masstpc:

From the National Center for Transgender Equality:

Save the LGBT-inclusive Violence Against Women Act by calling your senators now. The Senate may take up the bill in the coming days. 

And the programs covered in VAWA are so crucial for trans people—nearly a fifth of trans people have faced domestic violence from their families because they are trans or gender non-conforming.

Call your Senator now and let them know how important these programs are for all survivors of violence.

Learn more here: http://wapo.st/14S1qPs
kisareth-studios:

Today we have a shot taken in battle from Chronicles of a Dark Lord Episode II: Tides of Fate. This is the long awaited sequel to our first release, Chronicles of a Dark Lord. 
The second image is the main menu/party status menu. Check out the beautiful character portraits done by our very own Elizabeth Yeterian!
If you haven’t already—take the time to get to know us by looking over our website. While you’re there, we’d very much appreciate it if you’d upvote us on Steam Greenlight so we can get our games out to more retro gaming/retro rpg fans! 

This game’s focus on equality is amazing, having played it! It isn’t often that LGBTQ characters are mentioned in a video game, much less an RPG. Kisareth Studios takes a page from Bioware and sets the stage for a new and bright future in game development and design. 
Their company is founded by a transgender woman, and their staff includes quite a few people on the LGBTQ spectrum. In a primarily male dominated industry, Kisareth Studios’ vision for the future of gaming is one that cannot be understated.
When the subject of the flames this stance will undoubtedly bring arose, Kisareth had this to say:
“ You know what the wonderful thing about CoaDL is? It’s something that struck me right away. It exists in a world where we have gay, bi, trans and such peoples, but it’s not a big deal. It’s not treated as anything different or out of the ordinary, it’s just accepted as a matter of fact. You’ll notice there aren’t bigots in the world of Cora, there may be some in our world, but we’re not concerned with them…at all. ” 
Bravo!  kisareth-studios:

Today we have a shot taken in battle from Chronicles of a Dark Lord Episode II: Tides of Fate. This is the long awaited sequel to our first release, Chronicles of a Dark Lord. 
The second image is the main menu/party status menu. Check out the beautiful character portraits done by our very own Elizabeth Yeterian!
If you haven’t already—take the time to get to know us by looking over our website. While you’re there, we’d very much appreciate it if you’d upvote us on Steam Greenlight so we can get our games out to more retro gaming/retro rpg fans! 

This game’s focus on equality is amazing, having played it! It isn’t often that LGBTQ characters are mentioned in a video game, much less an RPG. Kisareth Studios takes a page from Bioware and sets the stage for a new and bright future in game development and design. 
Their company is founded by a transgender woman, and their staff includes quite a few people on the LGBTQ spectrum. In a primarily male dominated industry, Kisareth Studios’ vision for the future of gaming is one that cannot be understated.
When the subject of the flames this stance will undoubtedly bring arose, Kisareth had this to say:
“ You know what the wonderful thing about CoaDL is? It’s something that struck me right away. It exists in a world where we have gay, bi, trans and such peoples, but it’s not a big deal. It’s not treated as anything different or out of the ordinary, it’s just accepted as a matter of fact. You’ll notice there aren’t bigots in the world of Cora, there may be some in our world, but we’re not concerned with them…at all. ” 
Bravo! 

kisareth-studios:

Today we have a shot taken in battle from Chronicles of a Dark Lord Episode II: Tides of Fate. This is the long awaited sequel to our first release, Chronicles of a Dark Lord. 

The second image is the main menu/party status menu. Check out the beautiful character portraits done by our very own Elizabeth Yeterian!

If you haven’t already—take the time to get to know us by looking over our website. While you’re there, we’d very much appreciate it if you’d upvote us on Steam Greenlight so we can get our games out to more retro gaming/retro rpg fans! 

This game’s focus on equality is amazing, having played it! It isn’t often that LGBTQ characters are mentioned in a video game, much less an RPG. Kisareth Studios takes a page from Bioware and sets the stage for a new and bright future in game development and design. 

Their company is founded by a transgender woman, and their staff includes quite a few people on the LGBTQ spectrum. In a primarily male dominated industry, Kisareth Studios’ vision for the future of gaming is one that cannot be understated.

When the subject of the flames this stance will undoubtedly bring arose, Kisareth had this to say:

 You know what the wonderful thing about CoaDL is? It’s something that struck me right away. It exists in a world where we have gay, bi, trans and such peoples, but it’s not a big deal. It’s not treated as anything different or out of the ordinary, it’s just accepted as a matter of fact. You’ll notice there aren’t bigots in the world of Cora, there may be some in our world, but we’re not concerned with them…at all. ” 

Bravo! 

masstpc:

image

Demand equal access to public accomodations for transgender people in MA! 

The cosponsorship deadline for the Equal Access Bill is February 1. So now‭ ‬is the time‭ ‬to make your voice heard‭!‬ Contact your state senators and representatives‭ ‬TODAY‭ ‬and ask them to support the bill.

In November‭ ‬2011,‭ ‬Massachusetts became the‭ ‬16th state to add non-discrimination laws for gender identity in the areas of employment,‭ ‬housing,‭ ‬K-12‭ ‬public education,‭ ‬and credit.‭ ‬Additionally,‭ ‬Massachusetts Hate Crimes laws were also updated to include gender identity.‭ ‬This law is known as the Act Relative to Gender Identity.

This new‭ ‬law did not‭ ‬include protections in public accommodations,‭ ‬though.‭ ‬Public accommodations‭ ‬include‭ ‬banks,‭ ‬gas stations,‭ ‬beauty salons,‭ ‬doctors‭’ ‬offices,‭ ‬court rooms,‭ ‬hotels,‭ ‬restaurants,‭ ‬shopping centers,‭ ‬theaters,‭ ‬sports arenas,‭ ‬museums,‭ ‬libraries,‭ ‬zoos,‭ ‬beaches,‭ ‬public transit,‭ ‬airports,‭ ‬public streets,‭ ‬sidewalks,‭ ‬and many other places open to the public.

Here’s what‭ ‬YOU can do to ensure all transgender people in Massachusetts have‭ ‬equal rights to‭ ‬use‭ ‬public spaces‭ ‬free of any discrimination.‭ 

     1) Locate your‭ ‬state officials

‭     2) ‬Ask for your‭ ‬State‭ ‬Representative or Senator by name.‭ ‬Usually you end up speaking with a legislative aide.‭ ‬Introduce yourself as a constituent.‭ ‬Give your name and town.‭ ‬Tell them that passing the‭ ‬Equal Access‭ ‬Bill is VERY important to you.‭ ‬If they need more information,‭ ‬tell them the bill has been filed as‭ ‬House Docket‭ ‬#1172‭ ‬and‭ ‬Senate Docket‭ ‬#568.‭ 

The Equal Access Bill would add‭ “‬gender identity‭” ‬to existing Massachusetts civil rights law for public accommodations,‭ ‬which currently prohibits discrimination on the basis of age,‭ ‬race,‭ ‬creed,‭ ‬color,‭ ‬national origin,‭ ‬sexual orientation,‭ ‬sex and marital status.‭ ‬Nationwide,‭ ‬15‭ ‬states,‭ ‬the District of Columbia and‭ ‬187‭ ‬cities and counties‭ (‬including Boston,‭ ‬Cambridge,‭ ‬Amherst and Northampton‭) ‬have passed non-discrimination laws or ordinances protecting people on this basis.

If you would like to follow a detailed script when calling,‭ ‬you can‭ ‬find that here.

     3‭) ‬Fill out our Report Results form to let us know how it went.

Another way that you can help is to talk up‭ ‬#MAtransbill online.‭ 

We’d love for you to post to Facebook,‭ ‬Twitter,‭ ‬Tumblr,‭ ‬etc.,‭ ‬about why you are supporting the Equal Access Bill today.‭ ‬Why are public accommodations protections important to you‭? ‬Use the hashtag‭ ‬#MAtransbill,‭ ‬and add‭ ‬#TransMA and‭ ‬#MApoli if there’s room.‭ Here’s a sample tweet:

Stop discrimination in MA public accommodations based on gender-identity/expression. Call sens/reps 1/31! http://www.masstpc.org/take-action/contact-elected #MAtransbill

If you’d like more information,‭ ‬please check out these resources:

‭* ‬2013‭ ‬Equal Access in Public Accommodations Legislative Brief‭ ‬(PDF‭)

What Are Public Accommodations‭?‬ (PDF‭)

Consequences of Not Having Equal Access Protections in Public Accommodations‭ ‬(PDF‭)

Twitter’s down right now, but let’s see what we can do to continue getting the word out! New Englanders, this means you! 

masstpc:

Are you wondering why Massachusetts needs to pass an Act Relative to Equal Access in Hospitals, Public Transportation, Nursing Homes, Supermarkets, Retail Establishments, and all other places open to the public? Below are just a few of the consequences of transgender people not having equal access to public spaces.

Imagine trying to get a drink with friends and being refused service based on your gender identity or expression. This is a harsh reality transgender residents of Massachusetts face daily. In 2010 in Peabody, a group of trans women were attempting to meet for a social function at a local restaurant. They were refused services because their licenses did not “match their appearances.” When the women challenged this, the establishment’s management told them their entrance denail was “due to the length of their skirts.” After filing an unsuccessful mediation with the Peabody Licensing Board, the women took their case to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and ultimately won their case.

Being refused service at a restaurant is frustrating, embarassing, and hurtful. Being outed in front of others could even lead to physical danger. And it gets worse. Public accommodations also include places like doctor’s offices, emergency rooms, urgent care facilities, nursing homes, and more. Whether it be a routine primary care appointment or admission to an emergency room, transgender individuals can still be turned away under current Mass. law, all because the doctor or attending nurse on duty “Doesn’t treat people like you” or thinks your case is “A separate thing” to be addressed by mental health professionals instead of a clinician.

This was the case for MTPC steering committee member Mycroft Masada Holmes. During a medical appointment in Boston, Mycroft came out as transgender while discussing medical needs and history. The doctor became visibly uncomfortable. “She really was not pleased and just more and more seemed to want to end the interview,” said Mycroft. Without the Equal Access Bill, transgender individuals in Massachusetts will continue to face situations like this.

But don’t take it secondhand from us, hear it straight from Dagen, a Massachusetts resident who is currently affected by the lack of equal access to public accommodations. For Dagen, many of the problems he has faced in finding a primary care physician have been based in ignorance more than cruelty or blatant discrimination. He had to approach more than 30 doctors before finding one he felt could deal with a trans patient. And, even so, he had trouble scheduling a pap smear. Hear it in his own words.

Once public accommodations protections are in place, health care providers should receive instructions about how to implement the law, including best practices recommendations. This information will teach them about what being transgender is and how to provide good and compassionate care.

Check out our Call to Action for easy instructions on how to find your state legislators and what to say to them. February 1 is the deadline for Mass. senators and representatives to sign on as cosponsors of the Equal Access Bill. Please call your legislators NOW and ask them to commit to cosponsorship.

Another way that you can help is to talk up #MAtransbill online. Here’s a sample tweet:

Stop discrimination in MA public accommodations based on gender-identity/expression. Call sens/reps 1/31! http://www.masstpc.org/take-action/contact-elected #MAtransbill

If you’d like more information, please check out these resources:

Thank you for your support!

masstpc:

http://www.boston.com/community/moms/blogs/child_caring/2013/01/when_a_relative.html

A reader asks parenting blogger Barbara Meltz how to deal with telling her 8- and 12-year-old children that their aunt is transgender if they ask. In the letter-writer’s (very hurtful words):

My brother is married to a transgendered individual. “B” lives as a woman but is still, biologically/physically, a man. When people meet her, it’s often obvious to them that she is really a man. “B” has been with my brother for over 15 years now and both my daughters call her “aunt” and do not realize she is a man.

My oldest is 12 and my youngest is 8. I do not want to keep secrets from them … do I raise the transgendered issue? Do I wait for them to ask? They’re going to ask some day, I know and I don’t want them to feel like this is a deep dark secret (though my brother and his spouse do not discuss the issue — ever).

Click the link to see Meltz’s answer and other readers’ responses. Perhaps you want to weigh in with your own advice.

Our answer, also posted at that page, is: 

The previous commenters have made some excellent points. What needs to be addressed here, obviously, is this letter writer’s attitude toward her sister-in-law. Of course parents must put their own children’s needs before those of other adult people. But the assumptions about what those needs might be in the future and how to handle the personal details of someone else’s life are very skewed. We hope that the letter writer will do some self-educating about transgender issues before trying to teach her children about this topic.

To begin, why is it assumed that the aunt’s being transgender is a secret that needs to be kept or revealed, as though it’s the most pertinent piece of information that everyone must know about her, whether she wants to share it or not? We don’t expect people to disclose other information such as being an ex-Catholic, an ex-smoker, an ex-gymnast, or an ex-army captain. Also, the preferred term is “transgender” not “transgendered,” like “smart” or “tall” instead of “smarted” or “talled.”

Deciding whether someone is a woman based on the presence or absence or appearance of a couple of body parts is reductive. And it’s antifeminist to try to take away a woman’s agency in declaring what she is or isn’t. We really should be, as a society, past the point where a group of people get to determine for someone else what her relationship should be with her own body, how she can dress, and how she can interact with the world. Do we all want to go back to a time when women weren’t allowed to have short hair or powerful jobs or wear pants?

Also, the letter writer is assuming that the children will ask questions about their aunt because the letter writer herself does not think of the aunt as a woman, even though so far the children have never treated the aunt as anyone but their aunt. If everyone in the family just treated this trans woman as the real woman she is, perhaps the children would just grow up thinking that the concept of “woman” is diverse enough to include all the people they meet in life who present and identify themselves women regardless of what sex they were labeled at birth.

But if the children do ask, there is nothing wrong with that. And it’s a great opportunity for the letter writer to be a great parent and to explain that there is no set of rules for being a woman (or for being a man), that women act and look in a wide variety of ways, and that how to treat someone shouldn’t depend on that person’s gender (or race or economic status or religion or physical ability, etc.). Most important, the letter writer can teach her children that all people are to be treated with respect and kindness.

Perhaps in advance of these types of questions, the letter writer could begin teaching her children about the various ways in which people within their community and across the world are diverse in so many wonderful ways and how no single characteristic determines the whole of who someone is. Those are always good lessons to teach children, even ones who don’t (knowingly) have diversity within their families.

As this state’s only organization led by and for transgender youth, adults, and our families, we at the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition know all too well the discrimination transgender people face from both family members and the public. By becoming better informed about gender identity, the letter writer and this blogger, Barbara F. Meltz, can help change that for these children’s aunt.

We are including a few links and book recommendations here that the letter writer and others may find useful in understanding transgender issues.

Transgender 101: masstpc.org/media-center/transgender-101

I AM: Transgender People Speak video project: transpeoplespeak.org

A documentary about Uncle Bill becoming a woman: nodumbquestions.com

Luna by Julie Ann Peters – a young-adult novel about a transgender teen

10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert and illustrated by Rex Ray – a picture book about a transgender child

Transitions of the Heart: Stories of Love, Struggle and Acceptance by Mothers of Transgender and Gender Variant Children edited by Rachel Pepper

True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism—For Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping Professionals by Mildred L. Brown and Chloe Ann Rounsley

masstpc:

Did you know that transgender people have no legal protections against discrimination in places of public accommodation in Massachusetts? We can fix this problem by passing the Equal Access Bill.

A “public accommodation” is any establishment, public or private, that is open to the general public and that provides, or endeavors to provide, some type of goods and/or services to the general public. The Massachusetts Public Accommodation Law (M.G.L. c. 272, s. 92A, 98 and 98A) defines a place of public accommodation as “any place, whether licensed or unlicensed, which is open to and accepts or solicits the patronage of the general public.”

Why is passing the Equal Access Bill important? Check out these places where trans people can still be discriminated against in Massachusetts. The list may surprise you.

Hotels, motels, campsites, and other places of lodging

Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and other establishments serving food or drink

• Retail establishments, including stores, shopping centers, car rental agencies, and other retail establishments

Theaters, concert halls, sports arenas and stadiums, and other places of entertainment

Convention centers, lecture halls, and other places of public gathering

• Museums, libraries, galleries, and other places of public display or collection

• Parks, zoos, amusement parks, beaches, and other places of recreation

Public transit and bus stations, train terminals, airports, platforms, and other transportation facilities

Public streets, highways, sidewalks, boardwalks, and other public ways

• Service establishments, including laundromats, dry cleaners, banks, gas stations, barbershops, beauty salons, travel agents, funeral parlors, and employment agencies

• Providers of professional services such as law offices, accountants, and insurance agents

• Health care facilities, including medical and dental offices, hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, nursing homes, and other health care facilities

• Public spaces and offices of state and local government agencies including, court rooms, hearing rooms, meeting rooms, waiting areas, lobbies, entrances, polling places (where you vote), public information counters and displays

Think it can’t or won’t happen to you or someone you know? Think again. Massachusetts transgender youth and adults routinely experience discrimination and harassment in public accommodations and services.

58% of surveyed transgender people were verbally harassed or disrespected in a place of public accommodationor service, including hotels, restaurants, buses, airports and government agencies.

Imagine what it would be like if you the Basketball Hall of Fame wouldn’t let you in, even with a ticket, because “they don’t serve people like you.”

Imagine being refused admission to Plimoth Plantation because you are transgender.

Imagine a bus driver verbally harassing you and being so openly hostile that you have to get out miles ahead of your stop for fear of your own emotional and physical safety.

Worst of all, imagine being denied admission to an emergency room because they “can’t help people like you.”

How you can help

February 1 is the deadline for Massachusetts senators and representatives to cosponsor the Equal Access Bill. Please call your legislators NOW and ask them to commit to cosponsorship.

Check out our Call to Action for easy instructions on how to find your legislators and what to say to them.

Another way that you can help is to talk up #MAtransbill online.

masstpc:

image

The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition is hosting a Legislative Action Day at the State House January 17 from 11 am to 1 pm. Constituents will gather to educate their legislators about the necessity of protecting transgender people’s access to public accommodations through the passage of An Act Relative to Equal Access in Hospitals, Public Transportation, Nursing Homes, Supermarkets, Retail Establishments, and all other places open to the public.

The Equal Access Bill would add “gender identity” to existing Massachusetts civil rights law for public accommodations, which currently prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, sex and marital status. Nationwide, 15 states, the District of Columbia and 187 cities and counties (including Boston, Cambridge, Amherst and Northampton) have passed non-discrimination laws or ordinances protecting people on this basis.

Public accommodations include any establishment, public or private, that is open to the general public and provides, or endeavors to provide, some type of goods and/or services to the general public. Examples of accommodations are banks, gas stations, beauty salons, funeral parlors and employment agencies; offices of professionals such as doctors, attorneys, dentists, accountants, travel agents and insurance agents; court rooms, lobbies, polling places and government agencies; hotels, restaurants and bars; shopping centers; theaters, concert halls, sports arenas and convention centers; museums, libraries and galleries; parks, zoos, amusement parks and beaches; public transit and airports; and public streets and sidewalks.

MTPC’s Executive Director, Gunner Scott, said, “Public accommodations protections would make explicit the Commonwealth’s commitment to providing people of all gender identities equal protection under the law, and guarantee transgender youth, adults, and families the opportunity to participate in and contribute to their communities and to the local economy. This bill is about fairness and all residents having the same access to public places.”

According to a recent transgender discrimination survey, 58% of Massachusetts respondents experienced verbal harassment or mistreatment in public accommodations such as hotels, restaurants, buses, airports and government agencies because they are transgender; 22% of transgender adults were denied equal treatment by a government agency or official; and 24% of transgender adults who interacted with police experienced harassment by officers.

“I applaud the Massachusetts legislature and Governor Deval Patrick for the 2011 passage of An Act Relative to Gender Identity, which adds gender identity non-discrimination protections in the areas of education, employment, housing and credit/lending. The Equal Access Bill fills in that missing piece of public accommodations, which are all the places between home, work or school. This is necessary for full equality all transgender youth, adults, and families in Massachusetts,” said Nancy Nangeroni, chair of MTPC’s board.

RSVP: http://www.masstpc.org/take-action/current-legislation/legislative-action-day/ 

Signal boost for all you Massachusetts folks!! 

Who has the full rough draft of the magazine?
 I doooo, and it’s so shinnyyy.


Also, go check out our Facebook page. It needs more love in the form of ‘Likes’.

https://www.facebook.com/justabitradicalmag

Going to go squee some more!

                                                       Just a Bit Radical

                                       For Immediate Release

                    LGBT YOUTH SUICIDES POINT TO A LACK OF VOICE

             New Publication Will Give Vulnerable Population A Way to Be Heard

According to statistics provided by the Youth Suicide Prevention Program, over 50 percent of trans* individuals will attempt suicide before they turn 20. Just a Bit Radical magazine editor and founder Catherine Oliver believes that having a publication to read or contribute to, where youth voices are heard and respected, can help make a difference in these numbers. JABR hopes to provide lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQQIA) youth and their allies ages 13 to 30 with a publication that discusses ideas and issues that are important to them.

"I decided to start Just a Bit Radical because I was tired of seeing the suicides of LGBT youth every time I turned around," says Oliver. "I was tired of seeing every magazine only cater to one part of the LGBT spectrum and never include youth. I also am alarmed at the lack of transgender representation in print. Being genderqueer myself, I think that having a positive trans* voice in print and digital media is important. Transgender, gender-nonconforming, and gender-variant kids need to know there are others like them. In the media they should be portrayed normally, just like everyone else. Just a Bit Radical is designed to be that place, just as its name states, a little radical—forward-thinking, bold, and edgy."

Just a Bit Radical is a submission-based, non-content-censoring publication for LGBTQQIA youth and their allies. Founded in 2012, the magazine strives to increase positive awareness of LGBTQQIA youth in media and in print. The team includes Catherine Oliver, art director A. Elizabeth Yeterian, in-house cartoonist Juli Meyers, and graphic designer April French.

If you would like more information on our project’s goals and mission, or you would like to contribute, please visit our Kickstarter page: http://kck.st/zstOcs or email Catherine Oliver at justabitradical@gmail.com.

Check it out, everyone! Thanks so much for all your support! Tell your friends! Together, we can help raise the Kickstarter funding to bring the magazine to print and help so many people that need it.

We love you all—

Team JABR