Join the trans* community, allies, community partners, Wells Fargo, and their PRIDE Team Member Network for the annual celebration of Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV) at the San Francisco LGBT Center on March 31st from 5pm to 8pm.
The Bay Area TDoV 2014 is a trans* community event to celebrate accomplishments and inspire future change. The evening will include empowering and uplifting presentations from community leaders, LYRIC, Larkin Street Youth, the Center’s Trans Employment Program (TEEI), and the Transgender Law Center.
Complimentary Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be offered, and special guest DJ Alexndr will spin a set to transform the Rainbow Room into our own private dance hall!
YouthAware Out & United (Y.O.U.) is a new five week Queer Youth Theater intensive workshop for LGBTQI youth and their straight allies ages 14-20, presented by the New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco. Professional theater teaching artists will work with participants to devise scenes, monologues, poems, songs, or dance based on the real experiences of queer youth at school, at home, and in their community.
The Y.O.U. program will run from June 23rd through July 25th from 10am -1pm Mondays through Fridays and will culminate with three showcase performances of material devised and rehearsed by youth participants, and directed by Y.O.U. teaching artists on Friday July 25th at 8pm, Saturday July 26th at 8pm, and Sunday July 27th at 2pm in NCTC’s Walker Theater.
Thanks to generous support from the MUKTI Fund, NCTC has scholarships available for ten youth to participate in this program FREE of charge this summer. Email YouthAware Program Director Sara Staley, for more information, or to request a participant application. Applications must be submitted online or via email. Deadline to apply is Sunday, June 1st 2014.
Pic Hill (right) pictured with her partner of 37 years, Penny Johnstone
In Memoriam: Pic Hill
Our dear friend, Pic Hill, passed over on December 9th, 2013. Pic was an early supporter of Spectrum when we were still called Ministry of Light. A member of our senior speaker bureau, Pic was the recipient of Spectrum’s William F. Hollabaugh Volunteer Service Award in 2002.
Pic has always had an interest in making sure our young people are cared for and kept safe. It was her hope that Spectrum could offer a special fund to support LGBT youth as they prepare to leave high school and go on to higher education. With that in mind, Pic’s partner/spouse of 37 years, Penny Johnstone, contacted Spectrum to talk about how we might help fulfill this wish.
In addition, Penny asked us to spread the word that Pic named Spectrum as one of the organizations she hoped people would donate to in her memory. With that in mind, we have set up a special memorial collection in Pic’s name, which will be used to serve LGBT youth who come to us for support.
To make this even more special, longtime Spectrum friends Wing Wong and Bud Jeneski have pledged to match every dollar received in Pic’s memory, up to $2,000. This gives us the opportunity to raise $4,000 for the Pic Hill Memorial Collection.
Should you wish to contribute to this special collection, please click on the link below. We will acknowledge your gift, and keep you posted as to our progress toward our $4,000 goal. All proceeds from this collection will be used to support LGBT youth who attend Spectrum’s youth support group, and youth who receive support through our school-based outreach programs.
In loving memory of our friend Pic, we thank you.
February 14th, 2014 | Category: Spectrum Blog | Comments are closed
Join the LGBTQ community in West Sonoma County for a night of dancing and music on March 8th, 2014, from 6:30pm-10:30pm. DJ Dave Brown will be spinning Motown, Disco, Oldies, Funk, and current hits at the Sebastopol Senior Center, 167 N. High Street, in Sebastopol. Snacks, drinks, and wine will be available, plus easy parking. A $10 donation will be requested at the door. All are welcome! In consideration of others, this is a fragrance-free event. Any questions? Call (707) 829-2440.
February 7th, 2014 | Category: Spectrum Blog | Comments are closed
The office of Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R) said same-sex couples who were married after the state’s ban on gay marriage was struck down, but before the Supreme Court halted gay marriages in the state, will not be recognized as legally married.
WHEREAS, Transgender students – whose sex at birth is opposite from their gender identity – experience more frequent exclusion, discrimination, bullying, verbal harassment and physical assaults at school in comparison with non-transgender students, or even with their LGB (Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual) peers, impeding their ability to feel safe at school and thrive academically and socially; and
WHEREAS, State and federal anti-discrimination laws are already in place that guarantee transgender students equal access, and yet due to lack of awareness of how to support transgender students in some school districts, transgender students are often improperly excluded from participating in school-based activities, programs and facilities; and
WHEREAS, This exclusion isolates and stigmatizes transgender students, puts them at increased risk of harassment and violence, harms their long term health and well-being, and often prevents them from earning the credits they need to graduate; and
WHEREAS, The Legislature enacted Assembly Bill (AB) 1266 in order to make sure that school administrators, teachers, parents and students are aware of, understand, and comply with existing state law which requires schools to treat transgender students fairly by ensuring that they are allowed to participate in sex segregated school programs and use facilities consistent with their gender identity; and
WHEREAS, AB 1266 was signed into law on August 12, 2013 by Governor Brown; and
WHEREAS, many school districts and individual schools throughout California have successfully implemented equal access policies and practices like AB 1266 that are consistent with California and federal law and had them in place for years. For example, Los Angeles Unified School District has had a comprehensive policy for at least eight years that has helped administrators know how to support transgender students, now, therefore, be it
NOW, THEREFORE, BET IT RESOLVED That the Marin County Board of Education supports the implementation of AB 1266, and applauds the Legislature and the Governor for their affirmation of transgender students’ rights in California.
PASSED AND ADOPTED by the Marin County Board of Education at the regular meeting held on the 10th day of December, 2013.
DAVID M. HELLMAN, President, Marin County Board of Education
MARY JANE BURKE, Secretary, Marin County Board of Education and
Marin County Superintendent of Schools
December 18th, 2013 | Category: Spectrum Blog | Comments are closed
On Sunday, January 12, at 4pm, the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony will perform a benefit chamber concert at the Community Church of Mill Valley, 8 Olive Street (at Throckmorton Ave.) in Mill Valley, CA.(www.millvalleyucc.org or 415/388-5540)
In August 2013, the Community Church of Mill Valley, a progressive church long active in social justice issues, was vandalized.The church had been flying a rainbow flag outside its building since late June when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Prop. 8. (a proposition that would have banned same-sex marriage in California).
Within the first week the rainbow flag was up, its edges were defaced and smeared with grease. Then a few weeks later, the flag was ripped down, stolen, and its sturdy metal holder left twisted and bent out of shape.
Church members, astounded that this could happen in Mill Valley, notified the police, as well as local newspapers.Here’s a link to an article that appeared in the Marin Independent Journalhttp://www.marinij.com/marinnews/ci_23958289/
When the flag vandalism came to the attention of Richard Horan, Executive Director of the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (www.bars-sf.org), he immediately empathized and wanted to help the church. BARS musicians became interested and agreed to perform a concert at the church as soon as their regular fall season was over. Because the church sanctuary cannot accommodate a full symphony orchestra, the plan evolved to a chamber concert that will feature a string quartet, a woodwind quintet and a mixed quintet performing music by Beethoven, Ireland, and Poulenc.
If you’re wondering why a long-established church in wealthy Marin County would need a “benefit concert,” well, that’s a long story too. Suffice it to say, that despite a proud history of accomplishments that includes building The Redwoods, a highly-regarded Mill Valley retirement center in 1970, running a low-cost daycare center in the ‘80s, aiding both civil rights workers in Mississippi and California farm workers in the ‘60s, plus helping feed the homeless in Marin for the last 15 years, the congregation today is much smaller than it once was. Our historic brown-shingled church, built in 1929 amid a redwood grove, is quite beautiful but requires constant and expensive repairs in order to maintain it.
This benefit concert arranged by the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony will help us maintain and preserve a much-loved Mill Valley landmark. (Tickets available on our church website or at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/536816 )
December 18th, 2013 | Category: Spectrum Blog | Comments are closed
Guest op-ed piece by Ruth Dell
Read the original story here
IN AUGUST of this year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the AB 1266, the School Success and Opportunity Act, or SSOA, into law.
The law provides that all students — regardless of their gender identity — can access school-based resources. The law has a simple and noteworthy goal — to protect and support transgender students.
A person who is transgender is someone whose self-identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender.
Until SSOA, many school districts unfairly isolated transgender students or assigned them to classes that conflicted with their gender identity.
The SSOA addresses a clear need. Nearly 60 percent of transgender and gender-conforming students reported that they were bullied or assaulted in school because of their gender identity.
Not surprisingly, transgender youth have disproportionately high rates of suicide and homelessness. Public schools have an obligation to make sure that all its students feel welcome, and the SSOA is designed to have schools be a safe place for transgender students.
An organization called “Privacy for All” is attempting to repeal this law.
First, no student’s privacy is being invaded by the law. While it is true that some students may feel uncomfortable with the notion that some of their fellow students are transgender (or gay, for that matter) that is not a sufficient reason for any student to have to deny who they are, or be denied full equality.
Privacy for All also insists that the new law will allow male students to pretend to be transgender to gain access to female facilities for untoward reasons. Really, would a non-transgender male student risk family rejection, discrimination and bullying to gain access to a bathroom or play for a different team?
Earlier this year, before the SSOA was signed by the governor, the California Interscholastic Federation, the statewide athletic organization, recognized the ludicrousness of this argument as it pertained to athletics. It passed policies that are similar to those incorporated in the SSOA.
Opponents of the SSOA also argue that transgender youth are confused and cannot know that they are transgender. Of course, these same people generally deny that people CAN be transgender so their views on this topic are suspect. High school students who come out as transgender understand that this is a serious decision.
The SSOA is a sensible attempt to promote equal access to school programs.
Many school districts, including Los Angeles’ and San Francisco’s, have had similar laws for years and report no problems with them.
Privacy for All asserts that “parental rights are threatened.” This argument has been rejected by the California State Parent Teacher Association or PTA, the state’s official representative for parents of public schoolchildren, and the California Federation of Teachers and the California Teachers Association.
Opponents of equality in our public schools have recently tried, as they are doing now with the SSOA, to impede progress and inclusiveness.
In 2011, Gov. Brown signed the FAIR Act (Fair, Accurate Inclusive and Respectful) Act. This law mandated that the contributions of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual ) people be added to the list of people that are included in social science instruction in public school classrooms.
Opponents of the law, then as now, predicted that public school as we know it would come to an end.
In 2012, opponents of the FAIR Act announced that it did not have the signatures required to get on the ballot.
Hopefully, Privacy for All will fail in its attempt to qualify for the ballot.
Progress is continuing. Just as California was the first state to specifically include the contributions of LGBT people in public school materials, we are also the first state to specifically address the needs of transgender students in our public schools.
We should be proud as Californians that we in the forefront of making our public schools safe and welcoming for all students.
Ruth Dell of Kentfield is a board member of Spectrum, Marin’s LGBT center. She served for 12 years as a trustee on the Tamalpais Union High School District board.
November 26th, 2013 | Category: Spectrum Blog | Comments are closed
For the first time in its long history, the Social Security Administration is providing benefits to same sex married couples, thanks to the Supreme Court’s June 2013 Windsor ruling in the Defense of Marriage Act. This is a significant development with important financial implications for millions of elder lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, same sex spouses, widows, and children of LGBT parents.
“Know Your Rights” is the first outreach program of its kind in the nation and a model for a national education campaign potentially reaching millions of LGBT Americans coast to coast. With the support of a lead grant from the Marin Community Foundation, these outreach programs will include panel discussions with the Social Security Administration, legal experts, and seniors’ and LGBT advocates. The pilot programs will launch in Northern California, October 29-31 in Marin, San Francisco and Sonoma Counties with local partners, Spectrum LGBT Center and Openhouse. Outreach will be in conjunction with multiple community sponsors and partners to ensure that all interested persons have an opportunity to attend a session.There is no charge to attend but registration is required.
5:00pm, Tuesday, October 29th The Key Room
1385 N. Hamilton Parkway
Novato, CA Register here
5:30pm, Wednesday, October 30th San Francisco LGBT Center
1800 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102 Register here
8:00am, Thursday, October 31st Finley Community Center
2060 West College Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA Register here
These outreach programs will include panel discussions with the Social Security Administration, legal experts, seniors’ and LGBT advocates. The Social Security Administration has urged the LGBT community to file for benefits now, even as new regulations are being finalized. California, with the largest LGBT population in the country and the largest number of Social Security beneficiaries, is the perfect host for this first series of educational forums and sets the stage for a nationwide outreach effort.
The mission of the National Committee Foundation is to protect, promote, and ensure the financial security, health, and well being of current and future generations of older Americans through research, analysis, and public education.