In the coming weeks and months there are a number of opportunities for Unitarian Universalists to deepen their awareness of and advocacy for transgender people in our movement and beyond, several of which TRUUsT members are a part of.
Transgender Inclusion in Congregations: An Online UU Leadership Institute Course
Starting in late January 2017, Rev. Mykal Slack and Zr. Alex Kapitan, both TRUUsT members, will be teaching a six-session online UU Leadership Institute course on creating trans-inclusive and -affirming congregations.
This course is for everyone: from novices to trans identity to those with decades of life experience. In it participants will deeply explore the intersection of trans identity and UU faith and community, and gain the grounding, context, and skills to transform ourselves and our congregations.
Participants will receive six video lectures/workshops to watch on your own (a lecture and supporting materials is released every two weeks); study materials, reflection questions, and exercises to support your learning; three live online group discussions facilitated by the course instructors; and access to an online discussion forum where you can ask questions and engage with the instructors and other participants.
Registration is open now! Cost is $30. Course materials will begin to be released January 20 and will remain available through June. Details and registration at tinyurl.com/transUUcourse.
Building Beloved Community Beyond the Binary: A Conference on Gender and Identity
On Saturday, February 11, 2017, the First UU Society of Syracuse will host a one-day conference on gender and identity featuring keynote speaker Kate Bornstein. Workshops will be provided on topics including trans 101, trans-inclusive medicine, trans parenting, and trans spirituality, as well as a panel of gender non-conforming people. TRUUsT member Rev. Sunshine Jeremiah Wolfe will be one of the presenters.
The congregation hopes that the conference will provide space for people of all gender identities to gather, connect, and learn from each other, as well as making a bold statement to the larger community that it is a safe, welcoming, and justice-seeking community.
First UU Society of Syracuse needs help to make this conference available to all at a very low sliding scale admission fee, and free for those under age 18 (register here). Please visit their Faithify campaign to support this worthy cause.
Webinar on Supporting Gender-Nonconforming Children and Their Families
The Faith Development Office of the UUA is hosting a webinar that will feature a panel discussion on how to support gender-creative and trans kids and their families, and share practices and resources that can enrich faith development for children of all genders.
Panelists will include Zr. Alex Kapitan (TRUUsT member, faith-based LGBTQ educator and organizer, and one-time gender-creative UU child), Lisa Rubin (Director of Religious Education at First Parish in Bedford, MA, long-time DRE and educator on trans issues, and proud grandmother of a trans granddaughter), Dr. Melissa James (Director of Family and Lifespan Ministry at First UU Church of San Diego, CA, and Fahs Fellow with a research focus on this topic), and Dr. Melanie Davis (UUA Our Whole Lives Program Associate).
The webinar will be offered live twice: Tuesday February 14, 1–2pm Eastern / 10–11am Pacific, and Wednesday, February 15, 9–10pm Eastern / 6–7pm Pacific. Find out more and register.
Resources for UU Congregations Helping Trans People Get Passports
Immediately after the November election, the UU Fellowship of Fairbanks, AK, jumped into action to help trans people in their community by raising money and hosting work parties to assist trans folk in applying for passports. In one week, they raised $2,500 toward passport application fees.
For trans people who don’t have any form of ID with the correct gender marker, a passport is sometimes the easiest documentation to acquire—and in some cases, it’s the only possibility for obtaining a corrected ID. Helping trans people get passports is a concrete thing that can be done to prepare against repressive policies of a hostile government.
To help other congregations take action, the UU Fellowship of Fairbanks created guidance on how congregations can get involved, what is needed to change a gender marker, and details for hosting a work party. Check it out here!