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


Saturday, December 10, 2016

DMV Fat-Friendly Community holiday party 2016

The DMV Fat-Friendly Community holiday party was today, and it was great, greatly thanks to our hostesses with the most. A smorgasbord of sweet and savory snacks (provided and potluck), clothing swap (complete with shoes, socks, accessories, jewelry…), “white narwhal” gift swap* (based on your favorite holiday movie), and more.

*Pictured is the gift we brought – a stationery set I made to look like sushi-to-go (more of my art at http://masadarts.blogspot.com/2014/12/mycroft-masada-masadarts-my-artwork.html).

This is the group my partner Julia founded a few years ago; it has over 100 members, and the more the merrier.

#DMV #fatfriendly #community #fatcommunity #DC #MD #VA #holidayparty #party #potluck #clothingswap #giftswap #whitenarwhal #fatacceptance #fatjustice #fatactivism

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Montgomery County MD Police LGBTQ Community Meeting #3

Tonight Julia and I attended the Montgomery County Police Department's third LGBTQ Community Meeting.  The first was in June, and the second in September; the next and fourth is scheduled for Tuesday March 7th, and the contact person is Lieutenant Nick Augustine at Nicholas.Augustine@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov -- a gay officer who speaks at and MCs these meetings.

There were no members of the media at all this time, apparently, and again less people (than last time, which was much less than the previous, first time); but hopefully that will change, especially as we continue to create the MoCo Pride Center (we have finally started an LGBTQ center for our county).  And, it is December and all!

The agenda included:
- A holiday safety demonstration by the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service (which I especially appreciated as my paternal grandparents and great-aunt died in the fire at Boston's Cocoanut Grove nightclub during Thanksgiving week of 1942; too, my brother is a firefighter and EMT in Ohio)
- A presentation on the current substance-abuse epidemic -- focusing on heroin, and including a demonstration of how to use the latest overdose-antidote delivery devices
- A Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office presentation on the legal perspective of hate-crime prosecution

#LGBTQcommunity #LGBTQ #MontgomeryCountyMD #MoCoMD #MoCo #MontgomeryCounty #Gaithersburg #MD #Maryland #police‬ #countypolice

Saturday, December 3, 2016

TransFaith Being Brave Together retreats -- #4 in Baltimore

TransFaith -- where I'm a founding member of the new National Council -- launched its Being Brave Together model early this year, and the centerpiece is our Being Brave Together retreats for trans* and allied spiritual/cultural workers in regions around the country.  We’ve done them in Miami once (February) and Philly twice (April and June), and I’ve co-facilitated all three.  
Our fourth and latest BBT retreat was today in Baltimore, at the GLCCB (GLBT Community Center), and it was good! Thanks, everyone!! I co-facilitated with Vann Millhouse, in partnership with the TF staff and a local planning committee; as usual, we had some other TF leadership with us as well.

But what IS Being Brave Together, you ask? What is in the binder, and the TF carrying case? And what are the river rocks and glass pebbles for? Well, maybe you should come to a BBT retreat and find out.

We are planning them in several places as we speak – including two in my home state of MA -- and want to plan more, so be in touch and stay tuned (transfaithonline.org/connect/being_brave_together/).

#TransFaith #BeingBraveTogether #retreat #trans* #transgender #faith #Baltimore #GLCCB #DMV

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire -- 74th anniversary (1942 - 2016)

Tonight is the 74th yahrzeit of my paternal grandparents and great aunt – they died on November 28th of 1942, in the fire in Boston’s Cocoanut Grove nightclub, which killed almost 500 people (and injured more than 160 others); may their memories be a blessing.

When my father's parents Adelaide (Levin) and Theodore Wasserman (pictured, probably on their honeymoon in Bermuda) and her sister Sadie (Levin) Levin (yes, she was a Levin who married a Levin!) passed on, they were significantly younger than their youngest grandchild my brother is now; their son my father was two, and his brothers were in infancy and seven. My great-uncle Benjamin Levin, Sadie's husband, survived.

Another of Adelaide's sisters, Lillian, and her husband, came down with the family party from Maine, but as usual that couple opted to go to the Symphony instead.  They began to find out about the fire after they left the Hall and saw all the emergency vehicles.  They adopted their nephews, my father and his brothers.

And I do believe that this is a social in/justice story -- though I also believe that all stories are – especially as the fire was so much the result of corruption within and between the club ownership and the city, and the deaths and injuries largely due to the club’s furnishings becoming extremely toxic when heated.

And I think that that is the primary reason why there has been so much silence around the Grove.  And as usual, even with the positive changes that resulted, the corruption and silence has led to the forgetting and thus repetition of history -- for instance, the Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island.  However, the 70th anniversary of the Grove fire has inspired more acknowledgement and even some action, including the formation of the Cocoanut Grove Coalition -- though I'm not sure how active they've continued to be.

In 2013, there was an official ceremony and reception at the site, and I attended with my father; it included the unveiling of a street sign saying “Cocoanut Grove Lane”, which joined a plaque in the sidewalk that took many years to install and had long been the only marker.

In January 2014, I moved to Maryland after a lifetime in the Boston area, to begin living with my partner of what was then four and half years, Julia (she has always lived in MD or DC, and needed to remain here to care for her parents).  I have been missing my usual annual visit(s) to the Grove site, where I would leave flowers and/or other small gifts.  My father has continued the visits, and was there this afternoon, though he saw no sign of other visitors.  Here are his photos of the plaque and its context today (rather conveniently, he is a professional photographer).  

And I am sorry to hear that luxury condos have been built on the site -- and how much more so that their management, some tenants and others have added insult to injury by complaining about having to remember the Grove fire, and managed to remove the plaque and move it down the street.  But, I am glad to hear that this drama prompted the mayor to announce that he supports the installation of a full-on memorial.

And speaking of drama, there is a new play about the Grove fire -- James Hansen Prince's "Inferno : Fire At The Cocoanut Grove 1942" (Prince, who both wrote and directed, had a relative at the Grove that night); I have heard some good things, and hope to at least read it soon.  Too, I will continue to work on a fuller piece about this part of our family’s story -- though I think a truly full version may need to wait until after more people pass away.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

My Aunt Pat, a professional artist in Boston, gives art lessons


One of my maternal aunts is Patricia Trapp, a professional artist back in Boston. She offers art lessons, prints and stationery of her photography (of her flowers, rainbows from her sun-catchers, and other things) as well as other crafts (including hand-painted eggs), and takes commissions for paintings and possibly other artwork.  I help her with her PR, especially because she's not online at all; this is her permanent ad, and a new one goes up on CraigsList (Boston) each week.  My artwork is here (and via the "My artwork" link in this blog's header).

Patricia Trapp, a professional artist in Boston, is offering art classes for individuals and small groups of all ages. She is also available for freelance mural work. She can be reached at 617.522.2046.

Classes include:

- Basic instruction in the fundamentals of painting

- Beginning through advanced techniques

- Brushwork 

- Color, light and shade / shadow, and perspective

- Describing form, how to build a painting

- Illustrating animals, landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes

- Creating natural textures, such as foliage

- How-to's of students' requests

- Ink, watercolor, acrylics and pastels -- no oils

There is a shopping list of basic required materials, which are to be purchased by students. 

Patricia is a native of the Boston area, and has been a professional artist here and in Europe for many years. She is currently a professional freelance muralist, for the decorators of the Boston Design Center and private clients. 

She attended Boston's Museum of Fine Arts' School, and received her BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in Theatre Design from Boston University. She was the resident designer and head of the painting department at Decocitel in Brussels, Belgium. She has also been a designer and instructor at the University of Massachusetts / Boston, the Boston Conservatory, and the Boston and Brookline Public Schools (through a grant from the Massachusetts Council for the Arts), and currently teaches art in a Cambridge school. 

Please call her at 617.522.2046.

The above image is one of Patricia's commissioned paintings, done entirely by hand -- the original is 6 feet by 8 feet.  The below is a dragon t-shirt she made for me -- an iron-on transfer of a scan of her original 8”x10” painting, additional iron-on transfers of scans of her original painted framing corners, hand-applied 3D gold glitter t-shirt paint, hand-sewn beads.



Mycroft Masada ~ MasadArts ~ my artwork

These are some of the options for my sushi stationery sets -- little kits for creating offline mail that look like boxes of takeaway sushi.

Shana tova, happy 5777, and welcome to the MasadArts art department.   

I’ve updated my artwork portfolio, and made it into 3 albums: 
  • Stationery (greeting cards in several formats, gift tags / ornaments, keepsake books, sushi stationery sets…) 
  •  Jewelry (earrings, pendants, friendship pins…) 
  • Miscellaneous (wrapped pomegranates and candles, juice bottle cap tea-light holders, eyeglass cases…)
My work is mostly handmade, and made mostly of vintage / recycled / found / thrifted / gifted etc. materials; and I do take commissions, personalize, customize and so on. 

I invite you to enjoy, Like / +1, comment, share, shop, etc.

Also, my Aunt Pat back in Boston is also an artist, and offers lessons, paintings, photography, stationery and more

Sunday, September 25, 2016

DMV Fat-Friendly Community field trip to mini golf

My photo of the course’s seahorse statue at one of the holes, taken during one of my and Julia’s previous visits; I like seahorses, especially as they are dragon-like, and a trans*(-gender et al) symbol.

Today my partner Julia and I took the DMV* Fat-Friendly Community on a field trip to our city’s mini golf course.  I know, a city with its own mini golf course!  Gaithersburg MD, Julia’s hometown, is similar to my second hometown of Newton MA (first is Brookline MA), but for weather and other reasons I don’t think mini golf would be a good government investment there; (more) private mini golf is still pretty popular in MA though, especially at Summer vacation areas like Cape Cod.  We had a lot of interest in the event, but also a lot of scheduling conflicts – but we did have two other families join us, and all had a good time.  (*DC / MD / VA, as in District of Columbia / Maryland / Virginia; Julia founded the DMV FFC a few years ago.)

Here is the text of the Facebook event:

“DMV FFC Goes To G-Burg's Mini Golf

Come join Julia McCrossin and I at Gaithersburg's mini golf course (our town and her hometown)! We've been a few times, most recently on Labor Day weekend.

Start time is flexible (with notice), and we can host two rounds -- the last one must start by 6 (they close at 7, and the last players must start an hour before). Also, we have 6 free passes (residents $6, non $7, seniors $5/$6; groups of 10 $5).

And again, it is a pretty accessible place -- from Julia: "Just a note about accessibility, the course is not flat, but has paved walkways that are built for wheelchair/stroller access to each hole. Many, but not all, of the 18 holes have a sturdy metal bench for sitting. There is one pretty steep, but short, walk to a hole with a very steep incline."

Official site at http://www.gaithersburgmd.gov/about-gaithersburg/city-facilities/miniature-golf-course.

We will bring the remaining Birkenstocks Julia's mother is giving away, for those who want to try them on (see my post in DMV Fat-Friendly Community for details).”

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Montgomery County MD Police LGBTQ Community Meeting #2

Tonight Julia and I attended the Montgomery County Police Department's second LGBTQ Community Meeting.  The first was in June, planned before and then galvanized by the mass shooting at Latin Night at Orlando's Pulse LGBTQ nightclub earlier that month.

There was only one member of the media present this time, apparently -- a reporter from WHAG, who did publish a story (video and transcript), and quoted my colleague Rev. Jill McCrory and I -- and not as many people; but hopefully that will change, especially as we continue to create the MoCo Pride Center (we have finally started an LGBTQ center for our county, and Rev. Jill is in leadership there as well).  And Julia's mother came with us for the first time (you can see both of them in WHAG's video).

The agenda included:
- The Department of Homeland Security's video “Run, Hide, Fight: Surviving an Active Shooter Event" (produced with Houston TX's public safety people)
- An overview of the Montgomery County Family Justice Center and its services available to the LGBTQ community
- A review of recent bias-related incidents in Montgomery County
- The Department of Justice's law enforcement training video “Effective Interactions with the Transgender Community
 
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday December 7th, and the contact person is Lieutenant Nick Augustine at Nicholas.Augustine@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov -- a gay officer who speaks at and MCs these meetings.

#LGBTQcommunity #LGBTQ #MontgomeryCountyMD #MoCoMD #MoCo #MontgomeryCounty #Gaithersburg #MD #Maryland #police‬ #countypolice

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Fat Studies Journal call for proposals -- Fatness & Temporality

(I couldn't find a web page for this CFP, so I gave it one here. My "Good News : A Sermon On Fat Justice" appears in the Journal's Religion & Fat special issue of April 2015 (volume 4 issue 2).  : > ))

Special issue of Fat Studies: Fatness and Temporality

Guest edited by Jen Rinaldi, Emma Lind, May Friedman, Crystal Kotow, Tracy Tidgwell

The “Fatness and Temporality” special issue of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society considers the relationship between fat identity and the social construction of time. The editors invite papers on a variety of topics that explore, for example, how fat bodies interrupt, disrupt, engage, or resist ideas about normative timelines and expectations of the human lifespan. Building upon queer theory’s temporal turn, our interrogation of fat temporalities considers the impacts of affect, sensation, and memory through the lens of fat citizenship. We seek to answer questions such as: what is the fat body’s imagined past and future? How might we theorize fat futurity? How do fat subjects “fall out of time” in their disavowal of normative life scripts?

This special issue invites papers across disciplines that may consider themes such as:

● Fat bodies as sites of metamorphosis and, thus, atemporality;
● Age-specific weight guidelines and the normative construction of the growing adolescent body;
● The exclusion of fat bodies from “youthful” standards of idealized bodies;
● The pressures to lose weight in anticipation of rites of passage like marriage;
● The “perils” of fat as violations of the necessity of long life and prosperity at any cost;
● Fat bodies as retreating to childlike states in terms of both external controls and the imperative to shrink;
● The recursiveness of fat bodies which may yoyo through different states;
● Fat as outside of normative timelines of romance and reproduction and the limitations and opportunities offered by existing outside of these frames;
● Implications for fat reproduction and/or fat parenting as impossible or highly fraught states;
● Fat history and the association of obesity with industrial modernity.

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 Jen Rinaldi, at Jen.Rinaldi@uoit.ca by October 1, 2016. Any questions about the special issue can be directed to this email address as well.

First drafts of full manuscripts will be submitted for editorial review by December 1, 2016. Full final manuscripts will be required in March 31, 2017. 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.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Maryland Trans* Unity Picnic 2016


After taking a break last year, today’s 3rd (Mostly) Annual Maryland Trans*Unity Picnic at Open Door Metropolitan Community Church (a beautiful building in beautiful grounds) was very good indeed. 

Thank you, everyone!!! Very special thanks to MD Trans* Unity organizer Ezra Towne and family, who among other things provided this amazing cake -- which not only includes the trans* flag but colors from genderqueer and other community flags!

(And the bakery left out the asterisk, so I made one using a Sharpie on the back of a glass pebble.)

Good fellowship, good food, good games and sidewalk chalk, and good news -- we are finally starting a queer community center for our county (!) -- the MoCo Pride Center.



And a good way to spend my mother's 16th yahrzeit (she passed on 16 years ago today, primarily due to alcoholism).

#MDTransUnity #MarylandTransUnity #picnic #potluck #OpenDoorMCC #BoydsMD #Boyds #MD #Maryland #trans* #transgender #DC #Washington #WashingtonDC #Baltimore #MoCoMD #MontgomeryCountyMD #MontgomeryCounty

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Montgomery County MD Police LGBTQ Community Meeting #1

Though it was only announced last Wednesday, and we and many others only heard about it yesterday (or today), tonight’s Montgomery County Police Department LGBTQ Community Meeting was pleasantly surprising, and a first in many ways, including the first in a series -- the next one is scheduled for September 21st, and the contact person is Lt. Nick Augustine at Nicholas.Augustine@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov (a gay officer who spoke first and MCed).

It was already in the works when the Pulse shooting occurred, and it also turns out that even in our highly unusual "model" county, anti-LGBTQ incidents are the most likely.

I was interviewed by Montgomery Community Media (also includes Stephanie Kreps' interview; they published a separate video with Chief Manger's interview), WUSA 9 and WTOP (at the same time, but we haven't found the latter's story yet, though at least one person heard it on the radio), and included in NBC Washington’s report; my partner Julia's question to the chief about the needs of LGBTQ people of color was made good use of as well.  The Montgomery Sentinel was there but we haven't found their story yet either.

‪#‎Orlandoshooting‬ ‪#‎Pulseshooting‬ ‪#‎Orlando‬ ‪#‎Pulse‬ ‪#‎MontgomeryCountyMD‬ ‪#‎MoCoMD‬ ‪#‎MoCo‬ ‪#‎MoCoMDPolice‬ ‪#‎MCMDPublicSafety‬ ‪#‎Gaithersburg‬ ‪#‎MD‬ ‪#‎Maryland‬ ‪#‎LGBTQLatinx‬ ‪#‎LGBTQPOC‬ ‪#‎Latinx‬ ‪#‎POC‬ ‪#‎LGBTQ‬ ‪#‎PrideMonth2016‬ ‪#‎Pride2016‬ ‪#‎PrideMonth‬ ‪#‎Pride‬ ‪#‎police‬

Friday, June 17, 2016

Gaithersburg event re: Pulse shooting -- my prose piece

Tonight we held an event here in Gaithersburg MD recognizing the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando FL -- here is my main post about it. This post is the prose piece I wrote for the event and read at it:

My name is Mycroft Masada, and I am a faith leader.

I live here in Gaithersburg with my family; this is my partner Julia’s hometown, I moved here two years ago after a lifetime in Boston.  I am a transgender person of faith, and I do trans advocacy work – locally, with a small group of local leaders; and nationally, with an organization called TransFaith.
           
And primarily, I bring questions.  Why are we here?  Tonight is about Orlando, but it is also about much more – it has to be.  We have to “think globally, act locally”.  We have to become more in solidarity with our siblings in Orlando and nationwide, and beyond – but we also have to question ourselves, and each other.

Because we are not Orlando, not most of us.  We are Gaithersburg, and neighboring towns, and Montgomery County, and Maryland.  Some of us have closer connections to what happened in Orlando and since, some of us live at those intersections; many of us don’t.

We do live in one of the most diverse cities and counties in the country.  We have many in our community who are Latinx, Black, otherwise people of color, Muslim, LGBTQI+.  We have a statewide LGBTQ organization, based in Baltimore.  We have LGBT rights laws – including trans rights laws since 2007 / 2014 (county / state).  We have some LGBTQ organizing in MoCo – mostly around youth.  We have some LGBTQ-welcoming faith communities.  We even have a very few trans-specific things – like Maryland Trans* Unity.  

But do we have a community?  A local community?  An intersectional community?

We have no Montgomery County or Gaithersburg LGBTQ organizations, no county or city Pride Month or other LGBTQ calendar events.  This is the 18th day of Pride Month 2016, and this vigil is going to be our only Pride event!  How can that be?  Montgomery College used to host a Pride, and it may again – how can we support that?  We shouldn’t have to go to Frederick, or Baltimore, or DC to find community – and not everyone can.  We have a county Transgender Day Of Remembrance, or TDOR.  But Zella Ziona and Keyonna Blakeney’s names are included – and they are black trans women in their twenties who were murdered right here in Gaithersburg in October and in Rockville in April.  What does that mean?  There was a community event inspired by Zella and Keyonna in Rockville in April – but it was organized by communities in DC and Baltimore.  

I’m very privileged, and I’m still struggling in some ways.  What is the struggle of those who are less privileged?  Our community members, our neighbors, our closer connections.
           
There have been many loving responses to Orlando – and also many hateful and otherwise harmful ones.  Too many of them from “allies” -- people who do or should know better.  And there has been a lot of silence – many people have not responded at all.

How are we responding to all of this?

How are we responding to people who may say “LGBT”, and maybe even “Q”, but only talk about gay and lesbian people and other men and women?  Who don’t talk about bisexual, trans and queer people, intersex and asexual people, and the rest of the infinite sex / gender / sexuality spectrum.  How are we responding to racism – against Latinx people, Black people, other people of color?  How are we responding to Islamophobia?  To mental illness.  To domestic violence.  To the conversation about guns.  To classism, ableism, fatphobia and so much more.    

And how are we being intersectional in our responses?  Seeing and sharing how these identities and oppressions intersect -- which they always do.  Centering those who live at the most challenging intersections.  Giving them more space to speak.  Recognizing and using our own privilege.

ElieWiesel taught us that the opposite of love isn’t hate, but indifference.  We have a lot of love in this country, this state, this county, this city.  But we also have a lot of hate, and a great deal of indifference.

May tonight inspire us to take meaningful action towards  social justice – locally, and far beyond.

Amen.

Gaithersburg event re: Pulse shooting -- Gretchen Wyrick prose piece

Tonight we held an event here in Gaithersburg MD recognizing the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando FL -- here is my main post about it. This post is the prose piece Gretchen Wyrick wrote for the event and read at it (and it is fairly detailed, so please use your best judgement around if / when / how long to read it):

Orlando Shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida

On June 12, 2016 at around 2:00 am the United States experienced the deadliest mass shooting in its history as a gunman entered the crowded gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida. He headed towards the main bar.

Armed with an assault rifle, a hand gun, and large amounts of ammunition, the gunman opened fire on the 300 plus patrons and employees of the club. He moved without words across the dance floor; a dark shadow firing his weapon.

Gun fire replaced the blaring music and glass fell shattering all over the floor. Club goers screamed and tried to run for safety.

At 2:09 am the nightclub took to Facebook posting “Everyone get out of Pulse and keep running.”

Angel Colon said “We just grabbed each other. We started running.” Angel was shot several times and fell to the ground.  He watched as the gunman shot the woman next to him and then began shooting the other people already lying on the floor.

People crawled for cover and rushed towards the doors.

Ray Rivera, a DJ at the club, watched as people frantically darted out from the club. A man and a woman dashed to hide under his DJ booth. The man took off as soon as there was a break in the shooting; Ray pushed the woman and said, “Let’s go,” heading for the door.

Loud music still blared from the speakers.

Samuel Maldonado was working in the club’s courtyard when gunshots rang out and the crowd began to run from inside Pulse.  As the gunman approached the courtyard Samuel hid under a table. A woman close to Samuel was screaming and crying. He jumped on top of her, covering her mouth as the gunman moved
closer. The gunman proceeded to reload his weapon and turned his sights back towards the club. The shooting resumed.

An off duty officer working at the club responded to the shots and gun fire was exchanged.

As additional officers arrived, a gun battle ensued and the gunman retreated back inside the club to a bathroom taking several hostages with him.

Norman Casiano crawled into a bathroom and wedged himself into a stall crammed with at least a dozen other people. He prayed “Please don’t let this be where I go.” A dark figure loomed outside the stall door; Norman froze, certain the gunman was just inches away. Norman heard people pleading “Please, please, please don’t shoot” “Please don’t do this. Let us go,” but the gunman continued to open fire.

Trapped patrons were helpless, shocked, and scared. They desperately called police and texted friends and family for help.

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice found shelter in one of the bathrooms and texted his mom:

Mommy I love you
In the club they shooting
Trapd in the bathroom
Call police
Im gonna die

His mother, Mina Justice, replied trying the reassure her son:

Calling them now
U still there?
Answer your phone
Call me.
Call me.

Unknown to Mina, Eddie’s mother, the gunman had just peppered the bathroom stalls with gun shots.

All around Patience Carter, unanswered cell phones chirped. Patience took cover in one the bathrooms stalls as the gunman stood right outside. She could hear him talking; he sounded deranged. His feet were visible just beyond the stall door. After what felt like an eternity Patience heard three large blasts and officers telling people to move away from the walls.

At around 5 am, after a three hour standoff between the gunman and Orlando police, the SWAT team used an armored vehicle, construction equipment, and explosives to breach the club walls allowing hostages to flee. Police also removed an air conditioner unit guiding patrons to crawl out to safety.

The gunman then exited through one of the holes engaging in a shootout with police resulting in his death.

As the police entered the horrific scene inside the nightclub they asked survivors to raise their hands, many who had been injured were carried outside by the officers. Pools of blood covered the floor.

39 people were pronounced dead at the scene and 11 more after being transported to the hospital. 53 people were wounded and taken nearby for medical treatment.

Among the victims were a barista, an accountant, a recent high school grad, a mother, a son, and a best friend.

This was truly an act of hate, a crime against a community. This massacre has already been defined as one of the nation’s worst terror attacks.

In the wake of such a devastating tragedy my thoughts are with the victims, their families, and friends. Let us be a light for them in this a dark time, for darkness cannot live in the light.

Gaithersburg MD event re: Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando FL

The City’s photo of their Concert Pavilion – partly because I was verklempt enough at the event that I had a junior moment about taking photos.  But I think at least one attendee captured it on their phone. 

Tonight we held a community event here in Gaithersburg to recognize and start to process the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando – our official title was LGBTQ Vigil And Recognition of Pulse Massacre (and here is the Facebook event).

This may well be the only Orlando event in this city, which is my partner Julia’s hometown and our current home (I moved here two and a half years ago after a lifetime in Boston).  The lead organizer and MC was Jenny Armour, in partnership with some of her City Hall co-workers and others; Julia became one of the part-time Greeters at our city hall a few months ago.  The event was held at City Hall – the city was not an official sponsor, but they provided us with the Concert Pavilion including the sound system, and through a related connection we had two uniformed police officers attend.

One of the most significant things about the event was that it was led and largely attended by people of color, and primarily Latinx people.  While attendance was quite small -- mainly due to scheduling conflicts and the other usual issues -- it was supportive and diverse (including age), and we were joined by a young family that happened to be passing through and stopped to inquire about what was happening; and we certainly had many people who were there in spirit -- and hope to have many more through our sharing about the event and the rest of the local community work.  Too, Julia and I were blessed to have some friends from our local faith and fat communities join us.  Also, the weather was excellent -- if anything, even better than shown in the photo.  

Julia and I brought the battery-operated tea light 'candles' from the Montgomery County MD Trans(gender) Day of Remembrance (#MCMDTDOR) and lined the front edge of the stage with 49 of them -- one for each victim.  This worked out well even though it was daylight even at the very end of our gathering (it's almost the longest day of the year); again, sorry I didn't get any photos, but I was verklempt etc.

We opened the evening with Jenny giving a welcome.

Michelle sang the National Anthem (The Star Spangled Banner).

Gretchen Wyrick read her prose piece about what happened at Pulse in the very early morning of Sunday June 12th -- and it is fairly detailed, so please use your very best judgement around if, when and how long to read it.  
(And it was only through listening to her that I realized that part of my connection to the Orlando events is that my paternal grandparents died along with almost 500 others in the fire at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston in 1942 (which was largely the result of the club owner conspiring with the city in ways that that made a fire very likely and very lethal; click here to read my most recent post about it.)
  • “On June 12, 2016 at around 2:00 am the United States experienced the deadliest mass shooting in its history as a gunman entered the crowded gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida.”
Leslie read the names of the 49 people who were murdered that night.

Jenny read Jameson Fitzpatrick’s poem “A Poem For Pulse” – he posted in on Facebook just hours after the shooting and as a response to that news; she read a version she edited for this evening.
  • “Last night, I went to a gay bar
  • with a man I love a little.
  • After dinner, we had a drink.” 
Rob and Leslie sang along with Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day”.

Keith Pumphrey read Mark Rikerby’s 2008 poem “How We Survive.”
  • “If we are fortunate,
  • we are given a warning.
  • If not…" 
I shared some thoughts about how the events in Orlando and the responses to them can help us think about our local community and commitment to social justice.
  • “And primarily, I bring questions.  Why are we here?  Tonight is about Orlando, but it is also about much more – it has to be.”
Rob and Leslie sang Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love”, including Mary Lambert’s “She Keeps Me Warm” chorus.

Julie Lyst, Jenny’s partner, shared some words. 

Jenny gave thanks and some final thoughts.

And then, especially as it was almost the longest day of the year, we were able to spend some informal time with each other before we all parted.  (Though Julia and I couldn’t stay as long as we might have liked, as we needed to get home to our bossy dogter – we could have brought her, especially as we walk her there pretty often, and maybe we should have.) 

Thanks very much, everyone!  It was good to discover some more local LGBTQ+ and allied community members, and I look forward to further connection.  

For more about the aftermath of Pulse, from a Florida-led national perspective, visit WeAreOrlando.org.   

Monday, June 13, 2016

Montgomery County MD event re: mass shooting at Pulse nightclub

Tonight we attended Community Leaders Join LGBTQ Community to Condemn Violence and Bigotry -- pretty much the official Montgomery County MD event about the mass shooting at the Pulse LGBT+ nightclub in Orlando FL, i.e. the event that all the local and state politicians etc. were at, and by far the most visible Pulse event here.  And as we expected, and some of tonight's speakers acknowledged, it was a long strange trip in many ways.

It was especially interesting as the Jewish holiday of Shavuot was ending at sunset, and so was another day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan -- indeed, our Muslim organizational hosts invited us to join them for an iftar dinner after they retired for prayer (and any Muslim present was invited to join them for that as well).  And of course the shooting was just yesterday morning (in the very early hours), and I just returned from the Philly Trans Health Conference with TransFaith today.  This is quite a Pride season!  Among other things.

And perhaps the very best part of tonight was James "Jim" Stowe's speech.  Jim is the Director of the Montgomery County MD Office of Human Rights, and has been a powerful ally in local LGBTQ work.  It's been a privilege and pleasure to work closely with him on trans issues here.

“Senator, why do we not have a Gay Pride parade in Montgomery County? We have members of the LGBTQ community in Montgomery County. Why don’t we stand up and be proud of that as well? And celebrate that!”

Saturday, June 11, 2016

DMV Fat-Friendly Community -- Clothing Swap & Tea

The fun image that was used for the Facebook event.

Sadly, we missed the DMV Fat-Friendly Community’s latest clothing swap today, at a Community member's parent's home (thanks!  I was at the Philly Trans Health Conference with TransFaith, and Julia was busy too).  Especially sad as it did what it said on its tin (ha!) in that it included a lot of good tea and related snacks.  But we hear great things from those who were there.

And if more fat-friendly community in the DMV (DC / MD / VA) would make you happier too, dear reader, please be in touch.

We have more plans being planned, and are open to questions, suggestions and more -- but it's also more than okay if you need to just "lurk" and/or be online-only.  My Julia founded the DMV FFC a few years ago, and we have more than 100 members in the Facebook Group now! Including a good amount who actively participate online and off -- and/but, the more the merrier.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Montgomery County MD's first LGBTQ youth prom!

Tonight we chaperoned the MoCo MD LGBTQ Youth Forum’s Pride Prom (A Time Travelers' Ball; steampunk-themed), right here in Gaithersburg (my partner Julia’s hometown and our current home) – the first queer youth prom in this county!

Julia attended the ’89 Gaithersburg High School prom and I the ’94 Newton North High School (suburban Boston MA) one -- I was half of the first (?) LGBTQ couple to do so, and went on to attend and chaperone the BAGLY Prom (Boston Alliance of LGBTQ youth) the oldest in the country.

In addition to DJ ‘Zo, we had a crew from HOT 99.5 (FM, DC), including DJ Houston, who is gay; and much of the food was donated by &Pizza and Wegmans (Germantown).

Our vest and some of the rest of our outfits are thrifted, and our orchids are from one of our houseplants.

‪#‎MCMDPrideProm‬ ‪#‎LGBTQyouth‬ ‪#‎LGBTQ‬ ‪#‎youth‬ ‪#‎queeryouth‬ ‪#‎prom‬ ‪#‎LGBTQprom‬ ‪#‎MoCoMD‬ ‪#‎MoCo‬ ‪#‎MD‬ ‪#‎Maryland‬ ‪#‎Gaithersburg‬ ‪#‎steampunk‬ ‪#‎MoCoLGBTQyouth‬ ‪#‎MoCoLGBTQyouthforum‬

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Science News : Planet Jupiter Now Looks Like Transgender Flag!

So we went to our local post office today – and learned that the planet Jupiter now looks like the trans*(gender et al) flag!  (The most popular one, by far, at least.)

Views of Our Planets and Pluto Explored forever stamps will be issued on the 31st at the World Stamp Show 2016 (in NYC).

And of course we will get and use some.

‪#‎PlanetStamps‬ ‪#‎Jupiter‬ ‪#‎transflag‬ ‪#‎trans‬ ‪#‎transgender‬ ‪#‎transpride‬ ‪#‎stamps‬ ‪#‎USPSstamps‬ ‪#‎USPS‬

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Free State Legal & Equality Maryland's Community Listening Sessions

Free State Legal & Equality Maryland have been holding Community Listening Sessions across the state, and Julia and I helped to organize two of them (and we attended those ones).  FSLEM has also been doing a community survey (primarily through Survey Monkey).  This is all part of their merger, to become the primary statewide LGBTQ organization.

On Wednesday May 4th, we were in Rockville, at the public library, and it was very successful.  Special thanks to Maryland Trans*Unity for hosting – especially its primary organizer Ezra Towne.  (Facebook event.) Also, our meeting room at the Rockville Library had the soda fountain from Vinson’s Pharmacy.  

On Sunday May 15th, we were in Boyds, at Open Door Metropolitan Community Church -- which was a host and participant in more ways than one (thank you) -- and it also went very well.  (Facebook event.)  We didn't make it to Open Door's Pentecost service that morning, but as you can see we still saw the sanctuary in its fiery finery.

Many thanks to FSLEM’s Director of Community Engagement & Youth Policy Saida Agostini for schlepping to more than a dozen of these throughout MD (!), not to mention facilitating them so well.


‪#FreeStateLegal #EqualityMD #FreeStateJustice #‎LGBTQMD #LGBTQMaryland #LGBTQ‬ #‎bisexual‬ ‪#‎trans‬ ‪#‎queer‬ #‎MD‬ ‪#‎Maryland‬ ‪#‎RockvilleMD‬ ‪#‎BoydsMD‬ ‪#‎Maythe4th‬ ‪#‎Maythe4thbewithyou‬ ‪#‎andalsowithyou‬‎ #RockvilleLibrary ‪#‎OpenDoorMCC‬ #Pentecost2016

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Rainbow Families DC conference 2016

Today I was on the panel for the workshop Re/Claiming Faith:  Discussions of Faith Within LGBTQ Communities at Rainbow Families DC’s 2016 Family Conference, at the Georgetown Day School in DC (the high school campus).  “Held every two years, the Rainbow Families DC Family Conference provides an opportunity for LGBTQ parents, family members and their children, as well as prospective parents, to gather for a day of learning, networking and fellowship.”  I was given this opportunity by TransFaith, where I’m a National Councilmember – the TF office in Philly was asked to help gather local panelists through our national network.  I hadn’t interacted with RF before, but I knew about them, and knew a few families here in the County that were members.

This was the only faith-based programming at the conference, and it is still a new conversation there, and I think we helped them move towards a larger conversation over the next two years.  Our description, which did turn out to be accurate:  “As persons who identify as LGBTQ, we have often had to hide our sexual orientation and/or gender identity in religious settings or face rejection.  Many of us have experienced explicit or implicit exclusion and discrimination from faith communities and come to believe that we cannot both be our true LGBTQ selves and be religious or spiritual.  It is often assumed that persons of faith, particularly faith leaders, are anti-LGBTQ.  This workshop will offer a facilitated space where panelists from several faith traditions will speak from their experiences of reclaiming or claiming faith, drawing from sacred texts that speak to inclusion.  Information will be shared about local religious communities that are truly open and inclusive to LGBTQ persons and our families.”

Our facilitator was Rev. Michele Johns (Silver Spring United Methodist Church staff member, hospital chaplain), and my fellow panelists were Hilary Howes (Roman Catholic transgender faith leader,  Call To Action - Maryland board member, event designer; also part of TransFaith’s network, and the only person I knew beforehand), Amanda Poppei (Washington Ethical Society’s Senior Leader, Unitarian Universalist minister), and Laura Moye (Saint Stephen & the Incarnation Episcopal Church member, charter school teacher).

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

We were MoCo MD Election Judges again

Julia and I were Election Judges for the Montgomery County MD Board of Elections last month, for the second election in a row, for both early voting week and election day. We were also asked to work at canvassing, the process that the BOE goes through after election day, but we weren’t available.

And they will need thousands of people for October and November, and may well not get enough, and they do offer stipends -- I don’t know if / how available we will be, but if you are interested, visit 777vote.org asap.

And now for some of my favorite faith, trans, and scifi / fantasy moments from this election....

A favorite faith moment:

Me: Hello, excuse me, I’m just restocking the pens.
Woman in next voting booth: Oh, thank you. Wait – are people stealing your pens?
Me: Well, yes. Once in a while.
Catholic priest in booth next to her: Thou shalt not steal.
Woman: That’s right!
Me: *LOL* Yes. Yes, it is. Thank you, Father.

A favorite ‪#‎trans‬ moment -- a fellow trans voter gave my fellow judges and I one of these business cards from The Transgender Encounter Project (TEP).  The TEP offers several card designs and texts, and encourages you to design your own; you can also put a pin on their map to show where you’ve used them, donate, read their blog, and more.  ‪#‎transencounter‬

A favorite scifi / fantasy moment:  

Election co-worker: So yes, Lynda Carter, Wonder Woman, came to vote at the precinct I was working at. Oh, and when she left, we found out that she drives a Tesla. Isn’t that interesting?
Me: Yes. But, it would have to be something like that, wouldn’t it? I mean, once you’ve driven an invisible plane -- !
Co-worker: *LOL* You know, I hadn’t thought of that!
Me: I’m just saying.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Call To Action & Healing Circle event re: trans women of color (MoCo MD)

Tonight we observed Pesach | Passover by attending the Call To Action and Healing Circle at the Montgomery County MD Council building in Rockville -- organized by and centering trans women of color, with Casa Ruby LGBT Community Center, the Trans Women of Color Collective, and the Baltimore Transgender Alliance.

This was partly inspired by the murder of Zella Ziona here in Gaithersburg (our home and Julia's hometown) in October and Keyonna Blakeney's in the aforementioned Rockville (the next town) this month.  They were both young trans women of color.

There were speakers, calls and responses, a ritual drawing on African spirituality, and an opportunity for anyone to step into the circle and speak (which I participated in).  In addition to trans community members and allies, attendees included county leaders and police -- and we were also honored by the presence of part of Keyonna's family (her father is holding one side of the sign).

#ZellaZiona #KeyonnaBlakeney #TWOC #WOC #womenofcolor #transwomen #trans #transgender #DMV #MD #DC #Baltimore #MoCoMD #TDOR #TransDOR #MCMDTDOR #CasaRuby #TWOCC #BaltimoreTransAlliance #MoCoMDCouncil #Passover2016 #Pesach5776

Saturday, April 16, 2016

TransFaith's Being Brave Together -- our 2nd retreat

Louis (right) and I posing with some of our visual aids; photo by Chris.

TransFaith -- where I'm a founding member of the new National Council -- launched its Being Brave Together model early this year, including our first BBT retreat in Miami, which I co-facilitated.

Today I co-facilitated our second BBT retreat, this time in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, at Germantown Mennonite Church -- the oldest Mennonite church in North America, GMC's history is unusually inclusive of LGBTQ people -- check out this 10-minute video documenting that; rightly they say they have been "Proclaiming Peace & Justice since 1683" (!).

Again TF Community Engagement Consultant Louis Mitchell was my co-facilitator, and again TF Executive Director Chris Paige was the logistical host.  Also again, attendees included both local and long-distance trans and allied leaders as well as some TF board members -- and our new staff member, Operations Coordinator Tahnee Jackson.

We’re planning more BBT retreats in other cities this year -- do you want to be involved in planning and/or attending them?  And/or do you know someone who does? Visit http://www.transfaithonline.org/connect/being_brave_together/ today!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Dulin United Methodist Church youth group meeting

The photo the church apparently submitted to Google Maps in June 2008 – I know, right?

Tonight I visited one of Dulin United Methodist Church’s youth groups – the one for the oldest youth, there is also one for the children – to talk with them about transgender issues and social justice.  I was joined by a young trans member of the church.  Dulin UMC is in Falls Church VA, where I had never been before.    

One of DUMC’s pastors contacted TransFaith -- where I am a member of the National Council -- looking for a trans guest speaker, and we weren’t easily finding anyone in Virginia – and the church isn’t actually far from our home in Gaithersburg MD, and offered an honorarium.  My partner Julia was raised United Methodist, and was with me the whole evening.

We joined both youth groups for a dinner made by their parents (lasagnas, salad, other veggies, dessert, and more), then the children went to their meeting while we regrouped with the youth and two of their fathers.  My fellow speaker and I told our stories and took questions, and then joined the group in an activity that explored the spectrum of gender.  They also reflected on their own gender expressions, and we closed with a Bible passage and prayer.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Dim Sum with the DVM Fat-Friendly Community again


We had a great time with the DMV Fat-Friendly Community today -- two tables’ worth of us went to dim sum at Wong Gee Asian Restaurant.

And we brainstormed several good ideas for future gatherings.

So if you’re looking for fat-friendly community here in the DMV (DC / MD / VA), join the Group and introduce yourself.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Germantown Community Forum on LGBTQ Equity and Safety (#NoH8Gtown)

The event flyer -- this eagle is the symbol of Seneca Valley High.

Today PFLAG Germantown (MD) -- a community group of Metro DC PFLAG – held the Germantown Community Forum on LGBTQ Equity and Safety with and at Seneca Valley High School (the public high school of Germantown; part of the Montgomery County MD public school system) from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., and we attended.  This event was partly in response to the October murder of Zella Ziona, a 21-year-old black transgender woman; Germantown was Zella’s hometown, she attended Seneca Valley High, and she was killed in Gaithersburg (my partner Julia’s hometown and our current home).

Here is the webpage, and here is the Facebook eventtheir text is “In an effort to make Germantown a safe space for all residents, PFLAG Germantown, a community group of Metro DC PFLAG, and Seneca Valley High School invite you to participate in an open forum to explore issues that affect the LGBTQ community. The purpose of the forum is to discuss inclusion, equity, acceptance, and tolerance for LGBTQ residents of Germantown and the surrounding areas. There will be a panel of local leaders to address various viewpoints of these issues, followed by small group discussions where community members can engage in reflection and planning of ways that we can make Germantown a safe and welcoming community.”

And it made a good start at doing what it said on its tin.  The panelists were my colleagues Michelle McLeod of Honorary Nieces and Nephews, Karen Holmes of Metro DC PFLAG, and Rev. Miller Hoffman of Open Door MCC; joined by Gerri Carpenter, parent of a transgender son and lesbian daughter.  The moderator was John Bartkowiak of PFLAG Germantown.

After the panel, we attendees each chose a small group discussion topic, and went to a classroom – Julia and I chose Faith & The LGBTQ Community, facilitated by Rev. Miller, with Rev. Anne Holmes of Seneca Valley UCC.  There was also Institutionalized Homophobia with Michelle, Parents and Teens : How to Talk About Sexuality with Gerri as well as Jean Bertelmann of PFLAG Germantown, and Trans-Awareness with Karen and John, and Mental and Physical Health Concerns with Bianca Palmisano of Metro DC PFLAG, Policing with Sergeant Jessica Hawkins of the DC Metropolitan Police LGBT Liaison Unit and Officer Rose Borisow of the Montgomery County Police Department. 

After the small group discussions, we all came back together for discussion and questions and answers.

The event was open to the public, and had meal-worthy food donated by Wegmans and &Pizza.

Unfortunately there were very few attendees, especially outside of Seneca Valley High people, but that made some sense under the circumstances.  And the event did display an unusual level of nuance and potential – for one thing, there was far more, and more diverse, trans content that one would expect.   

The cafeteria where most of the event took place was far too hot, but in fairness the weather today was very Springy instead of Wintry (and I have a cold).  A more addressable concern is that the breakout rooms were set up mostly with those combination chair-and-desks that do not accommodate many fat and/or disabled people – this is an issue not only when hosting events, but for the school’s students and other usual users as well. 

More information can be had by contacting J.C. Fellows at Joanna.C.Fellows@mcpsmd.net.  The hashtag is #NoH8Gtown.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Rockville United Church's LGBTQ Outreach Group meeting


Today my partner Julia McCrossin and I spoke at the monthly meeting of Rockville United Church’s Outreach Group, and it was a great experience.  Among other things, the group is preparing to continue guiding the church through updating their Statement of Faith to include “gender identity and expression”.

We first connected with RUC last fall, when they became the excellent host of the 5th annual Montgomery County MD Transgender Day of Remembrance last November.  We went on to spend most of Christmas Day at the lovely home of some RUC leaders, and attended RUC’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. / Justice / LGBTQ Sunday on January 17th -- the guest speaker was Rev. Allyson Dylan Robinson, and the focus was on trans issues.

RUC is truly committed to moving forward with internal and external LGBTQ+ work, and we are looking forward to staying connected with them.

TransFaith's Being Brave Together launches

My copy of the brand-new TransFaith Being Brave Together binder, along with the flamingo pen I got at the airport (I flew in and out of Fort Lauderdale).

February has already been an unusually trans-faithful(l) month -- even for me.

After accepting an invitation to be a founding member of TransFaith’s new National Council, I co-facilitated our first Being Brave Together retreat with TF Community Engagement Consultant Louis Mitchell, this past weekend in Miami.  TF Executive Director Chris Paige was the logistical host (thank you!!), and attendees included both local and long-distance trans and allied leaders as well as some TF board members (thank you all!!!).

We’re planning our next BBT retreat to be in Philadelphia in April. Want to be involved in that or others this year? Let us know at http://www.transfaithonline.org/connect/being_brave_together/!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Another DMV Fat-Friendly Community clothing swap

Had a great time at the DMV Fat-Friendly Community's latest clothing swap, held today at the home of a member.

Julia found a few pieces of clothing -- these swaps sometimes include men's / masculine clothing, and other members with that style -- and I these jewels.

A necklace with a clear glass ring printed with tree branches in white and a piece of ye old architecture in black, on a black leather cord with an antiqued copper bead toggle closure; pendant is 3” -- I can also wear it as a bracelet, cord is 20”.

A triple-strand necklace of copper-finish seed beads and light green faceted bicone beads, with a silver-tone lobster claw clasp and extender chain; 16.5” to 20”.

Both belonged to the host, and the former was via Etsy and made from a bottle (yah, I'm thinking vodka).

And you can see our stylish outfits for today here.

‪#‎thrift‬ ‪#‎thrifting‬ ‪#‎clothingswap‬ ‪#‎style‬ ‪#‎fashion‬ #fatshion ‪#‎OOTD‬ ‪#‎fatcommunity‬ ‪#‎beads‬ ‪#‎beading‬ ‪#‎beadwork‬ ‪#‎jewelry‬ #Etsy