Mycroft Masada is a trans and queer faith leader who moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland (Montgomery County near Washington DC) from their lifelong home of Boston in 2014. A TransFaith National Council member, TransEpiscopal Steering Committee member and former Congregation Am Tikva board member, Mycroft is particularly called to pursue LGBTQI+ and fat justice, and is an advocate, organizer, consultant, educator, trainer, writer and artist. They are married to Julia McCrossin, the massculine fatshion blogger, and with her they co-parent a dogter. Their central online home is MasadArts.blogspot.com.

Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | My artwork (stationery, jewelry & more)

Friday, July 5, 2019

MY 10TH ANNIVERSARY WITH MY SPOUSE!


TEN YEARS AGO TODAY, on July 5th of 2009, I met my Julia! In an online fat community. I had always lived in the Boston area, she had always lived in Maryland or DC. A direct message led to e-mails, Facebook, phone calls, postal mail and more. That September, we met in person for the first time, when she came to visit me in Boston. In August 2012, we adopted our dogter Ursula. We remained long-distance for our first four and a half years (!). In January 2014, I moved here to her hometown of Gaithersburg so that we could begin living together. Last September, we married.

Julia has been and is the most wonderful person and partner, and I am oh so amazed, happy, grateful and proud that she is, and is mine! Her beauty, handsomeness and style are wondrous as well. (Our Ursula has turned out to be all-too-aptly named after the Sea Witch from the Little Mermaid, but thus she has her own Facebook Group, so we’ll continue that discussion there.)

This family portrait was taken in April, by Bill MacFarland at Paws In The Park (see also) -- an annual MoCo Humane Society and City Of Gaithersburg event that benefits the Society, from whom we adopted Ursula.

Todah rabah, many thanks, for your decade of support, MyJul / JulCroft family, friends and fans!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

AFSCME Pride 2019 (the union my spouse works for)

I’m so proud of my spouse Julia, who works at AFSCME and was on their Pride Month committee for the first time this year, working very hard to help organize the in-house Pride programming (which I was privileged to attend)! AFSCME President Lee Saunders spoke, and Julia wrote and delivered remarks to introduce him. There was a showing of “Stonewall Uprising” (a 2011 episode of PBS’ American Experience), a Pride-themed cake and stickers, lots of other fun food (including ice cream and candy, and much of it was rainbow-y), an LGBTQ history handout, and more.

#AFSCME #AFSCMEPride #AFSCMEProud #UnionPride #Union #1U #1UPride #PrideMonth #PrideMonth2019 #Pride #Pride2019 #WeMakeAmericaHappen #WeMakeEqualityHappen #StonewallUprising #Stonewall50 #kvelling 🌠🏳️‍🌈✊

Monday, June 17, 2019

HEARING TODAY - Massachusetts' Height & Weight Anti-Discrimination Bill

TODAY AT 1:00 (EST) IN BOSTON (my hometown!!), Massachusetts' House Bill 3413, An Act Making Discrimination on the Basis of Height and Weight Unlawful, has a hearing!  The contact person is Caroline Sherrard, Chief of Staff of the Office of Senator Becca Rausch -- Caroline.Sherrard@masenate.gov and 617.722.1555 (internal x1556). I lived in MA until 2014 (when I moved here to Gaithersburg, Maryland), and have been supporting this bill for several years, though it is older than that. #MondayMotivation #MondayMorning #fatjustice#fatliberation #fatacceptance #fatactivism 💁‍♀️📜🙋‍♀️

This is the supportive testimony I submitted:

June 17th, 2019

Senator James B. Eldridge, Senate Chair, Joint Committee on the Judiciary
Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, Senate Vice Chair
Representative Claire D. Cronin, House Chair
Representative Michael S. Day, House Vice Chair

Massachusetts State House
24 Beacon Street -- Rooms 320, 136, and 111
Boston, MA 02133

Via email: James.McCarthy@mahouse.gov
Caroline.Sherrard@mahouse.gov
Gretchen.VanNess@masenate.gov
Tobin.Abraham@mahouse.gov

Dear Senators Eldridge and Chang-Diaz and Representatives Cronin and Day --

My name is Mycroft Masada Holmes, and I lived in greater Boston for more than 37 years, from my birth in 1976 until January of 2014, when I moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland to begin living with my partner. I love and miss Boston and the rest of Massachusetts, though I have visited a few times, and I have always been proud to call them my home.

I write to you today primarily as a faith leader called to advocate for social justice, particularly LGBTQ+ and fat justice. Before my move, I was the Chair of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition’s Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality (ICTE), and a board member at Congregation Am Tikva. I was one of the leaders of the interfaith campaign for both of Massachusetts’ transgender civil rights laws.

Today, I testify in support of House Bill 3413 -- An Act Making Discrimination on the Basis of Height and Weight Unlawful -- as I have done in person and/or in writing for a few legislative sessions. At one hearing, I also read the written testimony of attorney Sondra Solovay. This bill and the second trans rights bill actually shared a hearing a few years ago.

In my personal and professional life, I have experienced and witnessed a great deal of discrimination – especially in employment -- and much of it has been based on physical appearance and information, including height and especially weight. This discrimination is wrong, profoundly damaging, pervasive, and rapidly increasing -- in Massachusetts and the rest of our country -- especially since the November 2016 elections; those who would discriminate in these ways are among those who have been empowered by the current presidential administration. We must do what we can to change this as soon as we can, and HB 3413 can help. This bill is also an critical educational tool – its implementation process will help dispel the widespread and increasing ignorance, misinformation and fear about weight. You will be given expert testimony about these issues today and during the rest of this session – ample evidence of the significant and urgent need for this legislation.

My faiths teach that like the Adam, the first human being, all people are made b’tzelem Elohim – in the image of God -- people of all weights, heights, sizes and shapes. Our infinite diversity of bodies and their changes over our lifetimes are gifts and blessings, meant to be lived and shared with joy and pride. God creates and loves all of us, equally, in body and spirit. And all of us should be equally recognized and protected by the law.

And as much as I speak to you as a person of faith, I also speak as a spouse. My wonderful partner of ten years next month, Julia McCrossin, and I are the same height, and she weighs well over twice what I do; I’ve always been thin, she has always been fat. Julia is a lifelong resident of Maryland and Washington DC, and visited me in Massachusetts several times. After her father passed away, I moved to Maryland to begin living with her, largely so that we could help care for her disabled mother and the family dog.

We are very privileged to live in Maryland, not to mention Montgomery County, for many reasons. Our county, state and neighboring Washington DC have trans-inclusive civil rights laws, and DC’s Human Rights Laws consider height and weight included in “physical appearance”. We are privileged in other ways as well – as much as we and those like us struggle, daily life is far more challenging for those directly facing other intersecting oppressions, such as racism, classism and ableism. At the same time, we worry about moving to and through places where we are legally unprotected, which we often need and want to do. We and so many others need An Act Making Discrimination On The Basis Of Height And Weight Unlawful to pass into law as soon as possible. I pray that this can be another way for my home state to provide social justice leadership to the rest of the country.

My partner and I want to visit Massachusetts together more -- especially to see our family, friends and colleagues there -- and perhaps make a home there one day. And we have much to offer my great state. I want her to have full civil rights wherever she is. I want her to be able to continue to live, work and play better than she has done, contributing even more to our communities than she already has. I want this for all residents of and visitors to Massachusetts. I don’t want anyone to experience discrimination – and yet I know that some will, and I want them to be able to take appropriate action to address it.

I urge you to do everything you can to further this vital and long overdue legislation so that it can be passed into law this legislative session.

Thank you,

Mycroft Holmes
[My home & e-mail addresses]

Saturday, June 15, 2019

10 trans people murdered in 2019 in US - all Black trans women!

Shabbat shalom. Today is the 15th day of LGBTQ+ Pride Month 2019, and Pride Day in our county capital Rockville and in Baltimore -- and yet yesterday the at least TENTH transgender person was murdered in this country in 2019, which was the THIRD just this month. Zoe Spears, 23 -- right here in Maryland, in Prince George’s County’s Fairmount Heights at the DC border -- the same location as Ashanti Carmon* in March, and they knew each other. And ALL TEN are Black trans women.

The other nine stolen sisters are Dana Martin, 31, Montgomery, Alabama, January 6th. Jazzaline Ware, age unknown, Memphis, sometime in March. *Ashanti Carmon, 27 -- again, like Zoe, who she knew, here in Maryland, in Prince George’s County’s Fairmount Heights at the DC border, March 30th. Claire Legato, 21, Cleveland, shot April 15th and died May 14th. Muhlaysia Booker, 23, Dallas, May 18th -- having survived a transphobic attack by a group on April 12th. Michelle ‘Tamika’ Washington, 40, Philadelphia, May 19th. Paris Cameron, 20, Detroit, May 25th -- Alunte Davis, 21, and Timothy Blancher, 20, both Black gay men, were also killed, and two other people were injured. Chynal Lindsey, 26, Dallas, June 1st. Chanel Scurlock, 23, Lumberton, North Carolina, June 6th.

Johana ‘Joa’ Medina, 25, a Latinx trans woman from El Salvador, also died on June 1st, in El Paso, Texas -- just hours after being released from ICE custody. Layleen Polanco, an Afro-Latinx trans woman, was found dead in her cell at Rikers (Island Jail, in New York City) on June 7th.

The photo collage at the bottom of this post shows Dana, Ashanti, Claire, Muhlaysia, Michelle, Paris, Chynal, Chanel and Zoe -- I am not finding a photo of Jazzaline yet (and I used Pixlr's Express).

Last year in 2018, more than 30 trans people were murdered here in the US, and well over 300 others elsewhere in our world -- and there have already been dozens of murders in other countries this year. And the great majority of our stolen siblings here are Black, women, and young -- elsewhere, the majority are Latinx trans women and transfeminine people. Too, very little attention is given to the murders, assaults and disappearances of Native / Indigenous people -- especially girls, women, and/or Two Spirit people.

We also continue to lose many siblings to suicide -- the attempt rate in our community is over 40%. And there continue to be unreported trans deaths, reported deaths where the victim is not identified as trans, non-fatal assaults and much more. Trans people are not included in even basic civil rights laws in most states, and several states have anti-trans legislation in process -- in addition to the Trump administration’s attempts to undo trans rights progress on a national level.

And while I say here on my blog or on social media about the death details -- primarily to avoid further traumatizing my trans followers, especially those living at similar intersections as the victims -- it is vital to say that the great majority are shootings, and that this is yet another reason we desperately need gun control, and it is an LGBTQ+ and racial justice issue. Too, this past Wednesday June 12th was the 3rd anniversary of the mass shooting at the Pulse LGBTQ+ nightclub in Orlando, on Latinx Night, which took the lives of 49 people, most of them LGBTQ+, Latinx and young.

May all of my trans sisters, brothers and other siblings’ memories be blessings (as we say in Judaism) -- and call us to act, particularly at trans justice’s intersection with racial, immigration and economic justice! This month and every month, may we schlep towards tikkun olam, world repair, at the intersection of LGBTQ+, climate, racial, immigration, spiritual, fat, disability, and all other stripes of the rainbow of justice! May we never forget that white supremacy has always included cis supremacy, misogyny and transphobia! Amen!

#Pride2019 #PrideMonth2019 #TDOR #TDOR2019 #TransDayOfRemembrance #DanaMartin #JazzalineWare #AshantiCarmon #ClaireLegato #MuhlaysiaBooker #MichelleWashington #ParisCameron #ChynalLindsey #ChanelScurlock #ZoeSpears #JohanaMedina #LayleenPolanco #BlackLivesMatter #BlackTransLivesMatter #LatinxLivesMatter #LatinxTransLivesMatter #NativeLivesMatter #TwoSpiritLivesMatter #TransLivesMatter


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

HEARING SCHEDULED - Massachusetts' Height & Weight Anti-Discrimination Bill

THIS JUST IN!!! News about Massachusetts’ height & weight anti-discrimination bill! HEARING NEXT MONDAY JUNE 17TH! I got this e-mail today at 5ish EST -- e-mail Caroline to get on her list. MA is my home state (I lived there until 2014, when I moved here to Gaithersburg, Maryland), and I have been supporting this bill for several years, though it is older than that.

#fatjustice #fatliberation #fatacceptance #fatactivism #HealthAtEverySize #HAES #SpiritualityAtEverySize

📜🙋‍♀️📜

"Height and Weight Anti-Discrimination Legislation

Good afternoon everyone,

I am writing to let you know that the bill hearing for S. 1012/H. An Act making discrimination on the basis of height and weight unlawful has been scheduled for a hearing next Monday, June 17th at 1 pm in Gardner Auditorium at the State House.

If you could come to testify in person and/or submit written testimony to the committee, that would be much appreciated. Testimony can be submitted by email to James.McCarthy@mahouse.gov. If you could also send a copy of your testimony to my office for our records, we would appreciate it. Please let me know if you have any questions on this process.

I will update you later this week on Senator Rausch and Rep. Nguyen’s plans for submitting testimony or attending in person. Gretchen, our legislative director, and Tobin, Rep. Nguyen’s staff person are both cc’ed on this email.

You can view the hearing notice here: https://malegislature.gov/Events/Hearings/Detail/3171.

Best,
Caroline

Caroline Sherrard, Chief of Staff
Office of Senator Becca Rausch
Massachusetts Senate
Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District
State House Room 218
617-722-1555 (internal ext. 1556)
Pronouns: she/her/hers"

Sunday, June 9, 2019

9 trans people murdered in 2019 in US - all Black trans women!

Boker tov, boker or -- good morning, morning light. Today, Sunday June 9th, is the ninth day of LGBTQ+ Pride Month 2019, and Pride weekend in neighboring DC and my hometown of Boston -- it also Shavuot and Pentecost. And yet there have been at least NINE transgender people murdered in this country this year -- TWO this month -- and all are Black trans women.

Dana Martin, 31, Montgomery, Alabama, January 6th. Jazzaline Ware, age unknown, Memphis, sometime in March. Ashanti Carmon, 27 -- here in Maryland, in Prince George’s County’s Fairmount Heights at the DC border, March 30th. Claire Legato, 21, Cleveland, shot April 15th and died May 14th. Muhlaysia Booker, 23, Dallas, May 18th -- having survived a transphobic attack by a group on April 12th. Michelle ‘Tamika’ Washington, 40, Philadelphia, May 19th. Paris Cameron, 20, Detroit, May 25th -- Alunte Davis, 21, and Timothy Blancher, 20, both Black gay men, were also killed, and two other people were injured. Chynal Lindsey, 26, Dallas, last Saturday June 1st. Chanel Scurlock, 23, Lumberton, North Carolina, this past Thursday June 6th.


Johana ‘Joa’ Medina, 25, a Latinx trans woman from El Salvador, also died last Saturday June 1st, in El Paso, Texas -- just hours after being released from ICE custody; she suffered severe health complications that went untreated during detention. Last year Roxana Hernández died in ICE custody after being abused there. And Nikki Enriquez was one of four women murdered by of an intel supervisor for US Border Patrol.

The photo collage at the bottom of this post shows Dana, Ashanti, Claire, Muhlaysia, Michelle, Paris, Chynal, Chanel and Johana -- no photo of Jazzaline seems to be available yet (and I used Pixlr's Express).

Last year in 2018, more than 30 trans people were murdered in this country, and well over 300 others were murdered elsewhere in our world -- there have already been a few dozen murders in other countries this year. And the great majority of our stolen siblings here are Black, women, and young -- elsewhere, the majority are Latinx trans women and transfeminine people. Too, very little attention is given to the murders, assaults and disappearances of Native / Indigenous people -- especially girls, women, and/or Two Spirit people.

We also continue to lose many siblings to suicide -- the attempt rate in our community is over 40%. And there continue to be unreported trans deaths, reported deaths where the victim is not identified as trans, non-fatal assaults and much more. Trans people are not included in even basic civil rights laws in most states, and several states have anti-trans legislation in process -- in addition to the Trump administration’s attempts to undo trans rights progress on a national level.

I say little here or on social media about the details of these murders -- primarily to avoid retraumatizing my trans followers, especially those living at similar intersections as the victims -- but it is vital to say that the great majority are shootings, and that this is yet another reason we desperately need gun control.

May all of my trans sisters, brothers and other siblings’ memories be blessings (as we say in Judaism) -- and call us to act, particularly at trans justice’s intersection with racial, immigration and economic justice! This month and every month, may we schlep towards tikkun olam, world repair, at the intersection of LGBTQ+, climate, racial, immigration, spiritual, fat, disability, and all other stripes of the rainbow of justice! May we never forget that white supremacy has always included cis supremacy, misogyny and transphobia! Amen!

#Pride2019 #PrideMonth2019 #TDOR #TDOR2019 #TransDayOfRemembrance #DanaMartin #JazzalineWare #AshantiCarmon #ClaireLegato #MuhlaysiaBooker #MichelleWashington #ParisCameron #ChynalLindsey #ChanelScurlock #JohanaMedina #BlackLivesMatter #BlackTransLivesMatter #LatinxLivesMatter #LatinxTransLivesMatter #TransLivesMatter 


Monday, June 3, 2019

8 trans people murdered in 2019 in US - all Black trans women!

Erev tov, good evening. Today, Monday June 3rd 2019, is the third day of LGBTQ+ Pride Month 2019. And yet there have been at least EIGHT transgender people murdered in this country this year -- FOUR last month in May and one already this month -- and all eight are Black trans women.

Dana Martin, 31, Montgomery, Alabama, January 6th. Jazzaline Ware, age unknown, Memphis, sometime in March. Ashanti Carmon, 27 -- here in Maryland, in Prince George’s County’s Fairmount Heights at the DC border, March 30th. Claire Legato, 21, Cleveland, shot April 15th and died May 14th. Muhlaysia Booker, 23, Dallas, May 18th -- having survived a transphobic attack by a group on April 12th.  Michelle ‘Tamika’ Washington, 40, Philadelphia, May 19th. Paris, 20, Detroit, May 25th. Chynal Lindsey, 26, Dallas, this past Saturday June 1st. 

The photo collage at the bottom of this post shows Dana, Ashanti, Claire and Muhlaysia, Michelle, Chynal (I made it using Pixlr's Express site).

Johana ‘Joa’ Medina, 25, a Latinx trans woman from El Salvador, also died this past Saturday June 1st, in El Paso, Texas -- just hours after being released from ICE custody; she suffered severe health complications that went untreated during detention. Last year Roxana Hernández died in ICE custody after being abused there. And Nikki Enriquez was one of four women murdered by of an intel supervisor for US Border Patrol.

Last year in 2018, more than 30 trans people were murdered in this country, and well over 300 others were murdered elsewhere in our world -- there have already been a few dozen murders in other countries this year. And the great majority of our stolen siblings here are Black, women, and young -- elsewhere, the majority are Latinx trans women and transfeminine people. Too, very little attention is given to the murders, assaults and disappearances of Native / Indigenous people -- especially girls, women, and/or Two Spirit people.

We also continue to lose many siblings to suicide -- the attempt rate in our community is over 40%. And there continue to be unreported trans deaths, reported deaths where the victim is not identified as trans, non-fatal assaults and much more. Trans people are not covered by even basic civil rights laws in most states, and several states have anti-trans legislation in process -- in addition to the Trump administration’s attempts to undo trans rights progress on a national level.

I say little here or on social media about the details of these murders -- primarily to avoid retraumatizing my trans followers, especially those living at similar intersections as the victims -- but it is necessary to say that the great majority are shootings, and that this is yet another reason we desperately need gun control.

May all of my trans sisters, brothers and other siblings’ memories be blessings (as we say in Judaism) -- and call us to act, particularly at trans justice’s intersection with racial, immigration and economic justice! This month and every month, may we schlep towards tikkun olam, world repair, at the intersection of LGBTQ+, climate, racial, immigration, spiritual, fat, disability, and all other stripes of the rainbow of justice! May we never forget that white supremacy has always included cis supremacy, misogyny and transphobia! Amen!

#Pride2019 #PrideMonth2019 #TDOR #TDOR2019 #TransDayOfRemembrance #DanaMartin #JazzalineWare #AshantiCarmon #ClaireLegato #MuhlaysiaBooker #MichelleWashington #ChynalLindsey #JohanaMedina #BlackLivesMatter #BlackTransLivesMatter #TransLivesMatter  

Monday, May 20, 2019

5 trans people murdered in 2019 in US - all Black women

Last Friday May 17th was the 15th annual Day Against LGBTQ+-phobia and the House passed the Equality Act, and this past weekend was Capital Trans Pride. And yet today I am learning that this month has included the third, fourth and fifth murders of transgender people in this country in 2019. And all five are Black trans women.
Dana Martin, 31, Montgomery, Alabama, January 6th. Ashanti Carmon, 27 -- here in Maryland, in Prince George’s County’s Fairmount Heights at the DC border, March 30th. Claire Legato, 21, Cleveland, shot April 15th and died last Tuesday May 14th. Muhlaysia Booker, 23, Dallas, this past Saturday May 18th -- having survived an attack by a group of people on April 12th, also in Dallas. And Michelle Tameka Washington, 40, in Philadelphia yesterday. May their memories be blessings, as we say in Judaism, and ones that call us to act!
Last November 20th was the 20th annual Transgender Day Of Remembrance (TDOR), when we remembered almost 30 trans people murdered in this country in the past year, and more than 360 more murdered elsewhere in our world. And the great majority of our stolen siblings here are Black, women, and young (and there have been multiple murders in several locations); elsewhere, the majority are Latinx trans women and transfeminine people. Too, very little attention is given to the murders of and assaults on Native / Indigenous people who are Two Spirit.
Last year included a murder in my home state of Massachusetts -- Christa Steele Knudslien in North Adams; she was a trans advocacy colleague, and we were Friends here. And a murder here in Maryland -- Tydi Dansbury, in Baltimore, an hour from me here in Gaithersburg. Roxana Hernández died in ICE custody after being abused there, and Nikki Enriquez was one of four women victims of an intel supervisor for US Border Patrol.
I also remember Nicole Hall, a Black trans woman found dead in Dallas last May. And my siblings lost to suicide, as the attempt rate in our community is over 40%. And every year there are unreported deaths, and reported ones where the victim is not identified as trans.
May all of my trans sisters, brothers and other siblings’ memories be a blessing -- and one that calls us to act, particularly at trans justice’s intersection with racial, immigration and economic justice! May we continue schlepping towards tikkun olam, world repair, at the intersection of LGBTQ+, climate, racial, immigration, spiritual, fat, disability, and all other stripes of the rainbow of justice! May we never forget that white supremacy has always included cis supremacy, misogyny and transphobia! Amen!
#TDOR #TDOR2019 #TransDayOfRemembrance #DanaMartin#AshantiCarmon #ClaireLegato #MuhlaysiaBooker#MichelleTamekaWashington #BlackLivesMatter #BlackTransLivesMatter#TransLivesMatter 🏳️‍⚧🕯💔

Monday, April 1, 2019

At least two trans people have been murdered in 2019 in the US

Yesterday was the 11th annual Transgender Day Of Visibility (TDOV), and a week ago was the 385th Maryland Day. And yet this past Saturday March 30th included the second murder of a trans person in this country in 2019. Ashanti Carmon, a 20-something Black trans woman, was murdered here in Maryland, in Prince George’s County’s Fairmount Heights at the DC border. On Sunday January 6th (Epiphany / Three Kings Day), Dana Martin, 31, also a Black trans woman, was murdered in Montgomery, Alabama. May their memories be blessings, as we say in Judaism, and ones that call us to act!

Last November 20th was the 20th annual Transgender Day Of Remembrance (TDOR), when we remembered almost 30 trans people murdered in this country in the past year, and more than 360 more murdered elsewhere in our world. And the great majority of our stolen siblings are Black, women, and young (and there have been multiple murders in several locations); elsewhere, the majority are Latinx trans women and transfeminine people. Too, very little attention is given to the murders of and assaults on Native people who are Two Spirit.

Last year included a murder in my home state of Massachusetts -- Christa Steele Knudslien in North Adams; she was a trans advocacy colleague, and we were Friends here. And one here in Maryland -- Tydi Dansbury, in Baltimore, an hour from me here in Gaithersburg. Roxana Hernández died in ICE custody after being abused there, and Nikki Enriquez was one of four women victims of an intel supervisor for US Border Patrol.

I also remember Nicole Hall, a Black trans woman found dead in Dallas last May. And my siblings lost to suicide, as the attempt rate in our community is over 40%. And every year there are unreported deaths, and reported ones where the victim is not identified as trans.

May all of my trans sisters, brothers and other siblings’ memories be a blessing -- and one that calls us to act, particularly at trans justice’s intersection with racial, immigration and economic justice. May we continue schlepping towards tikkun olam, world repair, at the intersection of LGBTQ+, climate, racial, immigration, spiritual, fat, disability, and all other stripes of the rainbow of justice. May we never forget that white supremacy has always included cis supremacy, misogyny and transphobia. Amen!

And as always, there is much more information at Monica Roberts' TransGriot -- https://transgriot.blogspot.com/2019/03/number-2-rest-in-power-and-peace-ashanti.html.

#TransDayOfVisibility #TDOV #TDOV2019 #TDOR #TDOR2019#TransDayOfRemembrance 🏳️‍⚧

Thursday, March 28, 2019

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s “Primary Care for Gender Minorities” lecture & panel

Nu, the Transgender Day Of Visibility is this Sunday (March 31st, the 11th annual), but I'll be on vacation, so I started my observance today, by being on a panel about trans healthcare with Lee Blinder and Lily Amara Pastor of Trans Healthcare Maryland, and the mother of a trans teen. I was on this panel in 2017, in a different part of this medical system, with mostly different fellow panelists.  Below is the flyer -- MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s Medical Grand Rounds lecture and panel on “Primary Care for Gender Minorities” presented by Dr. Leon L. Lai (see also here). 🏳️‍⚧🏥     
#transhealth #transhealthcare #TransHealthcareMD 
#TransDayOfVisibility #TDOV #TDOV2019

Monday, March 4, 2019

The United Methodist Church and their "Traditional Plan"


Nu, I had mentioned the United Methodist Church’s latest LGBTQ+ news in my calendar posts on Facebook, and I wanted to say more about it.

As many of you know, on the last day of the UMC’s Special Session of their international General Conference, last Tuesday (March 26th), the delegates passed the Traditional Plan 438 to 384, or 53.28% to 46.72%. And that Plan not only continues but in some ways intensifies the Church’s ban on hosting or officiating at same-sex marriages, and on LGBTQ people remaining or becoming clergy. The One Church Plan would have at least let each congregation decide how to handle these issues. Some parts of the Traditional Plan were ruled unconstitutional, and the Plan will be discussed by the Judicial Council at their meeting next month (April). Whatever becomes law will go into effect next January 1st (2020) in the US, and next May in the rest of the world (after GC 2020). Some UM churches are already resisting and planning to.

As fewer of you know, my spouse Julia was raised in the United Methodist Church, here in her hometown and our current home of Gaithersburg, Maryland -- a city with a very long and rich Methodist history, including churches founded by formerly enslaved Black people (indeed, her first  church was in the town of Washington Grove, which started life as a summer retreat for Methodists in Washington, DC).  She left the Church as a teenager, to explore other faiths / religions / spiritualities, and came to identify as an agnostic; since we met a decade ago, she has found meaning in my traditions, Judaism and the Episcopal Church.

I lived in the Boston (Massachusetts) area until moving here in 2014 -- for most of my life there I had little awareness of the UMC there or elsewhere, though it is one of the largest religions in my home state (not that much smaller than my own, though all are much smaller than the Roman Catholic Church). Though there were moments -- including hearing that a young trans colleague had found a spiritual home in a local UM church.

However, in 2007, I became one of the founders of the Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality (ICTE) -- Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition's (MTPC) project which led the faith campaign for MA’s first trans rights law and part of the second. One of my fellow ICTE founders was a trans Methodist leader, and brought an allied Methodist colleague aboard, and they brought others, and many Methodist churches worked on ICTE’s campaign -- though most could not publicly acknowledge their work.

Julia and I have visited a few of our local UMC communities, including the ones that hold some of her family’s history, and we would like to visit more, but the LGBTQ issue is our primary barrier. The UMC’s painful process, including this week’s news, has been much less hurtful to us than many other people inside and outside of the UMC, but it has been hurtful.

I also want to second a few of the less common emotions I’ve seen, on social media and elsewhere.
It’s not okay to say “LGBTQ(I)(+)” (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex…) and then only talk about cis (non-trans) gay men and possibly lesbians.
"LGBTQ" =/= "gay".  Sex =/= gender =/= sexuality.
If you say “brothers and sisters” instead of “sisters, brothers and other siblings” or just “siblings”, you are not including non-binary people such as myself (and, family language doesn’t work for everyone).
Not all LGBTQ people (or allies) are able or willing to leave the United Methodist Church, for a variety of reasons. (Yes, for many it is an abusive relationship -- and those are extremely hard to leave, whether they’re with groups, individuals, or other things; I’m an abuse survivor myself.)
The rest of the Church also has a lot of LGBTQ+ work to do -- including the Episcopal Church. So does the Jewish community. So does the rest of the faith / religion / spirituality community. (Yes, even the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), and Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).)
The UMC also continues to struggle with white supremacy and all its components, and with intersectionality -- and so does the rest of the Church and the faith / religion / spirituality community (as always, I’m thinking especially of ableism and fatphobia).
LGBTQ-phobia in communities and countries of color is largely the result of Church and secular colonization (which have rarely if ever been separate), in this country and many others.

And I want to pray for and with my LGBTQI+ sisters, brothers, sothers, bristers, and other siblings in the United Methodist Church.
May you know that these Plans are not God’s, and that you are, always have been, and always will be part of Their Plan.
May you find healing, hope, and a home, in the UMC and/or elsewhere.
May the UMC find a true Way forward, with and/or without you.
Amen.

#UnitedMethodistChurch #GC2019 #UMC #UMCGC
✝️🔥💔

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Massachusetts' An Act Making Discrimination On The Basis Of Height And Weight Unlawful - today’s update!!

This is my home state, where I lived until 2014; if you didn’t get this e-mail today, e-mail Caroline.Sherrard@MASenate.gov.

"Height and Weight Anti-Discrimination Update

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to let you all know that the bill has been filed in both the House and Senate as SD. 1581/HD. 1683 An Act making discrimination on the basis of height and weight unlawful. I’ve attached the text of both bills, which is slightly modified from last session to address the concerns of an amusement park industry group that has brought up concerns in the past. There is now specific allowance for restrictions on height and weight due to federal, state, or industry safety standards.

The next immediate action will be to gather cosponsors on this legislation. If you live in Massachusetts, sending an email or calling your state Senator and state Representative asking them to sign on to SD. 1581/HD. 1683 An Act making discrimination on the basis of height and weight unlawful as a cosponsor would be very welcome. This is most effective when the action comes directly from constituents of that legislator, so I ask that you only email legislators who represent you (or, if relevant, ask members of your organization only to contact their own State Senator or State Representative).

You can find out who your elected officials are and their contact information at: WhereDoIVoteMA.com.

Once the clerk has finished processing all of the legislation that was just filed, both bills will be assigned a new number and sent to a committee (the current number is the docket number). We expect this bill to be sent to the Judiciary Committee, where it has gone in recent years. The Judiciary Committee will then sent out a notice for a hearing. We will update the group when a hearing has been scheduled. At that point, we would love if anyone who is available to come testify in person do so and will also be asking interested parties to submit written testimony.

In addition, we heard from a State Rep in Kentucky that she is interested in filing similar legislation in her state. If you/your organization is able to work nationally or has connections with Kentucky, please email Josie.Raymond@gmail.com.

Thank you all so much for your efforts! Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Best,
Caroline

Caroline Sherrard, Chief of Staff
Office of Senator Becca Rausch
Massachusetts Senate
Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District
State House Room 419
617-722-1555 (internal ext. 1556)
Pronouns: she/her/hers"

Monday, January 21, 2019

Tu BiShvat & Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day


Shana Tova, Good Year. Yom Huledet Sameach, Happy Birth Day. It is Erev Tu BiShvat and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Night, and last night there was a Super Blood Wolf Moon, a total eclipse of the Moon but not the heart. Ḥamisha Asar BiShvat, Fifteenth Of Shvat; Rosh HaShanah La’Ilanot, the New Year of the Trees; the Birth Day of the Trees. Last April it was 50 years since Rev. Dr. King was assassinated, and this month he would have been 90; next month is Black History Month. May his memory be a blessing, and blessed be the True Judge, as we say in Judaism.

Nu, the Birth Day of the Trees is not to be confused with the birthday of the Trews – the trans Jews. We were born on the Sixth Day along with everyone else – including people of all body sizes and shapes, dis/abilities, sexes / genders / sexualities, races, spiritualities and so on. And yet even when everyone is included in the Beloved Community, the human community remains but a small branch of the Tree of Life, on this our Earth and probably in the rest of our Universe as well. Yet although there are still many more trees than people, there are less trees today than at any time since humans began to exist, and we take the lives of billions of trees every day.

Tonight, tomorrow, and every day and night, may we center climate justice and racial justice as we schlep towards tikkun olam, world repair, at the intersections with LGBTQI+, immigration, spiritual, fat, disability, and all other stripes of the rainbow of justice. Amen!

#TuBiShvat #TuBiShvat5779 #MLK #MLKDay #MLK2019 #MLK90

🌲🌳🌴🌵🎄

Friday, January 18, 2019

Massachusetts height & weight anti-discrimination bill refiled TODAY!

TODAY (the refiling deadline for all bills), the latest version of my home state of Massachusetts’ height and weight anti-discrimination bill was refiled! An Act Making Discrimination On The Basis Of Height And Weight Unlawful, SD 1581. If you didn’t get the following e-mail on Monday January 7th, e-mail Caroline.Sherrard@MASenate.gov.

"Height and Weight Anti-Discrimination Legislation

Hello all,

If you’re receiving this email you previously reached out to Rep. Byron Rushing’s office in support of height and weight anti-discrimination legislation in Massachusetts. If you would like to no longer receive emails on this topic, please let me know.

As many of you know, Rep. Rushing is no longer in the legislature. I’d like to introduce you all to Senator Becca Rausch who will be filing this legislation in the Senate and Representative Tram Nguyen who will be filing this legislation in the House. I used to work for Rep. Rushing and now work for Senator Rausch, so there is some nice continuity! Tobin Abraham, also cc’ed, is Rep. Nguyen’s staff person.

We need to refile this legislation by 1/18. If you have any comments on the language from last session (attached), please let me know as soon as possible. I’ll be in touch soon if our office or Rep. Nguyen’s office has suggested changes.

We’d like to have an advocacy strategy conference call after bill filing, sometime in late January or February.

Thank you so much for your interest and advocacy.

Best,
Caroline

Caroline Sherrard, Chief of Staff
Office of Senator Becca Rausch
Massachusetts Senate
Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District
State House Room 419
617-722-1555 (internal ext. 1556)
Pronouns: she/her/hers"

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Partner with the Black Trans Prayer Book to say Transphobia Is A Sin!

The Black Trans Prayer Book’s Transphobia Is A Sin campaign is launching TODAY, and EVERYONE’s encouraged to participate (it’s okay if you’re not Black and/or trans -- nobody’s perfect)! 

Make a sign, take a selfie, share it!!! 

Here is mine. 

#BlackTransPrayerBook 
#TransphobiaIsASin 
#TransPeopleAreDivine 
#TransphobiaIsTrayf 
#TransphobiaIsChayt

🖤🚻🛐📖 

Friday, January 11, 2019

It's only January, and yet at least one trans person has been murdered in 2019

Alas, my first post this morning must be about mourning. January isn’t even over yet, and there has already been at least one trans person murdered in 2019. And sadly it isn’t at all surprising that she is a woman, Black, or young. This past Sunday January 6th (Epiphany / Three Kings Day), Dana Martin, 31, a Black trans woman, was found murdered in Montgomery, Alabama.

Last November 20th was the 20th annual Transgender Day Of Remembrance (TDOR), when we remembered the at least 25 trans people murdered in this country since TDOR 2017, and the hundreds more murdered elsewhere in our world. And between that day and the end of the year, at least two more of my trans siblings were taken by murder here in the US, and we became more aware of an October murder. And the great majority of those stolen continue to be Black, women, and young.

Between TDOR 2017 and the end of 2017, three trans women were murdered -- Brooklyn BreYanna Stevenson (Oklahoma City), Brandi Seals (Houston), and Rhiannon Layendecker (Englewood, Florida). In 2018, they were joined by Christa Steele Knudslien (North Adams, Massachusetts -- we were colleagues there in my home state and Friends here), Viccky Gutierrez (Los Angeles), Celine Walker (Jacksonville), Tonya Harvey (Buffalo), Zakaria Fry (Albuquerque), Phylicia Mitchell (Cleveland), Amia Tyrae Berryman (Baton Rouge), Sasha Wall (Chesterfield County, South Carolina), Karla Patricia Flores-Pavón (Dallas), Nino Fortson (Atlanta), Gigi Pierce (Portland, Oregon), Roxana Hernandez (Albuquerque), Antasha English (Jacksonville), Diamond Stephens (Meridian, Mississippi), Cathalina Christina James (Jacksonville), Keisha Wells (Cleveland), Sasha Garden (Orlando), Vontashia Bell (Shreveport, Louisiana), Dejanay Stanton (Chicago), Shantee Tucker (Philadelphia), Londonn Moore (North Port, Florida), Nikki Enriquez (Laredo, Texas), Ciara Minaj Carter Frazier (Chicago), Regina Denise Brown (Orangeburg, South Carolina), Tydi Dansbury (Baltimore, an hour from me here in Gaithersburg), and Keanna Mattel (Detroit).

I note that there have been multiple murders in some places, that Roxana died in ICE custody with significant evidence showing she was abused there, and that Nikki was one of four women victims of an intel supervisor for US Border Patrol. And that more than 360 trans people have been murdered elsewhere in our world in the past year, and the great majority are Latinx -- mostly trans women and transfeminine people. Too, there continues to be little attention given to the murders of and assaults on Native people who are Two Spirit.

I also remember Nicole Hall, a Black trans woman found dead in Dallas in May. And my siblings lost to suicide, as the attempt rate in our community is over 40%. And every year there are unreported deaths, and reported ones where the victim is not identified as trans.

May all of my trans sisters, brothers and other siblings’ memories be a blessing, as we say in Judaism -- and one that calls us to act, especially at trans justice’s intersection with racial, immigration and economic justice. May we continue schlepping towards tikkun olam, world repair, at the intersection of LGBTQI+, climate, racial, immigration, spiritual, fat, disability, and all other stripes of the rainbow of justice. May we never forget that white supremacy has always included and prioritized misogyny, cis supremacy and transphobia. Amen!

#TDOR #TDOR2018 #TDOR2019 #TransDayOfRemembrance #WontBeErased

Monday, January 7, 2019

Massachusetts height & weight anti-discrimination bill UPDATE!

Friday January 18th is the refiling deadline for the latest version of my home state of Massachusetts’ height and weight anti-discrimination bill! If you didn’t get the following e-mail about that today, please e-mail Caroline.Sherrard@MASenate.gov.

"Height and Weight Anti-Discrimination Legislation

Hello all,

If you’re receiving this email you previously reached out to Rep. Byron Rushing’s office in support of height and weight anti-discrimination legislation in Massachusetts. If you would like to no longer receive emails on this topic, please let me know.

As many of you know, Rep. Rushing is no longer in the legislature. I’d like to introduce you all to Senator Becca Rausch who will be filing this legislation in the Senate and Representative Tram Nguyen who will be filing this legislation in the House. I used to work for Rep. Rushing and now work for Senator Rausch, so there is some nice continuity! Tobin Abraham, also cc’ed, is Rep. Nguyen’s staff person.

We need to refile this legislation by 1/18. If you have any comments on the language from last session (attached), please let me know as soon as possible. I’ll be in touch soon if our office or Rep. Nguyen’s office has suggested changes.

We’d like to have an advocacy strategy conference call after bill filing, sometime in late January or February.

Thank you so much for your interest and advocacy.

Best,
Caroline

Caroline Sherrard, Chief of Staff
Office of Senator Becca Rausch
Massachusetts Senate
Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District
State House Room 419
617-722-1555 (internal ext. 1556)
Pronouns: she/her/hers"