.”
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