PFLAG Events for November

PFLAG’s mission is uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies.  PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy.  PFLAG has 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

PFLAG was the first support organization I heard of when I was growing up.  I attended their meetings a few years ago and found it was a supportive, and inclusive community.  PFLAG is a wonderful group, especially for our spouses and family members and I am happy to promote the events the Twin Cities chapter has scheduled.

Guest Speaker: Billy Eloy

Billy will be providing information on events and services available to queer, trans and gender nonconforming youth in the Twin Cities.Suggestions for how parents can provide support and advocacy for their queer, trans and

Parents and youth welcome!

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Tuesday, November 20th, 2018 at 6:30 pm
Union Congregational Church
3700 Alabama Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55416
Support groups will be held at 7:30 pm directly following the program.
Love, Hannah
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Coming Out As Transgender

National Coming Out Day was earlier this week and it always makes me feel…a little left out.

Coming out is a life-changing experience.  It forever alters the relationship you have with those you come out to.   Sometimes its a weight off your shoulders, sometimes they admit they already knew, or at least it’s not a surprise.  Sometimes it goes horribly wrong.  Sometimes it’s all of them.  It’s a huge risk as we will never really know how someone will react until we do it.  I am sensitive to those we come out to as it will forever change how they see us and a certain level of care and consideration needs to be kept in mind when we do.

I think at this point in my life I have come out to everyone that I ultimately will.  I don’t feel the need to come out to anyone else.  A few years ago I felt that I should tell my mom and siblings.  I felt that this was big enough, and important enough, that they should know.  I also wanted to come out to them because, well, this is big enough and important enough to me.

My immediate family are kind, loving people.  Fiercely liberal, supportive and allies to everyone in the LGBTQIA spectrum.  I wish I could say that coming out to them “accomplished” what I wanted to.  I had hoped that my mom and siblings would have a cup of coffee or hit the mall with Hannah.  That hasn’t happened (well, except for that one time) and I doubt it will.

Please understand that I don’t think negatively of them because of this.  Coming out to someone is tricky.  It can be hard on those we come out to, and it’s hard for us to get it right.  We only have one chance to come out to someone the first time and how we do it will set the tone going forward.  I’m sure coming out as any part of the LGBTQIA spectrum is hard for different reasons and I don’t know what it’s like to come out as anything other than transgender.

In my experience, coming out as transgender is very hard. Being trans means different things to different people.  Me being trans is different than Caitlyn Jenner or Chaz Bono being transgender.  I think most people think of someone being transgender as one who has, or will, permanently change how they present themselves to the world.  I think most people think that being transgender means they have, or will, or are going through hormone therapy and surgery.

And for some trans people, yes, that’s exactly what being transgender means.  But as I’ve written before, gender is a spectrum.  I don’t want to transition.  I never have.  Being trans to me means not committing to presenting as only one gender for the rest of my life.  I have to explain what being transgender means and what it means to me and what it means to the person I come out to.

As anyone who has come out before, you know this can be exhausting.

I honestly think I would come out to more people if it was easier to explain and to understand.  But it is what it is and I have accepted it.

National Coming Out Day creates a bit of a pang of regret.  I read stories all day from others who came out and had amazing experiences with their family and friends.  I was happy to read so many wonderful stories.  I was happy for those that came out and proud of how supportive the people they came out to were.  I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous and sadness when I thought of own coming out.

We can come out to everyone in our lives and receive endless support from them, but sometimes the really important people in our lives are the ones we need the most love and acceptance from.

As I’ve said I have accepted things and I am luckier beyond any hopes and dreams I ever had.  I have the love and understanding and help from my patient and amazing wife.  I have a wardrobe that exceeds any fantasy I ever had.  I couldn’t ask for more.  And I won’t.

I hope everyone has love and support and understanding from at least one person in their life.  I hope everyone has at least one fabulous dress in their closet that makes them happy, I hope everyone has at least one killer pair of heels that they never thought they would have.

We all have our own stories and experiences when it comes to coming out.  If you would like to share them in the comments I would love to read them.

Love, Hannah

 

 

PFLAG Events for October

PFLAG’s mission is uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies.  PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy.  PFLAG has 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

PFLAG was the first support organization I heard of when I was growing up.  I attended their meetings a few years ago and found it was a supportive, and inclusive community.  PFLAG is a wonderful group, especially for our spouses and family members and I am happy to promote the events the Twin Cities chapter has scheduled.

Please join them for their October support group meeting.
Tuesday, October 16 at 6:30 pm
Union Congregational Church
3700 Alabama Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55416
Love, Hannah

PFLAG Events for September

PFLAG_TClogoPFLAG‘s mission is uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies.  PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy.  PFLAG has 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

PFLAG was the first support organization I heard of when I was growing up.  I attended their meetings a few years ago and found it was a supportive, and inclusive community.  PFLAG is a wonderful group, especially for our spouses and family members and I am happy to promote the events the Twin Cities chapter has scheduled.

Please join us for our September program and support groups.

 

OutFront’s Anti-Bullying Initiatives.
Join Blaine Kelley & Cat Salonek to learn about the Anti-Bullying Initiatives taking place throughout the programs of OutFront Minnesota. While Blaine will discuss the efforts of our Youth & Schools Program including our GSA (Gender & Sexuality Alliance) Network that serves over 160 schools throughout the state Cat will detail the work being accomplished through the power of community organizing!
“A graduate of The University of Minnesota where he designed his own degree entitled, “Intersectionality; Critical Analysis for Social Justice” Blaine Kelley now serves as the Youth & Schools Coordinator at OutFront Minnesota.
His current position finds him traveling the state to meet with hundreds of students each year finding out what’s important to them, what’s going on in their lives, and presenting a plethora of workshops related to LGBTQ+ identities. When not working in schools or on the road, Blaine serves as advisor for the MN Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) Network’s Leadership Council working with 20 students from across the state to develop leadership skills and make plans for the greater GSA Network of over 150 middle and high school GSAs.”
“A graduate of The University of Minnesota where he designed his own degree entitled, “Intersectionality; Critical Analysis for Social Justice” Blaine Kelley now serves as the Youth & Schools Coordinator at OutFront Minnesota.
His current position finds him traveling the state to meet with hundreds of students each year finding out what’s important to them, what’s going on in their lives, and presenting a plethora of workshops related to LGBTQ+ identities. When not working in schools or on the road, Blaine serves as advisor for the MN Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) Network’s Leadership Council working with 20 students from across the state to develop leadership skills and make plans for the greater GSA Network of over 150 middle and high school GSAs.”

Tuesday, September 18 at 6:30 pm
Union Congregational Church
3700 Alabama Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55416

Support groups will directly follow the program at 7:30 pm.

Love, Hannah

Southern Arizona Gender Alliance

saga_bevelled_logo_171x246x72-e1444578308980I think support and social groups are important to the transcommunity, and also important to the rest of the world.  I think if we are to gain wider acceptance we need to be out in the real world showing that we exist and that we are real people.  That was one of the driving forces in creating the MN T-Girls.

Although she s now in Arizona, Allison will always be a MN T-Girl.  Since moving to warmer climates, she has become involved with the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance.

According to their website, SAGA is a non-profit organization that supports and advocates for southern Arizona’s community of trans identities: transsexual, transgender, genderqueer, masculine of center, feminine of center, non-binary, two-spirit, butch, femme, gender fluid, intersex, and ALL of us who are gender fabulous!

SAGA envisions a society in which transgender, non-binary, and gender-creative people are ensured of their basic rights and can be open, honest and safe at home and in the community. We provide support groups, advocacy, community education, and training for businesses, service providers, and community members on how our allies can be supportive and inclusive.

Allison helps organize different events such as meeting for coffee, picnics, ice cream socials and more.  If you’d like to be  involved with SAGA, please reach out to them!

Love, Hannah

PFLAG Events for May

PFLAG_TClogoPFLAG was the first support organization I heard of when I was growing up.  I attended their meetings a few years ago and found it was a wonderful, supportive, and inclusive community.

So, what is PFLAG?  Their mission is uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies.  PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy.  PFLAG has 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The Twin Cities chapter meets on Tuesdays (please check their website for specific dates and times) at Union Congregational Church and has two scheduled events this month:

-The May 15th meeting and support groups will feature a speaker from Transforming FamiliesI’ve been a guest speaker at previous meetings for Transforming Families and I think this is a wonderful organization.

-The June 19th meeting will be their traditional annual Signs of Pride party.  Please join them for a relaxed and informal evening of chatting and making signs that you (or someone else) can carry in the Pride Parade in Minneapolis the following weekend.

Love, Hannah