Ask Hannah!

Hi Hannah love reading your articles would you know a group in U.K. or person like yourself xxx

Thank you!  There are many transgender support groups all over the planet and a quick Google search provides a few resources.

 

Mermaids

Mermaids is passionate about supporting children, young people, and their families to achieve a happier life in the face of great adversity. We work to raise awareness about gender nonconformity in children and young people amongst professionals and the general public. We campaign for the recognition of gender dysphoria in young people and lobby for improvements in professional services.

The Beaumont Society 

The Beaumont Society was founded in 1966 as a self-help and social organisation for transgender people. We are still here, over fifty years later, in a very different social climate, with a broader membership but with the same aims. We became a charity in 2010 to enable us to meet those aims more effectively.

Transfigurations

Transfigurations is a transgender support group based in the South West of the UK.  It was set up to help all trans people (transsexual, transvestite, intersex, genderqueer, trans youth etc.) come to terms with their gender identity and provide a safe meeting place whilst they explore their feelings. 

Stonewall

We’re here to let all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, here and abroad, know they’re not alone.  We believe we’re stronger united, so we partner with organisations that help us create real change for the better. We have laid deep foundations across Britain – in some of our greatest institutions – so our communities can continue to find ways to flourish, and individuals can reach their full potential. We’re here to support those who can’t yet be themselves.

I am certain there are thousands of trans people in the U.K., but I don’t know anyone personally.  🙂  You may want to create a profile on The Gender Society, a UK based transgender forum and start there.

If you are looking to meet others like us, or if the above groups aren’t quite what you’re looking for, you may want to consider starting your own group.  That was the reason I started the MN T-Girls.   There are many transgender support groups in Minnesota, however I wanted to find a group that emphasized the social aspect of who we are.  I wanted to make friends and go shopping and out to dinner but I didn’t know of a group like that…so I started one.

I wanted to make some friends to go shopping with and to have a coffee with once in a while.   As Hannah, I am very social.  I like to do things with other people, I like to talk and socialize so I decided to make some friends.

I had started attending a local crossdresser support group and I met a lot of really wonderful people but I didn’t really identify with them.  Most of the group were those who had transitioned or who were about to.  It was a terrific support group for those who needed that support more than anything else.  Me, I just wanted to make a friend to hit the mall with.

Creating, organizing and maintaining a group like this is a challenge and can be frustrating at times.  But it is also very rewarding and fun.  it takes a lot of patience and professionalism and dedication.  It takes commitment.  It is a lot of hard work.  It takes a lot of my time.  However, through the group I’ve been able to do many amazing things and I am constantly looking for new adventures for us.

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

 

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In Their Own Words: The Tretter Collection Transgender Oral History Project

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From the Minnesota Daily:

The University of Minnesota unveiled an exhibit documenting the history of the transgender and gender non-conforming community on Thursday.

The exhibit, titled “In Their Own Words’: The Tretter Transgender Oral History Project,” is on display at the Elmer L. Andersen Library. A celebration was held for the exhibit, which included an announcement about the project’s future.

“I just want to highlight why it is so important that we tell our narratives at this time while we are still alive,” said Andrea Jenkins, oral historian of the transgender oral history project. “Because in 2017, 23 transgendered people … primarily transgendered women of color [have] been murdered.”

This sounds like a really amazing exhibit.  I definitely plan on going.  Here are the details of the exhibit:

The exhibition is open October 13, 2017 through January 31, 2018
Elmer L. Andersen Library Atrium Gallery

Exhibit hours: Monday, Tuesday, & Friday | 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday & Thursday | 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

More information here!

Love, Hannah

Lights and Cameras for the MN T-Girls!

Today was the monthly MN T-Girls outing and we had an amazing time as we held our annual photo shoot.   This was the third year that we were treated to such an incredible day thanks to Shannonlee of Fotodia Studios.   I have been working with Shannonlee for a few years now and she is always just wonderful to work with.

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There were a total of six of us getting our portraits taken.  We had a lot of wardrobe changes and the day was filled with the sound of high heels clicking on hardwood floors.

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It was a day none of us will forget anytime soon.  Thanks to Shannonlee for such a perfect day.

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Love, Hannah

The Gender Recognition Act

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how California was considering a third gender option to their state issued identification cards.  Over the weekend, California Governor Jerry Brown did exactly that.

Not only that, there is also Senate Bill 179 which, according to Huffington Post, also reportedly makes the process of an individual changing their gender on legal documents easier by no longer requiring a statement from a physician declaring that they’ve undergone “clinical treatment.”

So, any readers in California thinking of making this change on their identification cards?

Love, Hannah

 

The Minnesota Transgender Alliance

I had the honor of speaking at last night’s meeting of the Minnesota Transgender Alliance in Minneapolis, whose mission is to provide resources and support to all members of the transgender community.  I talked about creating and organizing the MN T-Girls, my experiences as a transgender girl in the Twin Cities, the responsibility of being a positive representative of the transgender community, and the importance of being honest with ourselves about who we are.

I met some amazing people and I was grateful for the experience.  I look forward to partnering with the MNTA more in the future.

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Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

Do they have books on transgender, crossdressers rights when we go out on the town?

Before I jump into this, please visit and bookmark these two links that provide answers and information to frequently asked questions regarding the laws and rights of transgender individuals:

ACLU

Human Rights Campaign

I’m sure there are books, however, with how frequently the laws can change, a book will eventually become outdated.  As far as I know, there aren’t any states that says it is illegal to be transgender.  But that doesn’t mean we don’t have a long time to go.  As of today, it is legal to fire someone on the basis for being transgender in over half of the states in the country.  According to the Human Rights Campaign:

Right now in 32 states there is no state law protecting transgender people from being fired for being who they are. Only 18 states (CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, IL, IA, MA, ME, MD — effective Oct. 2014, MN, NJ, NM, NV, OR, RI, VT and WA) and D.C. currently prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.

We all have rights, but each day we hear of someone’s basic civil rights being violated.  Discrimination based on gender and race will likely always exist.  You have the right to be treated as a human being, but that doesn’t mean everyone will respect you and interact with you in the way you deserve, unfortunately.

You should also be aware of what the laws in your state are when it comes to using the restroom that align with your gender identity.  According to the ACLU:

There’s no clear answer here because very few courts have considered this question and the results have been mixed. In two recent positive decisions, an administrative agency in Colorado in 2013 and the Maine Supreme Court in 2014 both ruled that under those states’ gender identity discrimination laws, transgender girls had the right to use girls’ restrooms at their public schools. On the other hand, a 2001 Minnesota Supreme Court decision found that even a law prohibiting gender identity discrimination didn’t necessarily protect a transgender woman’s right to use the women’s restroom at work. And a federal appeals court in 2007 upheld the Utah Transit Authority’s decision to fire a transgender bus driver, based on a claim that her employer could be sued for her use of women’s public restrooms along her bus route. In a non-workplace context, a New York appeals court ruled in 2005 that it wasn’t sex discrimination for a building owner to prevent transgender people from using gender identity-appropriate restrooms in a building where several businesses shared restrooms.

Authorities in some jurisdictions (e.g., Colorado, Iowa, Oregon, Washington State, San Francisco, New York City, and the District of Columbia), however, have specifically said that denying transgender people the right to use a gender identity-appropriate restroom violates their nondiscrimination laws. Some jurisdictions (e.g., Iowa, San Francisco, and D.C.) go farther and make clear that transgender people can’t be required to prove their gender to gain access to a public restroom, unless everyone has to show ID to use that restroom. Other jurisdictions (e.g., Chicago) continue to allow businesses to decide whether a transgender patron may access men’s or women’s restrooms based on the gender on their ID, which may or may not reflect accurately the person’s gender identity.

Many businesses, universities, and other public places are installing single stall, gender-neutral restrooms, which alleviate many of the difficulties that transgender people experience when seeking safe restroom access. Some cities (such as Austin, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and West Hollywood) have local laws that require single-stall public restrooms to be labeled as unisex. While this is often a useful step towards addressing the concerns of transgender people and others, the ACLU believes that transgender people should have the right to use restrooms that match their gender identity rather than being restricted to only using gender-neutral ones.

My advice is to use a gender neutral bathroom if possible.  There is also an app and website called Refugee Restroom that, according to their website:

REFUGE is a web application that seeks to provide safe restroom access for transgender, intersex, and gender nonconforming individuals. When the Safe2Pee website passed out of functionality it left a hole in our hearts. REFUGE picks up the torch where Safe2Pee left off and makes the valuable resource available to those who find themselves in need of a place to pee safely once again. Users can search for restrooms by proximity to a search location, add new restroom listings, as well as comment and rate existing listings. We seek to create a community focused not only on finding existing safe restroom access but also looking forward and participating in restroom advocacy for transgender, intersex, and gender nonconforming folk.

Be aware of your rights.  Be safe.

Love, Hannah

National Coming Out Day

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Today is National Coming Out Day and I wanted to congratulate everyone who has bravely come out to someone in their life.  Who we are is not easy to explain or understand.  Sometimes I think we have a hard time understanding this ourselves…but we still know who we are.

When we are ready to come out, we open up to different people in different ways.  Sometimes it goes wrong,  sometimes it’s anti-climatic, sometimes they already knew, and sometimes we just have a hard time explaining ourselves to others.  Sometimes this is a conversation that takes months, sometimes the person we come out to never wants to discuss this ever again.

If you’ve come out to someone, what has worked?  What did you say that describes who you are so perfectly that the other person understands exactly who you are?

Love, Hannah