Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Date To Remember

This Friday, Aug 5, 2011 and Saturday, Aug 6, 2011 mark the 45th anniversary of the Compton's Cafeteria, riots in the Tenderloin of San Francisco in 1966. Gene Compton's all-night diner had become a favored hangout for the transsexual community as they were not permitted in Gay and Lesbian bars and "cross dressing" was illegal, at that time, in the State of California. This was 3 years prior to the Stonewall Riots in New York City on June 28, 1969.
In the late evening hours of August 5th, the management of Compton's called in the San Francisco Police as a few of the transwomen were getting a bit loud and raucous. When the police arrived, they arrested and started to extract some of the transwomen, who responded by throwing their coffee, along with the cups at the officers, who then called for backup. When the back up arrived, the situation quickly escalated into a general free for all, with coffee, food, plates, kicking, stomping high heels and furniture being thrown at police. During the melee, the plate glass window of Compton's was shattered.
The following night, August 6, 1966 members of the Vanguard (the first documented gay youth group in the U.S.) supported by members of the Glide Memorial Church and the Street Orphans (a group of street lesbians) picketed Compton's Diner in protest of their "No Fiaries" policy, that had been adopted after the incident of the 5th of August, 1966. Again police were called in and Compton's lost another plate glass window in the ensuing riot, agitated by a police response with undue levels of extreme force on the part of the San Francisco Police Department in dealing with what was, up to the point of their response, a peaceful demonstration against an injustice against a small minority of people.
The upshot of this was that it triggered a revolution, leading to the establishment of the National Transsexual Counseling Unit in 1968 - the first such organization in the world. After all, when a people are oppressed to the point where they have very little to nothing left to lose, what are they supposed to do to gain their freedom and humanity?
I believe that this is an important date to remember for the simple reason that this was the first time that the most highly oppressed segment of our society stood up for themselves and decided that we would no longer be pushed around or denied our humanity. With the failure of last years "inclusive ENDA" I believe that now, more than ever, we need to remember that the TS, IS and TG populations are still the most stigmatized and oppressed segments of our culture and it is important to remember that we still have a long way to go before our battle to be recognized as Children of God/Citizens of the United States/Human Beings, deserving of the same rights and protections under the law, as anyone else, is won.
As a group, we have made some significant gains, but we still have a long way to go before we can say "no one gets left behind" in the areas of necessary medical treatment, counseling and respect for our humanity through education and getting our truths of existence out there. I am realistic enough to know that we will never gain 100% acceptance, but at least we should be able to get to the point where violence and discrimination against us, with legal impunity, and denial of our human rights and needs becomes endemic rather than epidemic.
In the many disruptive names of Sophia, may this be so. Let's keep up the good fight until we've won.
In Solidarity,
Joanie

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Center - LGBTQ Community Center in Hampton Roads, VA



We are looking for volunteers to help staff The Center, organize and facilitate  support groups, create a speaker's bureau, help with outreach, and help us to develop a safe space for all LGBTQ people. 

If your organization or group needs a place to meet, this is what we are all about. 

Please contact us for further details.








Tuesday, May 10, 2011

JIM COLLINS FOUNDATION AWARDS ITS FIRST GRANT FOR GENDER-CONFIRMING SURGERY






LOGO 50%
PRESS RELEASE
May 9, 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact:
 
 
JIM COLLINS FOUNDATION AWARDS ITS FIRST GRANT 
FOR GENDER-CONFIRMING SURGERY



(North Branford, CT) May 9, 2011 - The Jim Collins Foundation is proud to announce that its first grant for gender-confirming surgery has been awarded to Drew Lodi. The Jim Collins Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, raises funds to provide grants to transgender individuals who need, but cannot afford, gender-confirming surgery. "Our hard work is paying off," says Tony Ferraiolo, one of the organization's co-founders. "Friends, families, and allies have helped us to raise these funds, and with their help we are able to fulfill our mission by providing Drew with the surgery that he has long awaited." 
Drew came out as transgender to his family and friends in 2008.He states that "the Jim Collins Foundation for me is a miracle. They helped me to stay motivated to live each day purposefully...I improved my life, mind, body, relationships, and faith. To know that people are out there who do NOT have to be helping--but are--makes me motivated to do everything I can..."  
Drew submitted his application for a grant in hopes of receiving funds to help him obtain gender-confirming surgery that, for far too long, seemed impossible to afford. In preparation for surgery, Drew collected cans three to five days a week, keeping in mind that "five cents was way more than zero."  
The mission of the Jim Collins Foundation is to provide financial assistance to transgender people for gender-confirming surgeries. The Jim Collins Foundation recognizes that not every transgender person needs or wants surgery to achieve a healthy transition. But for those who do, gender-confirming surgeries are an important step in their transition to being their true selves. However, access to gender-confirming surgery is impossible for most. Discrimination against transgender people is so prevalent that many transgender people struggle to survive, never mind save for surgery costs. Even for those who have health insurance, coverage is systematically denied. Many insurance policies contain a "Transsexual Exclusion Clause" which excludes all medical procedures related to a person's transgender status. For many transgender people, access to surgery is out of reach. 
The Jim Collins Foundation raises money to fund gender-confirming surgeries for those transgender people who need surgery to live a healthy life, but have no ability to pay for it themselves. We recognize that for those people who require surgery for a healthy gender transition, lack of access to surgery may result in hopelessness, depression, and sometimes, suicide. The Jim Collins Foundation is a community-based initiative promoting the self-determination and empowerment of all transgender people.



  




Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hampton Roads Bisexual - HRB Social Support Group for Bi, Pan and Fluid










HRB


Hampton Roads Bisexuals
A brand new social and support group for folks that are bi, bi-curious, bi-friendly, poly, T/G and others...
...supportive members of the LGBT community are welcome!
The First Meeting!
Tuesday, May 10, 7 PM
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula
Sanctuary Building
415 Youngs Mill Lane
Newport News, VA 23602
Be there or be someplace else!
For additional information or questions contact
with the subject HRB





Monday, April 25, 2011

HRPride Youth Committee Presents, "Breaking the Silence."

Calling all LGBTQ Youth ages 14-20 in Hampton Roads, Virginia. 

Check it out. 

Music, Food and Fun in a safe place where you can relax and be yourself.




Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dining Out For Life - Thursday, April, 28, 2011 in Hampton Roads, VA






 
Greetings!  

Have you made your reservations yet for Dining Out For Life?! With less than a week until Thursday, April 28th, if you haven't already, it's time to figure out where to go! And invite a few friends to join you!

How do you participate in Dining Out For Life? Just dine out on Thursday, April 28th, at any of the participating restaurants (listed below) and each restaurant is donating at least 25% of their evening's sales to ACCESS AIDS Care

ACCESS AIDS Care provides services for individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Hampton Roads such as medical case management, housing, meals, transportation and children's services, and to the general community in the form of outreach, education and free testing. 100% of the proceeds from Dining Out For Life will stay right in our community, to serve people affected by HIV/AIDS.

Dining Out For Life is the simplest way to Make One Meal Matter Just make a reservation at any of the participating restaurants and grab a fork! Dine Out. Fight AIDS.

Make your reservation today!
ACCESS AIDS Care 






Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Summer Camp For Transgender - Queer Youth!




This is a great opportunity for queer youth. I have very fond memories of summer camp even if I was not living as my authentic self at the time.

Fees are on a sliding scale basis. If someone living outside of Vermont is interested, I bet financial arrangements could be made to cover travel costs.


Outright and YWCA Vermont Announce a New Summer Camp for Queer Youth!
Contact: Melissa Murray
Outright Vermont, (802) 865-9677

Rebecca Gurney
YWCA Vermont, (802) 862-7520

This August, Outright Vermont and YWCA Vermont will operate a new residential summer camp program for queer and allied youth. Camp Outright will run from August 14-20 at YWCA Camp Hochelaga in South Hero and is intended for youth ages thirteen to twenty-two. The camp will combine a traditional summer camp experience with arts and crafts, nature, sports, boating, and drama programs with special workshops focused on positive youth development and community building. While full tuition is $350 (and includes all lodging, food, materials, and some transportation assistance for youth in Vermont), the camp is offered at a sliding fee scale, and no interested youth will be turned away due to inability to pay. Registration and information are available online at www.campoutright.org.

Garth Vest, a youth helping plan Camp Outright, states, "This camp is going to be a great opportunity. Many queer youth don't get a summer camp experience due to the fear of not fitting in or being harassed. This will be a safe space where we can swim, camp out, have camp fires, and really just have an authentic summer camp experience with people who share stories similar to our own. I think it's going to be a great opportunity for Vermont youth and I hope it grows even bigger in the future." Patrick Maguire, another youth helping in the planning, states, "Camp Outright is a huge step for Vermont, Outright, and the youth who will experience it. The program is a safe space where campers are free to be themselves--without the additional pressure of labels. Camp is so exciting because Outright has created an experience where queer and allied youth can be what is most important in the summers: just regular campers."

The camp is a collaborative project between Outright and YWCA Vermont, and has received funding from the Vermont Children's Trust Foundation as well as individual private donors. Camp Outright is still seeking donations to offset the cost of camp for youth that cannot pay. To donate directly to camp, please visit:
http://www.campoutright.org/overview/ and click DONATE. Adults interested in volunteering with this program should visit the Volunteer section of the camp website,http://www.campoutright.org/volunteering/ or contact Outright Vermont at (802) 865-9677


Monday, April 11, 2011

NJ Firm, Urban Treatment Associates Illegally Fires Transgender Man.





Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund
April 11, 2011

TLDEF Files Suit on Behalf of Transgender Man Fired from Male-Only Job

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First-Ever Lawsuit to Challenge Discriminatory View That Transgender Men Cannot Work As Men

Last Friday, TLDEF filed a lawsuit on behalf of a transgender man who was fired from a male-only job solely because he is transgender. This is the first lawsuit to challenge the firing of a transgender person from a job where being male or female is a job qualification. We broke the story in today's New York Times.

In June 2010, defendant Urban Treatment Associates LLC, based in Camden, New Jersey, hired plaintiff El’Jai Devoureau (large photo) as a urine monitor for men. His job responsibilities included monitoring male outpatients as they provided urine samples for drug testing. On his second day of work, Urban Treatment was told that Mr. Devoureau had transitioned from female to male and fired him on the spot.

The lawsuit challenges Urban Treatment’s termination of Mr. Devoureau as a violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, which protects transgender people from employment discrimination. In filings before the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, Urban Treatment claimed Mr. Devoureau was not male and therefore not qualified for the job.

"This lawsuit challenges the discriminatory view that transgender men cannot work as men,” said TLDEF executive director Michael Silverman. “El’Jai was qualified for the job and he performed it without complaint or incident," he added. "What matters in the workplace is how you do your job, not who you are."

Transgender people face tremendous discrimination in the workplace. Forty-seven percent of transgender people report being fired, or denied a job or promotion, just because of who they are. “I needed this job to support myself and my family. In this economy, jobs are really hard to find," said Mr. Devoureau. “They were happy to have me work there until they heard about my transition. I’m a hard worker and it’s unfair that I was fired over something that has nothing to do with how well I did the job," added Mr. Devoureau.

Jim Walden, Rachel Lavery, Lauren Sager, and Benjamin Wastler of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Robyn Gigl of Stein, McGuire, Pantages & Gigl, LLP serve as co-counsel with TLDEF for Mr. Devoureau.

The case is EL’JAI DEVOUREAU v. CAMDEN TREATMENT ASSOCIATES. LLC, t/a URBAN TREATMENT ASSOCIATES, INC., VAN MACALUSO, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County.
Donate to TLDEF through NYCharities.org

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Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund is committed to ending discrimination based upon gender identity and expression, and to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, community organizing and public policy efforts.






A response to transphobes, homophobes, racists, and all those who hate anyone.






Take some time and enjoy Lily's song, "Fuck you!" especially if you have ever been hurt in any way shape or form by hate and ignorance.








Saturday, April 2, 2011

HHS Recommends Efforts To Improve The Lives of Transgender People





Community Alert

We received big news from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today. HHS announced a number of efforts it was either taking or recommending to the president to improve the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans. These efforts include prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity within the department and in the administration of HHS programs, increasing collection of health related data on sexual orientation and gender identity, and LGBT cultural competency trainings for health professionals. It takes a broad array of support to keep our communities healthy, and we applaud HHS for taking this important step! Read the Transgender Law Center's press release on this historic announcement below.

Health and Human Services Announces Efforts to End  
Health-Related Inequities for Transgender Americans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2011
   
Media Contacts:
Kristina Wertz, Legal Director, Transgender Law Center
Office: 415-865-0176 x 302, kristina@transgenderlawcenter.org 
   
(Washington, D.C.), April 1, 2011 - The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced a number of steps it was taking or recommending to the President to improve the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans. HHS announced that they will prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in within the department and in the administration of HHS programs, increase the number of health surveys that collect sexual orientation and gender identity data, and encourage health profession training programs to include LGBT cultural competency.

The Transgender Law Center praises Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for these important steps to level the playing field for transgender Americans. These changes affect a broad swath of federal programming including health care services, social service programs, and government and private research. By working to eliminate discrimination across the nation in the services that make up our country's vital safety net, HHS has taken a critical step toward equality for transgender people.

"We applaud Secretary Sebelius for acting with fairness and equity," said Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center. "We hope that the announcement today will go a long way in ending the life threatening discrimination that transgender people and others who do not fit narrow gender stereotypes face every day. We look forward to continuing to work with the administration to respond to the health-related needs of all Americans - including transgender Americans - and ensure equal access to federal health programs for everyone."

Unfortunately, a startling number of transgender and gender non-conforming Californians continue to face discrimination, harassment and unemployment directly linked to their gender identity and/or expression. The Transgender Law Center views this as the first in many steps to change this reality. To that end, we call on other federal agencies, including the Department of Labor, to adopt similar policies protecting the people they serve.

Eliminating discrimination based on gender identity and expression is at the core of ensuring that transgender Americans are able to thrive. In California, the Transgender Law Center is working to pass the Gender Nondiscrimination Act, which would clarify existing law by elevating gender identity and expression to their own protected categories in all areas of Californian law.

 ###

The Transgender Law Center is a civil rights organization advocating for transgender communities. The Transgender Law Center uses direct legal services, education, community organizing, and advocacy to transform California into a state that recognizes and supports the needs of transgender people and their families.www.TransgenderLawCenter.org