Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Mass. transgender group launches awareness campaign
by Chuck Colbert
2010-11-24

This article shared 10394 times since Wed Nov 24, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The message is as all-American as the 14th Amendment.

"The country was built on equal opportunity," a new multimedia public education campaign begins. "As transgender people we are asking for the opportunity to take care of our families and be free from discrimination."

No big surprise: "I AM: Trans People Speak," the nation's first-ever public awareness initiative, springs from navy blue Massachusetts. But the brief personal stories—in video, audio, written essay and photo format—hold the same message even for crimson red localities and purple ones, too.

"We want to explain to people who we are, the issues we face from our own voices, not from a medical model," said Gunner Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition ( MTPC ) , an advocacy organization.

At a recent launch party, held this month at a popular Boston eatery, Scott said his "crazy idea" for the project came from National Public Radio when he heard about immigrants telling their stories through the "We Are America" multimedia program.

Scott floated his idea at a staff meeting this past summer. "No one said, 'Gunner, are you absolutely out of your mind?'" he explained.

Voilà: MPTC fast tracked the project. The Coalition received a $35,000 grant from the State Equality Fund, assembled a team, and within three months were up and running with the project ( www.TransPeopleSpeak.org ) .

Scott said that another $20,000 would enable MTPC to place ads on local subway trains and busses. "This is not the end, but the beginning," he said.

It may well be a model for other states and localities to adopt, Scott said.

Transgender people are widely misunderstood by the general public and the media, transgender-rights advocates say.

"Much of the media is negative," explained Jesse Begenyi. A documentary filmmaker, she serves as MTPC clerk, as well as on the trans speak team.

"We feel boxed in," Begenyi said. "Trans people are so much more than their trans experience," she said, referring to the story told by Cohasset, Mass., resident Michelle Figueiredo, whose video is one of eight posted on the "I AM: Trans People Speak" web site.

"Her whole video is about how she ran a marathon; there's nothing about being transgender," said Begenyi, who is also a videographer for the project.

And yet Figueiredo's experience transiting from male to female while on the job at State Street cuts to the heart of the public education efforts. During a short interview at the launch party, Figueiredo, a manager, spoke about the support she received from human resources and her boss.

"I went to an HR person who said, 'Let's explore how we do this. We support you,'" shw said.

Figueiredo went on to praise her boss, a "guy's guy," she said, who told her point blank: "I don't care what you look like as long as you do the great job you do," she said. "Talk about a huge weight off my shoulders."

"He actually went on the Internet to find out more information," Figueiredo added. "He knew staff would ask questions."

Her boss genuinely cared, she said. From time to time, "He asked me: 'How are you feeling? How are the hormones treating you?'

"I put him up for a diversity award and he won."

Still, Figueiredo's positive experience at one of the Boston's venerable financial institutions is not always the case.

In dozens of states, transgender people face not only employment discrimination, but also encounter discrimination in housing, credit, education and public accommodations. Transgender persons are also victims of violent hate crimes.

In some states—even Massachusetts—where activists have fallen short in adding "gender identity" and "gender expression" to the state's anti-discrimination and hate crimes statutes, social conservatives have succeed so far in blocking transgender civil-rights legislation by hijacking the debate's language, dubbing the proposed legislation a "bathroom bill," an ugly smear pro-trans advocates consider fear mongering and scare tactics all about imaginary transgender bogeymen in restrooms and locker rooms.

And yet the power of personal story telling continues.

"It's not just about us," said Ty, a Northampton transgender man who is the biological mother of two teenage sons, during his video clip. "It's about our families."

For Mick—a licensed clinical social worker, a feminist and queer transman who resides in Boston—it is all about being true to self, he said on video. "I can finally look in the mirror, and I finally know who I am."


This article shared 10394 times since Wed Nov 24, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Dr. Rachel Levine confirmation hearing today, to be first trans Senate-confirmed appointee 2021-02-25
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today Dr. Rachel Levine will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions about her experience and qualifications to be the next U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health. If moved ...


Gay News

Victory Institute condemns Rand Paul attack on Dr. Rachel Levine, trans youth 2021-02-25
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Institute condemned Senator Rand Paul's transphobic attack on Dr. Rachel Levine during her confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. He attacked trans you ...


Gay News

LGBTs rise to 5.6% of U.S. population 2021-02-24
- Gallup's latest update on lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender identification finds 5.6% of U.S. adults identifying as LGBT, according to the organization. The current estimate is up from 4.5% in Gallup's previous update based on 2017 ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs legislation transforming Illinois criminal justice system 2021-02-22
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Building on efforts to create a more equitable and safe criminal justice system, Governor JB Pritzker signed landmark legislation that transforms Illinois' criminal justice system. This landmark legislation ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Virginia items, Marriott CEO, Black LGBTQ+ icons, trans kids' book 2021-02-21
- Virginia lawmakers are about to roll back a state law that allows faith-based adoption and foster-care agencies to refuse service to LGBTQ families, VirginiaMercury.com reported. The legislation has spurred heated ...


Gay News

WORLD Canadian groups, Moroccan refugee, LGBT+ Rights Ghana, trans heroine 2021-02-21
- From $400,000 in funding for a national initiative aimed at expanding two-spirit advocacy, to $239,000 to improve LGBTQ youth housing access in the Prairies, 76 Canadian community groups are being sent nearly $15 million from the ...


Gay News

Male-only Michigan campsite bans trans men 2021-02-19
- In Michigan, the owners of Camp Boomerang RV Park and Campground in Orleans—about 50 miles northwest of Lansing—announced they will ban trans men from their male-only park when they officially open this spring, PrideSource.com reported. "Camp ...


Gay News

CDC establishes school-reopening guidelines 2021-02-13
- On Feb. 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that teachers and students should return to the classroom and can do so safely—even in areas with high rates of viral transmission—if certain mitigation ...


Gay News

Quigley statement on HUD announcement of enforcement of Fair Housing Act 2021-02-11
--From a press release - Chicago, IL — Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, released a statement after the ...


Gay News

HUD to enforce act prohibiting discrimination on sexual orientation, gender identity 2021-02-11
--From a press release - WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced that it will administer and enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. HUD's Office ...


Gay News

GLAAD: Senators vote against response to riot but introduce anti-trans bill 2021-02-10
--From a press release - Five of the eight senators objecting to Electoral College votes and voting against the second Trump impeachment trial have cosponsored a new bill targeting transgender youth, adding to history of anti-LGBTQ votes and views GLAAD: "More ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Black History Month, anti-trans bills, Penn. politician, HIV measure 2021-02-07
- In honor of Black History Month, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) announced its acquisition of the Ubuntu Biography Project, a press release noted. The Ubuntu Biography Project, created by Stephen A. Maglott, celebrates the legacies ...


Gay News

Questions surround Chicago transgender woman's death 2021-02-04
- During the overnight hours of Jan. 16-17, 34-year-old Sherry Nicholas died at the Jackson Park Supportive Living facility on Chicago's South Side, where she was a resident. She is the second known Chicago transgender woman to ...


Gay News

HRC responds to Rand Paul's questions about trans children 2021-02-03
- On Feb. 3, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a hearing on the confirmation of Connecticut Commissioner of Education Miguel Cardona to be Secretary of Education. During the event, U.S. Sen. Rand ...


Gay News

Golden Globe nods announced; LGBTQ shows, characters and actors included 2021-02-03
- Nominations for the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards—which honor the best in television and film—were announced Feb. 3. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will return as hosts of the event for a fourth time. The Golden ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.