April Update

NCTE Honors Allies in the Movement: April 27

Transgender people and allies from across the country will gather to honor the achievements of Representative John Conyers, transgender attorney Shannon Minter, and the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry, at an awards celebration, Moving Forward Together, on Monday, April 27, 2009. Each year the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) hosts the event to honor individuals and organizations whose work has made a substantive difference in the lives of transgender people and in our work for greater equality under the law.

Representative Conyers is being recognized for his leadership role in moving forward a transgender-inclusive hate crimes bill, which is expected to become law this year. Shannon Minter was the lead attorney representing same-sex couples in California, demonstrating the role of transgender people as allies to the LGBT movement. The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry has worked with people of faith to promote leadership and equality for transgender people.

The awards celebration will be held on Monday, April 27, 2009 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Loews Madison Hotel, located at 1177 Fifteenth Street, NW, in Washington, DC. More information and tickets are available at http://nctequality.org/celebration.html

Lobby Day 2009: April 26-28

Representing districts from Maine to Southern California, from Florida to Alaska—29 states plus the District of Columbia in all—we have a record number of people signed up for Lobby Day and almost half of them are doing this for the first time.  We’ve expanded our training program, our policy conference, and our networking opportunities in new and exciting ways and are busy preparing for the folks who are coming.

As you may know, the hate crimes bill, H.R. 1913 was introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this month and a vote is expected on it as soon as the day after our Lobby Day. This is an incredible opportunity for transgender people and our families, friends and allies to be present with lawmakers just before they take a key vote on an issue vital to our community.

It’s not too late to register for Lobby Day at http://nctequality.org/lobby_day/lobbyday09.html. If you register after today, we will still do our best to make appointments for everyone, although we cannot guarantee it. If your Congressional office cannot make a last minute appointment, you will still visit the office and speak to a staffer on a drop-in basis.  (If you are already registered, your appointments are being set now.)

Lobby at Home: We Need You!

You can play an important role supporting those who are coming to DC even if you aren’t able to come to DC yourself. We are asking everyone to contact their members of Congress by phone or e-mail, or to visit their district offices, on April 28. We want the people on Capitol Hill to be very aware of transgender people and the need to include gender identity in upcoming legislation.

We’ve reissued our resource, Make Your Voice Heard: A Transgender Guide to Educating Congress, and have handouts available that you can print and take to your congressional office. Handouts are available on ENDA and on Hate Crimes, two important pieces of legislation that are expected to be voted on this session.

Transgender Religious Summit Keynote: Kate Bornstein

Noted author and activist Kate Bornstein will be addressing the Transgender Religious Summit on the topic of "The Tao of Mitzvah, Sabbath and Bodhisattva." She will be speaking on Sunday, April 26 at All Souls Unitarian Church in DC (2835 16th St NW), from 4:00-5:30 p.m.; a $5 voluntary donation is suggested.  If you’ve heard Kate before, you know what an amazing opportunity this is; if you haven’t, you don’t want to miss this!

The Transgender Religious Summit is a gathering of clergy and lay leaders from the United States and Canada seeking to positively impact policy within communities of faith and in the broader world. This will be our third year partnering with the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry from Pacific School of Religion. This year we are also partnering with the Unitarian Universalist Association Washington Office for Advocacy for more in depth conversations about working with policy makers as people of faith. Registration [link: http://trans3.eventbrite.com/] is only $15 and includes lunch on Sunday.

Transgender Families at the Easter Egg Roll

Visit our blog http://nctequality.blogspot.com/  to read about NCTE’s participation in the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House.  At least three families participated and we had a wonderful time.

In the Life

In the Life, a documentary series on LGBT experiences, focused on gender in their April 2009 programming. They write:

This Month, IN THE LIFE reports on the growing movement for transgender civil-rights in our hospitals, courthouses and on the streets. “Looking Back, Pushing Forward” examines the controversy raging over the inclusion of Gender Identity Disorder in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. In our A Conversation With…, National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling and political theorist, Paisley Currah, discuss legislation designed to protect trans-people from discrimination at work and in gender-specific public spaces.  We conclude with a profile of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a global collective of queer performance artists who defy expectation using the power of parody to promote human rights, respect for diversity, and spiritual enlightenment.

Go to www.inthelifetv.org to watch the program.

Report on Harassment faced by Transgender Students

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, recently released a report entitled, Harsh Realities, about the extreme hardship faced by transgender students. You can view the report at http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/library/record/2388.html?state=research.

Eighty-nine percent (89%) of the transgender students who responded to GLSEN’s biennial school climate survey reported experiencing verbal harassment, and more than half had been physically harassed as well. Almost half had skipped school because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable.

Go to http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/research/index.html to view all of their related reports, including the entire 2007 School Climate Study and their report on the experiences of LGBT students of color.

This Friday, April 17, GLSEN holds their annual Day of Silence, http://www.dayofsilence.org/index.cfm , in which thousands of students make a pledge to not speak during the school day to raise awareness about the harassment and bullying faced by LGBT student s. Those who are not in school any more can also pledge their support to speak up for students.






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