Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-12-05
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

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

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg 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.

VoilĂ : 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."


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg 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

CTA agrees to pay for transgender man's surgery 2018-12-10
WORLD Chile's pro-trans bill, gay wrestler, Russian courts 2018-12-04
Judge says transgender artist's suit can proceed 2018-12-03
Appellate court denies trans student's injunction motion 2018-12-03
Committee advances resolution condemning Trump anti-trans proposal 2018-11-28
Transgender Day of Remembrance event recalls lives lost 2018-11-28
Transgender man talks of survival, HIV, self-acceptance 2018-11-28
Congresswomen, civil-rights leaders, black trans woman demand protections for Black LGBTQ community 2018-11-28
WORLD Chinese writer, Nigeria suit, anti-trans attack, archbishop's statement 2018-11-27
SHOWBIZ Rippon retires, 'Moulin Rouge,' Katy Perry, trans actresses 2018-11-27
Advocates seek gov't accountability in death of trans asylum-seeker 2018-11-27
Lambda says Request for Supreme Court Review on Transgender Military Ban Premature 2018-11-23
Trump asks Supreme Court to rule on trans military ban 2018-11-23
Southern Poverty Law Center, Lambda sue for records on rollback of trans prisoner protections 2018-11-21
City committee to discuss pro-trans resolution 2018-11-21
AG Madigan demands civil rights protections for transgender people 2018-11-21
Trans Israeli activist speaks at Temple Sholom 2018-11-15
Brynn Tannehill: Trans activist calls for action in new book 2018-11-14
Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace debuts side-project album 2018-11-13
'TransScripts' brings lives of transgender women into the light 2018-11-13
'Unicorn Ball' Dec. 15 at The Shapiro 2018-11-13
Judge orders IDOC to thoroughly review trans-prisoner case 2018-11-09
My boss fired me from my funeral-home job for being transgender 2018-11-07
Diane Robinson talks Chicago Voice Center 2018-11-07
Milwaukee Pride plans Transgender Awareness Month events 2018-11-07
Massachusetts' Ballot Initiative to Uphold Transgender Protections 2018-11-07
Trans Voices Cabaret CHI to hold 2nd cabaret Dec. 3 2018-11-05
God's trans-affirming vote on Question 3 2018-11-05
LGBT HISTORY San Francisco trans cultural district slowly moves forward 2018-10-31
Annual S.O.S. ball, panel discussion held at CSU 2018-10-31
Marsha P. Johnson Institute GoFundMe page started 2018-10-31
Intersex-rights activists stage train 'takeover' 2018-10-30
Retired officers, Surgeons General, veterans, states oppose trans military ban 2018-10-30
Chicago-based Transit Tees launches LOOP: The Elevated Card Game 2018-10-29
Amiyah Scott 2018-10-26
Trans advocates rally to press police to solve murders of trans women of color 2018-10-25
Rally to demand progress on Chicago murders of transgender women 2018-10-25
Longtime activists reflect on trans community issues 2018-10-24
Ross keynotes at TransTech summit 2018-10-24
Transilient project tells non-binary, trans stories 2018-10-24
 



Copyright © 2018 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

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.