Fort Worth / Tarrant County Transgender Day of Remembrance

From Kelli Busey



Contact: Curtis Smith
Telephone: 817-845-2124

11th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance

Location: Carr Chapel on TCU
Address: 2855 S. University Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76129
Date: November 20, 2009 Time: 7:30 pm

Since 1998, each November 20th is set aside to memorialize those who were murdered due to anti-transgender hatred, prejudice or ignorance. Tarrant County will commemorate the 11th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance at the Carr Chapel on November 20th beginning at 7:30 PM. The community is welcome to attend this service sponsored by Brite Divinity of TCU, Agape MCC, Trinity MCC, Sexuality Education Center and the Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies (DTAA).

The TDOR will be an opportunity to express love and respect for all people. It will remind participants that they are all a part of the human family, daughters and sons, cisgender(non-transgender) and transgender people together. Allies of the gender diverse will stand alongside us in this ceremony to memorialize, honor and look forward to a day that differences and gender variance can be celebrated without fear of violence.

Agape MCC has many transgender people in regular attendance at their worship services including their Senior Pastor, Rev. David Wynn, a transgender male. They also host a cross-dressing men‟s group monthly. “Agape MCC has always held a strong commitment to providing sanctuary for gender diverse people,” Rev. Wynn declares. Rev. Wynn clarifies, “In many ways transphobia appears to be the „last acceptable form of prejudice‟ in the culture today, thus setting up transgender people to be victims of violence and those who are seen as expendable.” Rev. Wynn‟s goal of the service is, “To honor those who have paid the highest price for fearlessly being who they are and providing an enduring voice against transphobia. Our transgender community at Agape reflects our entire community in affirming Jesus’ radical inclusion and God’s unconditional love for all of creation.”

Curtis Smith, Pastoral Leader of Trinity MCC Arlington, reports that his church has been participating for the last 6 years. Smith explains, “Trinity’s transgender and questioning church members are a cherished people in Christ‟s communion. We feel enlightened by the TDOR and our ongoing “Would Jesus Discriminate” campaign as to the historical reservations our Gay and Lesbians congregants previously felt towards transgender people. We feel it is important for our members to respect all people and offer them an open communion.” “Last year,” Pastor Smith recalls, “Trinity MCC participated in the 2008 TDOR with Agape MCC by praying for victims as a bell was rung after each name was read of those who had died in that year to anti- transgender violence. It was a very somber and moving part of last year‟s TDOR service,” Smith said.

The Remembering Our Dead Web Project estimates that 2 people a month, on average are killed from violence against transgender people. Not that every person commemorated self-identified as transgender but each was a victim of violence based upon bias of gender variance. “Because intolerance and violence against the Transgender Community is often ignored, we remember those who have gone before us and we dedicate ourselves to life – living it responsibly, respectfully and lovingly. Life really comes down to treating others as we wish to be treated,” exclaims Dr. Rita Cotterly, PhD., Director of the Sexuality Education Center.

The Matthew Shepard/James Bryd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act recognizes that there is much work to be done locally as there are only 13 US states with Hate Crime Laws that include Gender Identity, Texas not being one. A provision of this law is that it authorizes and funds the federal government to step in and prosecute hate crimes in states that are disinclined to do so.

Texas has had 20 recorded transgender deaths attributed to anti-transgender violence, with 3 of those occurring in DFW, only surpassed by New York and California. Internationally there have been 95 Deaths from January to October 22, 2009 which average 19 per month. Names, statistics, locations and causes of deaths can be found on the Transgender Day of Remembrance website at

Dr. Stephen V. Sprinkle, PhD., of Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University will be in attendance. On the Unfinished Lives Project website, Dr. Sprinkle reports, “”We must remember that the recent passage and signing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law will not magically stop the killing. Record numbers of LGBTQ Americans, especially young transgender people of color, are dying violently all across the land. But the high water mark of hatred has been scotched with the stroke of a pen on the day President Obama kept his promise and signed the bill. The end of the beginning of full equality for my people has come. And we who believe in justice will not rest until it comes fully, so that all of us may love whom we choose without fear of violence.”

Kelli Anne Busey will be in attendance. Kelli, a woman of faith, authors and is founder and co-administrator of the Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies. Kelli says “I believe that our Transgender Day of Remembrance is a critical component of our advocacy.” She elaborates, “The TDOR is emotional and spiritual because it educates and endears us with our current and potential allies as we lend a human touch to the horrific murders of transgender, gender queer, questioning, friends and lovers.”

The Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies (DTAA) are locally based non-denominational activism group with members worldwide. DTAA membership believes that the world and especially the LGBT community is a, “Place for everyone. No Exceptions.” The DTAA was conceived while protesting the expulsion of transsexual entertainers from the Crews INN bar and hosted the first formal conversation with the openly gay Episcopal bishop, Bishop Gene Robinson. Since that time the DTAA has moved on to insure that the Dallas’s publicly funded homeless shelter ‘The Bridge’ policy and training manuals were amended so that weather related deaths such as that of Austin‟s Jennifer Gale’s, could not be attributable to hostile shelter conditions.

Both Agape MCC and Trinity MCC Arlington are members of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches which is the world’s largest and oldest Christian denomination with a primary affirming ministry to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender persons. Known as “The Human Rights Church,” local MCC congregations are located in 28 countries. Both churches are currently participating with three other North Texas MCC churches in the “Would Jesus Discriminate?” campaign.

The Sexuality Education Center‟s director, Rita Cotterly, PhD, is well-known locally and nationally in the fields of human sexuality and sexuality education. She provides individual and group counseling, support groups and educational programs. Dr. Cotterly has conducted numerous sexuality educational sessions for a variety of organizations and educational programs on AIDS prevention, sexual orientation, safer sex, sexual ethics, and spirituality and sexuality.


For more information about this topic or to schedule interviews please call, Rev. David Wynn,; Curtis Smith,; Dr. Rita Cotterly, PhD., Kelli Anne Busey, or Stephen V. Sprinkle,

Republi-Nazi Governor of Rhode Island Vetoes Same-Sex Funeral Rights

Bill would have allowed Same-Sex Partners the same rights taken for granted by married heterosexuals

Ultra right wing Republican Gov. Don Carcieri, of Rhode Island vetoed legislation Tuesday that would give same-sex couples in Rhode Island the same right to plan the funerals of their late partners as married heterosexual couples. (CBS)

The Christo-fascist ultra right wing Republican said the proposed protection represents a “disturbing trend” of the incremental erosion of heterosexual marriage. Rhode Island does not recognize same-sex marriage.

Carcieri took the typical lynch mob leader tact of proposing to put the equal rights of a minority up to vote. “If the General Assembly believes it would like to address the issue of domestic partnership, it should place the issue on the ballot and let the people of the State of Rhode Island decide,”

[Even though I am an atheist I have read the Bible from cover to cover and I seem to recall Pontus Pilate putting Jesus Christ’s life to the vote of a similar mob.  And these fucks actually call themselves Christians.  They better hope I’m right and there is no god.]

Democrats hold a veto-proof majority in the Legislature and will hopefully override this Nazi scumbag’s bigotry.

From AP

“Sen. Rhoda Perry and Rep. David Segal, the bill sponsors, said they would seek to override the veto. They proposed the legislation after one of their constituents was unable to retrieve the body of his late partner from the state medical examiner for weeks because they weren’t married or next-of-kin.

Gay rights supporters were indignant at the veto.

“It is absolutely unconscionable that Gov. Carcieri would step in the middle of people being able to take care of their loved ones at such a sorrowful time,” said Kathy Kushnir, executive director of Marriage Equality Rhode Island, which advocates for gay marriage. “Why would he make it more difficult? I just don’t get it.”

The proposed funeral planning rights would apply to same-sex couples who have had a relationship for at least one year and pass other tests, such as owning property together. Carcieri said some of the guidelines were vague.”

AVER & TAVA Presidents Veterans Day Video Message to the President and Congress

American Veterans For Equal Rights president Danny Ingram and Transgender American Veterans Association president Monica Helms have made a joint YouTube video appeal to President Obama and Congress to Lift the Ban on LGBT military service by repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
On this Veterans’ Day, as President Obama considers sending more patriotic American troops to Afghanistan, AVER and TAVA remind the President of his campaign promise to repeal DADT.
Send the link to others and your Congressional reps.
Danny Ingram
President AVER
Monica Helms
President TAVA
Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on AVER & TAVA Presidents Veterans Day Video Message to the President and Congress

Don’t Ask, Don’t Give: the gAyTM is officially shut down

Reposted with Pam’s permission


by: Pam Spaulding

Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 16:44:14 PM EST

We’ve talked about the fatigue of being jerked around as a constituency, now several of my fellow bloggers have had enough and I’ve signed on to the effort launched by Joe Sudbay and John Aravosis of Americablog. (FYI (Tues., 3:58 ET: Joe caught me on my cell Monday as I was leaving the cell-free zone in hospital in Brooklyn, so that’s why I didn’t get on the endorsement list until later in the day).

The boycott is cosponsored by Daily Kos, Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake, Dan Savage, Michelangelo Signorile, David Mixner, Andy Towle and Michael Goff of Towle Road, Paul Sousa (Founder of Equal Rep in Boston), Pam Spaulding, Robin Tyler (ED of the Equality Campaign, Inc.), Bil Browning for the Bilerico Project, and soon others.

It’s really more of a “pause,” than a boycott. Boycotts sounds so final, and angry. Whereas this campaign is temporary, and is only meant to help some friends – President Obama and the Democratic party – who have lost their way. We are hopeful that via this campaign, our friends will keep their promises.

So please sign the Petition and take a Pledge to no longer donate to the DNC, Organizing for America, or the Obama campaign until the President and the Democratic party keep their promises to the gay community, our families, and our friends.

Why should hard-earned LGBT dollars go to a party fast to line up with its palms outstretched to whisper sweet nothings in our collective ears, then turn away and tell us equality will have to wait until “X” occurs first. We’re not stupid. We just want our funds to go to the people in office or running for office who will focus on passing legislation that the “fierce advocate” can sign, since he’s stated numerous times he’ll sign it if it makes it to his desk. Well, put up or shut up.

Interestingly, one would expect a response to this effort by the HRC to be negative. To the contrary, it looks like a tacit endorsement (FDL):

“Individual donors should always make their own careful assessments of how to spend limited political contributions. We all need to focus on the legislative priorities identified by AmericaBlog and with whatever tactic individuals decide to employ, the ultimate objective needs to be securing the votes we need to move our legislative agenda forward.”

David Dayen notes that “HRC hasn’t given to the DNC this year, as per the policy put in by Obama after his election that the Party cannot accept contributions from organizations structured as a C(4).” And if you read the whole post, other progressive blogs, equally dissatisfied with the powers that be straying from progressive causes, are about ready to call a boycott of donations to the DCCC and the DSCC.FAQs are below the fold.

Pam Spaulding :: Don’t Ask, Don’t Give: the gAyTM is officially shut down


What is this?
We are asking voters to pledge to withhold contributions to the Democratic National Committee, Organizing for America, and the Obama campaign until the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is passed, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) is repealed, and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is repealed -– all of which President Obama repeatedly promised to do if elected.

Why are you asking people to take this pledge?
Candidate Obama promised during the campaign to be the gay community’s “fierce advocate.” He and the Democratic party have not kept their promise.
Can you give examples of how the President and Democrats have not been fierce advocates for the civil rights of gay and lesbian Americans?

But won’t your pledge hurt Democrats?
It never hurts Democrats to keep their promises to the voters. The American people respect strong leaders who have the courage to stick to their beliefs. And it will only help Democrats in the next election to stand by their commitments to a core constituency. If Democratic voters aren’t motivated, they won’t vote. We are concerned that the President’s failure to fulfill his promises may suppress voter participation not only from gay Democrats, but from our families, friends and allies. In a very real way, this is an effort to ensure that we get-out-the-vote in 2010, 2012 and beyond.

But if you don’t give money to the DNC, won’t that help elect Republicans who are even worse on gay issues, and other issues Democrats care about?
We are not calling for a boycott of donations to the DNC. We are simply calling for a pause until the party follows through on its campaign promise to repeal DADT and DOMA, and pass ENDA. The party will get the same donations it would have gotten, when the promises are kept. The Democrats could choose to make good on their promise today. And by doing so, they will only further motivate the Democratic base to again turn out for the next election, a decidedly good thing.

You have to admit, gay rights is controversial – wouldn’t it be political suicide for Democrats to push gay rights?
Democrats should not have promised to support gay civil rights rights in exchange for our votes if they never intended to keep the promise. If we’re not controversial during the campaign, when politicians are happy to accept our votes and our money, we cannot accept being labeled controversial after our candidates win. We kept our part of the bargain, we voted for Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress. It’s entirely reasonable for us to ask our elected officials to keep their part of the bargain too.

What’s more, gay rights are not controversial. Americans favor allowing openly gay men and lesbian women to serve in the military by a margin of 69% – 26%.  By a margin of 57% – 37%, “A clear majority of Americans (57%) favors allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into legal agreements with each other that would give them many of the same rights as married couples.” That can’t happen if DOMA is the law.  And in fact, if these civil rights promises were controversial, they would have hurt candidate Obama at the polls. But, he proudly and loudly proclaimed his support for LGBT equality, and he won.

No matter how disappointed you are, aren’t Democrats still better than Republicans?
The Republican party is terrible on gay issues. That doesn’t excuse the Democratic party breaking specific promises to the gay community made in exchange for our votes. We didn’t break our promise at the ballot box, the Democrats shouldn’t break theirs after we helped put them into office.

President Obama has only been in office less than a year, why the rush?
In less than a year, serious damage has already been done to the President’s commitments to the gay community. The problem isn’t only that he hasn’t been quick enough to fulfill his promises, it’s that he has actually backtracked on his promises and hurt the cause of civil rights and our community, as detailed above.

But aren’t there bigger priorities than gay rights for the Democrats to deal with, like health care and the economy?
Would President Obama, the DNC and the Congress tell other minorities that their civil rights aren’t important? The suggestion is that Democrats have more important things on the table. When won’t Democrats have more important priorities than the civil rights of gays and lesbians? Will there ever be a day, a year, an administration, when the President and the Congress won’t have serious crises to deal with? Suggesting that gay Americans and their friends and families wait until the President and Congress have nothing else to do is not only insulting, it’s a recipe for never. And regardless, we trust that this President, unlike the previous, can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Who is behind this effort?
John Aravosis and Joe Sudbay, two longtime political operatives in Washington, DC, and the editors of AMERICAblog has raised over $300,000 for Democratic candidates and progressive causes, including nearly $50,000 for then-candidate Barack Obama, supported by AMERICAblog early in the primaries.

The boycott is cosponsored by Daily Kos, Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake, Dan Savage, Michelangelo Signorile, David Mixner, Andy Towle and Michael Goff of Towle Road, Paul Sousa (Founder of Equal Rep in Boston), Pam Spaulding, Robin Tyler (ED of the Equality Campaign, Inc.), Bil Browning for the Bilerico Project, and soon others.

You can contact us at:

How can I help?
Sign the pledgetell your friends about this campaign, read the blog, and stay tuned for updates and action alerts on how you help make sure that the President, the Congress and the Democratic party keep their promises to the LGBT community, our families, our friends and our allies.

This is an excellent sweep of top progressive and LGBT bloggers and activists who have signed on right at the outset and many readers are backing this – are you ready to send the party hacks and WH foot-draggers a me$$age?

Posted in Economic Issues, Employment, Feminist, Hate Crimes, Human Rights, Lesbian, LGBT/T, Politics, Same Sex Marriage, Social Justice, Unequal Treatment. Comments Off on Don’t Ask, Don’t Give: the gAyTM is officially shut down