Posts Tagged ‘Events’

Thanks and First Thoughts on TDOV 2013

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

This year, we broke the South Bay Trans Day of Visibility into two events; an afternoon event, with all of the education and discussion panels, the art, computer games, etc etc. Some cool moments:

* Hearing two old high school friends found each other!

* Playing a friend’s video ‘game,’/installation and realizing I’d love to have it on a giant screen on a wall in my house

* Seeing Dr. Marci Bowers sitting cross-legged on a table as she spoke with her audience

* Listening to friends take the stage for open mic for the first time, and being blown away by their words

* OMG The TWO massive pans of Hobees coffee cake!

* Having two send two of the South Bay Trans Men out on their continued mission for inflatable balloons… again… because I didn’t get a phone message… and they smiled and continued on their way AND scored balloons!

* Seeing people queued in the hallway for some presenters… hearing an enthusiastic presenter and audience through a wall…. trusting a friend to keep the kitchen running

Yes, much good stuff. Yes, schedules had to be shuffled a bit the day before and day of, but it was all good. No one got lost this year, so we learned last year’s lessons of signs well enough. There are new lessons for this year. 😉

Part two this year was breaking the evening event off to a separate, more party-friendly space, and really having a party! The Gender Queer Society and Sistah C were funny and touching. The sound was good! That was sure a happy thing.

As were the ongoing conversations in the other room, and the friendly young man working the bar. DJs from a queer entertainment services group kept the music going, and kept feet dancing later in the evening.

More personal cool moments:

* Finding a row of friends in funny hats

* Sitting down for the show. !!

* Dancing in my tall shiny motorcycle cop boots and leathers, so good to get loose!

* Sheer delight in the diversity and beauty of the crowd!

* The personalized King and Queen stickers.

The raffles went well! People actually stayed in their seats for them. That was new to me! I think we very well for the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center; the numbers will be in later.

So many people did so much. We started on this months in advance. Char got the space, and handled most of the evening event planning. BJ pulled in some excellent presenters. Wyatt helped so much with administrative work, and in the moment background work. Joanne was my extra set of hands.

Friends were amazing! Baking and home cooking appetizers, finding donations. hauling tables and decorating chairs… on and on. Special thanks to the gentlemen of the South Bay Trans Men, whose time I took during meetings, and whose cheerfulness and abilities are took as much advantage of as I could in setup and tear down. 🙂

Thank you each and every one who helped make the events come together, and thanks to everyone who came, learned, had fun. Some of you were ‘out’ for the very first time: I salute your bravery, heart, and style.

Trans Day of Visibility March 23, 2013 – Time to shine!

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Everyone is Welcome at the Transgender Day of Visibility!

This is our third year celebrating and recognizing the wonders and joys of the Trans community in the south bay area! The Transgender Day of Visibility is an international event that serves as a complement to the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

3-6 pm: Social, Panels, art show, video games, open mic

7-11 pm: Cocktail party & dance – fundraiser for the DeFrank

Trans Day of Visibility! Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center, 938 The Alameda, San Jose
* No cover * Social * Art show (contact: to display your art) * Indie computer video games * the unexpected!

3:00 pm: Doors open

3:15 pm: Keynote by Dr. Bowers

4:00 pm: Panels begin– * Friends & Family w/Diana Heideman * Sex Reassignment Surgery  w/Dr. Marci Bowers *  Physical & Psychological Effects of Hormones w/ Dr. Charles Moser * Get Involved with Politics w/ Adam Spickler * Trans Life with Prof. Wiggsy Siverston * Police Auditor Services w/ Judge Ladoris Cordell

5:30 pm: Open mic, featuring Amy Dentata

Cocktail Party & Dance; 1343 A The Alameda by Char’s Hair
$15; proceeds to the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center * Get dressed up and let your hair down!

*Socializing * Light Appetizers * Entertainment and Presentations, with Comedian Ariel Smith * Music and Dancing * No Host Bar * Raffles

Transgender Day of Visibility 2012, San Jose, Recap

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Thanks everybody who made yesterday’s 2012 Transgender Day of Visibility event the success it was! The three afternoon discussions were well attended… it was gratifying to hear happy remarks as people exited the rooms, and to see so many folks getting their legal forms related questions answered. Clearly, we have room to add more sessions in the future!

At the main event, The Gender Queer Drag Troop were fabulous once again (and yes, some folks did totally get the joke of the first one 😉 ); there was something extra amusing about the dad of one of the performers filming the songs! Kevin Roche, former leather titleholder and IRLM emperor graced us with a lounge song, which the audience appropriately snapped their fingers to, and two poets (Sarah and Jesse) read their riveting works. Around the room, browsers enjoyed art and played fun, edifying, and crazy-making original video games.

Adam Spickler, activist volunteer and Senior Field Representative for Assembly Member Bill Monning, brought us up to date on current legislative and other political goings on (bringing up the importance of Planned Parenthood to trans people as well as to women), and BJ Fadem, Esq. followed with information on paperwork.

The short films all got laughter and thoughtful consideration: Sam Berliner’s ‘Perceptions’ trilogy (the link is only the first part), Shawna Virago’s ‘Transsexual Dominatrix,’ and Hugh Jasoll’s ‘Stuff Cis People Say to Trans People.’ It was great to have Hugh there to talk about his piece, and his TransFix work.

We closed with a showing of the Spanish trans Ikea ad (live version, not the video), and a discussion of the new religion’s study on trans acceptance. Visibility is working! Joanne read the stunning ‘How to Make Love to a Trans Person‘ poem to a hushed and tear-brushing-aside audience as our finale.

I was super pleased to see the diversity of the turn out this year, and to watch people just hanging out and talking. For next year, we’re going to have a committee, and grow this event even further!

A final note… so many people pitched in to volunteer and make TDOV work! Kevin and Andy brought their sound system, Wyatt ran the computer (and that was real sweat! – special thanks to Nori here and everywhere!), lots of the South Bay Trans Men pitched in, Joanne helped the wine bar and the whole event, and many attendees helped with clean up. Friends put together resources (and the Pink Spots were great), and gathered other friends… Participants came from Oakland and San Francisco, and shared their knowledge in discussion. Thanks to these good folks and all those whose names I didn’t mention!

Upcoming Trans Visibility Events at DeAnza College

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

The lgbt group at DeAnza college ( has a couple student-orientated events coming up!

– Trans Awareness panel/movie/etc: Wed. March 15th 5 pm
– Flash Mob: March 7th; the primary focus is creating visibility–be it recognizing hate crimes or just showing people that holding hands in public should not be something that incites violence.

Why I Sat at Pantheacon

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Pantheacon is a large, wonderful convention where Pagans from across the country gather once a year to grow community and explore spirituality. This year, the main event for me was a sit-in on Sunday night.

The sit – I love this contemporary version of the sit-in of the ’60s, where one sits in silent meditation – was held in the hall outside of Z Budapest’s cisgender-women-only ritual. Z Budapest is a founding figure in modern Paganism; so important to the early feminist thought which broadened and deepened the emerging collection of spiritual practices deemed Paganism. She is a true Grandmother.

Her importance only adds to the heartbreak of her hate speech. Her attempted explanation and apologies devolve over and over into defining trans women as ‘other,’ as ‘not women.’ There is room for separate space (though likely it will still get its protests); there isn’t room for telling other people what they are, or are not, nor for labeling them violent or invaders.

There was no point in arguing; so we sat. T. Thorn Coyle (a erudite teacher and blogger) organized a peaceful, silent protest. With only one day’s notice, over 80 of us gathered to sit outside of Z’s presentation. Others also came to hold space and chant. It was a powerful, difficult experience.

I found a wave of grief crashing over me; I couldn’t even name all of its parts – sorrow for my own experience, for this fossilizing in a Pagan elder, for the pain of the community. It was a blessing I have an actual meditative sitting practice; I used that experience to remain present and open, to the wave, to my own body, to the astonishing outpouring of silent support around me. It turned into an experience of healing I couldn’t have dreamed of.

Thank you, Thorn, and all members of the sangha of that night.

Hold the date: 3/31/12 Transgender Day of Visibility

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

I am really pleased to announce that this year’s CA south bay TDOV will take place at the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center on Saturday, March 31st. We’re gonna build on last year’s success and create a diverse and fun experience!

So far we have speakers, including a lawyer and a legislative assistant, a short film, and performances. We also have an earlier start time this year, so we can have discussion panels.

Want to participate? Have an idea for a panel? Let me know!

On the TDOR, 2011

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

This year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, held at the DeFrank San Jose and organized by the inimitable Nori Herras, was a different experience.

Rather than being downstairs in the big ballroom, we were upstairs in a somewhat smaller, closer space. The simple decorations were lovely, and brought the smaller space to life.

This year, there were no big name speakers. This year, it was community members who took the mic, and spoke from their hearts. I did have a somewhat prepared speech, which I only slightly deviated from. What surprised me was how my emotions were overflowing, grief to gratitude. It took conscious effort to get the words out.

I loved hearing people speak… communities members I’d seen around but not gotten to know, my own sweetie sharing something of her experience. A college age trans man was there, and though he didn’t take the mic, I did enjoy chatting with him, and expect to see him at the South Bay Transmen meetings (there’s one tonight!). He had a lot of style.

Moments of community spirit are a treasure.

Transgender Day of Remembrance in San Jose, 11/20

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

This Sunday join the south bay trans community in our vigil for trans people who’ve lost their lives to violence in the last year. Together we are stronger.

We meet at 6pm at the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center, 938 The Alameda, San Jose.