On Tuesday, December 19th, the Twin Cities chapter of PFLAG will be hosting theologian and author Austin Hartke who is promoting his new book ‘Transforming: The Bible and the lives of Transgender Christians‘ which focuses on faith and identifying as transgender.
I am having a hard time believing that Christmas Eve is two weeks away. The holiday season can be stressful and busy, which makes the annual MN T-Girls holiday party all the more fun!
Last night about fifteen of us gathered for drinks, food, holiday music, girl talk and fun. It was a time to take a break from the busy holiday season, show off our new sparkly Christmas and look back on 2017. In addition to using the night as an excuse to be fabulous, we also sponsored a family who has had a really hard year. Because of the generosity of the group, we were able to give a family a hopefully brighter holiday by donating money and gift cards. Seeing the T-Girls open their hearts and purses to this family who has been struck by tragedy made my heart soar. Thank you to everyone who helped.
I had such a fun time and I spent a bit of the evening reflecting on all the amazing things we did this year as a group. I made a lot of new friends and had a lot of new adventures. We talked about what we want to do next year and I am excited and recharged for our next events. Organizing and planning a group like this is exhausting but it’s also one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Thank you to every MN T-Girl out there for making the group as successful as it is.
I can’t wait for 2018!
This month marks the four year anniversary of the MN T-Girls!
I remember the very first MN T-Girl meeting at Cafe Southside in Minneapolis. I arrived a little early and wondered if anyone would show up. But a few people did, and now, 4 years and a whole lot of eyeliner later, the group is still going strong with close to 200 members. When I started the group, I had a goal of helping other t-girls find the courage to go out, have fun, make friends and experience life outside of their living room. I also wanted to help us become visible to the rest of the world. To show people that we are real and are more than how we are portrayed in movies.
I’d like to think that these goals are being accomplished. At almost every monthly event, there is usually at least one t-girl out for the first time. Almost all events are out in public, whether at the mall, in a restaurant or museum. I am also seeing increased tolerance, acceptance and love from the real world. Whether it is the group being invited for a private shopping event, a play or simply someone telling me that they love my dress.
I like looking back at how things have evolved, and I also like to celebrate! Yesterday was the monthly MN T-Girls outing and it was truly special. Yesterday’s event was actually comprised of three separate moments. The first was an amazing combination of our history and of our future. The University of Minnesota recently unveiled an exhibit documenting the history of the transgender and non-gender conforming community with a special emphasis on Minnesota’s role and community. The exhibit, titled ‘In Their Own Words’: The Tretter Transgender Oral History Project is an amazing collection of literature, newspaper articles, photographs and interviews. I was excited to see the exhibit and thought it’d be interesting and important for the MN T-Girls to visit. I think history is so important. I have the freedom to walk through Target in heels but I can’t forget those activists who fought for this freedom.
Typically, the museum is not open on the weekends, but thanks to the U of M’s kindness, they opened for our group for a special weekend showing. I cannot thank the U of M enough for their flexibility. What made the visit extra-extra-extra special was our tour guide was Andrea Jenkins, the curator of the exhibit and the first out transgender person of color elected to public office in the United States! Jenkins will represent Ward 8 on the Minneapolis City Council next year.
I learned a lot about our history, such as when the term ‘transgender’ was first used, how different ethnic groups have had multiple genders for a very long time, and how the U of M was the second university in the United States to perform a gender reaffirmation surgery. It was an amazing exhibit and I am still stunned by the courage of those who came before us.
Again, special thanks to Ms. Jenkins and the U of M!
We had dinner reservations but there was a little time to kill before then. A small group of us went to Midwest Makeup Supply in Minneapolis to do a little shopping. The MN T-Girls had a private makeup event there earlier in the year and it’s always fun to visit.
After the exhibit and shopping it was time to eat! We had a wonderful meal at PUBLIC kitchen + bar in Saint Paul. We had dined there two years ago and like last time, we had delicious food and wonderful service. I can’t wait to go back!
It was a fun day and I cannot thank Andrea, the U of M, Public and Midwest Makeup enough for helping make the day special. I also want to thank every member of the MN T-Girls for helping the group grow and making the group what it is.
Onto the next four years!
Tonight I had the pleasure once again speaking at the Minnesota Transgender Alliance meeting. Last month I spoke at the Minneapolis chapter and this evening was the Anoka group. I spoke about the MN T-Girls, my experiences in being transgender in the Twin Cities and, of course, shopping.
Thank you to everyone with the Minnesota Transgender Alliance and for everyone who attended!
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.
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.
Today the MN T-Girls had a little road trip and went to Saint Cloud which is about an hour north of the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area. Saint Cloud held their annual Pride Festival this weekend and I am so glad we went.
Everyone we met was friendly, positive and welcoming. There were vendors from organizations from all over the state and I spent a lot of time chatting with Transforming Families and the Minnesota Transgender Alliance, which I have added to the Transgender Resources page.
There was a total of six MN T-Girls there today and we had a lovely time wandering around the booths, eating yummy food, making new friends and taking photos. It was supposed to rain afternoon but as you can see it was a lovely day.
It was such a fun day and next year I plan on going to many more Pride events. Hope to see you there!