|Posted by Transgender Education Collaboration on March 20, 2013 at 8:15 PM||comments (0)|
Hope to see many of you at the potluck celebration of the transgender community, this Saturday March 23 from 7-9pm at the West Michigan Pride Offices:
211 Logan St. SW, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503
Open to all, including allies!
|Posted by Transgender Education Collaboration on March 12, 2013 at 1:40 PM||comments (0)|
While we may have been quiet as of late, just wanted to let everyone know that we are in the midst of a lot of planning and will hopefully soon be back full strength. Stay tuned for more information!
|Posted by Transgender Education Collaboration on November 12, 2012 at 11:20 AM||comments (0)|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Transgender Day of Remembrance: One Year Later
On Sunday November 20, 2011, The Transgender Education Collaboration, in partnership with Plymouth United Church of Christ, held its first annual Transgender Day of Remembrance service. Over 100 individuals from throughout West Michigan participated in the service, remembering and celebrating the lives of those from the Gender variant community who were killed in 2011.
According to ThinkProgress.com, over 116 transgender people were murdered around the world in the first nine months of 2011, with seven of the murders occurring in the United States, with most taking place in Latin American countries. TMM, a project of Transgender Europe, estimates that at least 681 transgender people have been murdered in 50 countries since 2008. "People are being killed due to their gender identity or presentation. It is that simple, that horrific. If we don’t pause to remember and to grieve, we will not rise to act in order to stop such horror,” said Reverend Doug VanDoren, of Plymouth United Church of Christ.
"We are gathering together in community on this 14th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance to memorialize transgender individuals who have lost their lives this last year. It is very important, because we must make sure that these silenced voices are heard. The transgender community still faces discrimination and hate and by coming together, we will continue to build our resolve as a community to face the challenges ahead. In solidarity, we can really push for change.” said event organizer M Kelley. “Through the sharing of stories, music, reading of names and other presentations, this year’s service will create a space where we are free to mourn those lost while building up our local transgender community” said Kelley.
Dr. Julie Nemecek, a nationally known activist and educator, who provided the keynote address at the 2011 West Michigan Transgender Day of Remember service said, “When I think of all the transgendered people around the globe who have been killed, I think of the second phrase from Lincoln’s address from near the end of his remarks he said, “We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.” My hope and prayer is that part of the TDOR observance is that we too will “highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.” This evening, let’s use these tragic deaths to rekindle our resolve for justice, equality, and safety that these dead shall not have died in vain. I urge you to join me in that resolve”.
The 2012 West Michigan Transgendered Day of Remembrance will be held on Sunday November 18, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at Plymouth United Church of Christ, 4010 Kalamazoo Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI. The service will have secular and spiritual overtones as recognition that some in the transgender community have been shunned by religious traditions and would not feel comfortable in a church setting.
Please join us:
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Date: Sunday November 18, 2012
Location: Plymouth United Church of Christ
Address: 4010 Kalamazoo Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI
For more information, please contact:
The Reverend Doug VanDoren
email@example.com or 616-455-4260
|Posted by Transgender Education Collaboration on May 28, 2012 at 8:25 PM||comments (0)|
By M Kelley
In case you have not heard, Laura Jane Grace, the lead singer of Against Me! recently came out as transgender in the Rolling Stone. And I, and others, admit that it was not a completely horrible piece of journalism, as many transgender stories end up being.
And I have to admit, that I think that is partially because this story is so darn awesome, at least in my books. And it helps that Laura Jane Grace is also pretty darn cool.
I talk a lot about visibility on this blog. Her story is what I am talking about. A high profile rock celebrity coming out as transgender? That opens up a lot of people's minds who previously knew nothing about Transgender issues. The article itself is fairly educational, and even references a book I also find wonderful- Whipping Girl by Julia Serano. So L.J.G. and this article are doing a lot of great educational work, just by being out.
But another blessing of Transgender Visibility is that it can help build the community. I know in the case of L.J.G., I am feeling greatly inspired from her story. Like I have someone to look up to. Even if I've been out for a few years and she has only been officially out for a few weeks.
She comes from a military family, like me. A divorced family, like me. With conservative parents that she hadn't even told at the writing of the article, like me waiting until I was sure of myself before coming out to much of my family. She also has a loving wife who is supporting her, just like me. Knowing that there are others out there blazing the same trail as you means a lot. Especially when you are travelling the often tough Transgender trail of life.
And you know what else, she has an amazing singing voice, that has been part of the reason Against Me! has been so successful, much like I have been complimented for my voice in public speaking- but both of us know that those voices are very masculine. But as I have told a few people I have talked about her story with, what her voice sounds like when singing or talking, or what my voice sounds like, does not invalidate our identities. She is a woman, no matter if she has a voice that sounds masculine or not. She is an incredibly brave woman at that, as she pioneers a unique journey in her own life.
I am excited for Laura Jane Grace. Her story inspires me. I think her future looks amazing. I hope others come out because of her. I hope others embrace their identity more fully because of her, I know I am going to.
Thanks Laura Jane Grace, from a fan.
|Posted by Transgender Education Collaboration on May 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM||comments (1)|
Jackie Green is a young woman currently in the running for Miss England. She is also someone who has had a transgender journey. She granted us an exclusive interview, and we hope that this interview does justice in sharing her story in a way that reflects her life, not the sensationalized tale that the media tends to spin. Here is our interview, thank you for taking the time to talk with us Jackie:
(Credit to 'Charles Gervais @ Both Hemispheres Photography')
Jackie, how did you get in to modeling?
I got into modelling when I auditioned for a TV show last year called Models, Misfits & Mayhem. From there I made some good contacts and friends and that is where my journey really began. I then went to the Britains Next Top Model Live Tour and was scouted for the Miss England competition.
I have always been told I have great legs and encouraged to try modelling but I was always a little affraid of how people may react to me being a girl who is trans but I slowly gained more confidence and went for it.
I have seen footage of other pageants and fell in love. The atmosphere is amazing and everyone is so lovely. Also I love making new friends and I, like most little girls, have always had dreams of being a princess and the Miss England is the closest I will ever come. It is a dream come true to be competeing along side so many other beautiful women.
Who are some people that you look up to?
I have always admired Lady Gaga for her strength, creativity and also her attitude. She has been a huge inspiration in my modelling journey for her music is what gives me strength. I always have her playing at a shoot.
So you are a person who has had a transgender journey, can you share a bit about that?
The one thing I want people to understand is that this is not a choice. I have always been a girl and always known I was a girl, I just had a small birth defect that needed to be fixed, a mole that needed to be removed if you like. I am your average woman, I just have a more interesting life than some.
Another thing I want people to understand is I am not a transgender woman, I am a woman who is trans. Being trans is a tiny part of my life, a paragraph in my book of life. I am a daughter, a sister, a girlfriend, a model, the list is endless, before I am trans. I am proud of my life and my choices but they do not in any way define me.
Have you had issues with your transgender status in the modeling world?
I have been accepted completely in the modelling world, and why shouldn't I be? I am not different to anyone else. I am a good model and that is all that should matter.
Do you see yourself as an activist, or as someone playing a role in bringing visibility to transgender issues? And do you have any encouragement for those who admire you?
I suppose I am a activist. I want to raise awarness of trans peoples lives and the struggles that we go through and also to show kids that being trans is not a death sentence and that you can live your life how you want to, you just have to fight through the hard times. Life can be beautiful and exciting. I never thought in a million years that I would be where I am now, and look at me now! You just need to believe in yourself and you can anything. Nothing is impossible, its in the word. 'Im possible'.
There are not many role-models out there for kids who are trans to look up to. When I was younger I would see articles in the media of these trans people who had left their families and things and was so scared that that was all I had to look forward to. I hope that my coming forward will encourage more trans people to 'come out' because I think it is important that the kids see how life can be filled with happiness, you just need to be strong and persure it.
It makes me blush to think that I have inspired people! I mean I just consider myself to be an ordinary girl trying to achieve extraordinary things so to hear that I am making a difference makes me incredibly bashful but also extremely proud.
Any final things you would like to share?
One thing I would like to mention is the charity I work for, Mermaids. http://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/
Mermaids is a charity for children and families of children with gender variant issues. They have been an enourmous supporting pillar in my life and I now work with them as a mentor for kids who need advice or just a friend to talk to. I hope to use my being in the Miss England competition as a platform to promote the work they do for they are an amazing group of people.
If you would like to vote for Jackie- you need to text 'Miss Semi35' to 63333. I am sure many of us would love to be able to support Jackie in her quest for Miss England!
|Posted by Transgender Education Collaboration on May 17, 2012 at 2:15 PM||comments (0)|
By M Kelley
In case you haven't heard- The New York Times ran an incredibly transphobic article about a fire that killed a Transgender woman this week.
" The problem with the Times’ article on the death of Lorena Escalera, a transgender woman of color, is bigger than their “choice of words” or with their attempt to “capture” her story. It’s their failure to recognize trans women as women.
The decision by writers Al Baker and Nate Schweber to call her “curvaceous” in the first sentence was not a poor choice of words. It was a poor choice of focus. The way this entire article is framed comes directly from an idea that transgender women are curiosities. That they’re other. That they should be treated differently than other people. Saying that Lorena was “called” Lorena, even though that is exactly how police identified her, was not a poor choice of words. It was a disrespectful jab at her identity as a trans woman, by implying that she wasn’t really Lorena."
Today is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Yet we see that Transphobia is a society wide problem. Even a respected media outlet royally screws up coverage of the death of a Transgender woman. And that worst part, they arent even sorry.
Well screw You New York Times. I am growing so tired of bullshit coverage by the media of the trans community. Have most people not heard of common decency? Is society really screwed up this bad?
Transgender people are just that- people. We deserve respect. We deserve life. We don't deserve crap coverage in the NYT.
On this International Day against Transphobia, I can say that I am fed up. I am tired of the status quo. I am ready for a Transgender revolution.
What can we do to start really changing things now?
(Disclaimer: all blogs are the opinions of their authors)
|Posted by Transgender Education Collaboration on October 26, 2011 at 11:55 AM||comments (0)|
As we grow and become part of more and more activities, we thought it best to invest in an actual site for the Transgender Education Collaboration. Thanks for stopping by to check it out!