Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

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 beginР* 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

Lesson Learned: Local Politics

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

I had the fortune to have the time to attend a meeting of the Rules Committee of the San Jose City Council today. Up for discussion was whether to bring the Freedom to Marry Pledge petition to a full meeting of the council. At first glance, this appeared to be a no-brainer issue.

Then I listened.

Initially I was struck how the vast majority of people spoke about the issue of the resolution (that is, they were either pro marriage equality or against it), not about the resolution itself and whether it should go to council (the actual topic); the few that did I was grateful for, as they were educational.

A lot of people more or less wasted their one minute. Many made heartfelt statements, a whole lot of which were really scary to me. Starting from a place of religious fundamentalism, and not varying, not even seeing that church and government are different, not seeing irony nor inaccuracy. What a different way to be in the world. I did have some sympathy for some of the views presented, such as this is not an issue a city council can have any impact on (though OTOH, I think these discussions raise awareness).

It evolved that the resolution would more or less ‘force’ the mayor (who is not pro full marriage equality) to sign a resolution he didn’t support, which is an awful idea in a democratic world. And further that the mayor had offered to meet with both sides for further discussion, after next week’s election. And been pushed by the pro side to do it now… a clearly self-serving political move.

It was really disheartening to see the ‘good guys’ (you can read that as, I support the idea behind the resolution), using misguiding statements and tactics. That’s not the way I want to achieve equality. That perhaps is the way the world often works.

I have been to assorted other political events (such as a meeting with the impressive Rep. Zoe Lofgren, up for re-election next week), but this daily wheel turning discussion was a good use of my time. Man, these people have the patience of gods, to deal with what they have to deal with.

In California, (straight) trans people face few difficulties with marriage; get ID in your proper gender, and you’re good to go. There are states where trans people are stuck in a tangle where they can’t safely and legally marry anyone.

It’s the courts who drag us as a society forward with every civil rights issue. I look forward to when marriage equality is a done deal (what say everyone is legally in a civil union, and the word ‘marriage’ is colloquial?). May it be this year.

Local newspaper article on the meeting.

CA Governor Signs Important Transgender Protections into Law

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Here are two new laws which will make a difference in people’s lives! The first clearly adds gender and identity to our nondiscrimination laws; vital to the employment and housing concerns of trans people (among other issues). The second simplifies and clarifies who is qualified to change gender in CA, eliminating some confusion with federal requirements. Good stuff!

From the Transgender Law Center:
“With the help of your input and our partners at Equality California and GSA Network, we came up with two legislative solutions to these problems.

The Gender Nondiscrimination Act (AB 887) takes existing protections based on gender and spells out “gender identity and expression” as their own protected categories in our nondiscrimination laws. By making these protections explicit, people will more clearly understand California’s nondiscrimination laws, which should increase the likelihood that employers, schools, housing authorities, and other institutions will work to prevent discrimination and/or respond more quickly at the first indications of discrimination.

The Vital Statistics Modernization Act (AB 433) will alleviate the confusion, anxiety and even danger that transgender people face when we have identity documents that do not reflect who we are. The bill will streamline current law and clarify that eligible petitioners living or born in California can submit gender change petitions in the State of California. The Vital Statistics Modernization Act conforms California’s standards to the standards set by the United States Department of State for gender changes on passports, and it makes common-sense changes to the law that ensure the process is simple for qualified petitioners to navigate.”

Congrats to everyone who did the work!

October is LGBT History Month

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

This history site is pretty cool; every day there’s a new ‘icon’ (historical figure). It’s fun exploring the names; nice to see Mara Keisling right up there! She rocks. I took a workshop or two from her at a trans leadership conference a couple of years ago, and see her in the media regularly.