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 Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

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

This article shared 10705 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 10705 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

Brittany Devon meets a 'Platonic Girlfriend' 2021-09-15
- Queer, genderfluid actor Brittany Devon has created a brand new project to explore with Platonic Girlfriend. It is the story of a relationship between straight woman Alice and a queer, nonbinary person named Dev. Devon stars ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs transformative energy legislation for Illinois 2021-09-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Delivering on principles previously laid out, Governor JB Pritzker signed landmark legislation into law that puts the state on a path toward 100% clean energy, invests in training a diverse workforce for the jobs ...


Gay News

AstonRep Theatre Company announces 2021-22 season: 2021-09-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Sept. 13, 2021) — AstonRep Theatre Company is pleased to welcome back live audiences this fall, kicking off with a revival of Yasmina Reza's frenetic dark comedy God of Carnage, translated by Christopher Hampton and ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Teachers, GLAAD talks HRC, 9/11 items, Dr. Rachel Levine 2021-09-12
- In North Carolina, a former teacher won a lawsuit against Charlotte Catholic High School and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte after he lost his job following an announcement on Facebook that he planned to marry ...


Gay News

WORLD False report, Indian activist dies, fashion exhibit, LGBT Awards 2021-09-12
- In Spain, a man who claimed eight hooded men carved an anti-gay slur on his butt using a knife in a horrific hate crime later said the act was consensual, according to out.com. According to police ...


Gay News

Dutch study: Transgender people face twice the odds for early deaths 2021-09-08
- A long-term Dutch study revealed that transgender people have double the odds of dying early compared to folks whose identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth (cisgender), according to the U.S. News & World ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Idol' alums, Zendaya, Gaga, 'Queer As Folk,' women rappers 2021-09-05
- American Idol alum David Archuleta said that God urged him to come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, NBC News noted. The Nashville resident told Today.com he wasn't sure if the community would embrace ...


Gay News

WORLD Anti-TGNC vote, #VeryGayRaptor, Brazilian governor, Scottish poll 2021-09-05
- In Australia, the government voted down workplace protections for transgender, non-binary and intersex people, OutInPerth.com reported. The senate was considering the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment ...


Gay News

MUSIC Laura Jane Grace gives good advice to future trans and queer artists 2021-09-04
- For one hour and 48 minutes, Laura Jane Grace will take listeners on a journey with the new Audible project Black Me Out. This transgender musician covers a great deal of territory in the session, from ...


Gay News

Get Out! LGBTQ travelers show how to travel safely this fall 2021-09-01
By Ed Salvato, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association - Just when we thought it was safe to hit the road, we were walloped by the Delta variant, the latest plot twist in the 18-month-and-counting pandemic story. The surprising data that fully vaccinated people could transmit ...


Gay News

Gender-affirming care associated with lower suicide risk for transgender people 2021-09-01
--From a Williams Institute press release - A summary of current data on suicide risk and prevention among transgender people in recognition of Suicide Prevention Month Transgender people who need and receive gender-affirming medical care have a lower prevalence of suicide thoughts and ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Marsha P. Johnson, Utah, five-year study, Pride fests cancelled 2021-08-29
- In New York City, visitors to Christopher Park have been greeted by the bust of the late trans activist Marsha P. Johnson, ActionNewsNow.com reported. The bust was erected on what would have been Jonhson's 76th birthday—and ...


Gay News

Virginia school district settles with Gavin Grimm 2021-08-28
- A Virginia school district that discriminated against a transgender individual by making him go to the bathroom in a converted supply closet will have to pay $1.3 million in attorney's fees and other costs accrued over ...


Gay News

Report features eight Illinois child-welfare agencies working with HRC Foundation 2021-08-26
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released a new report ...


Gay News

Trans woman and cancer survivor makes her debut at SEA BLUE Prostate Cancer Walk & Run 2021-08-23
- Among all the men, Iris Farley—a prostate cancer survivor and trans woman—will be running in Us TOO's SEA Blue Prostate Cancer Walk & Run on Sept. 26 in Lincoln Park. Farley, a Chicago resident, is the ...


 



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.