The Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (MAGLCC) is hosting an event for the fifth consecutive year to mark the International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV). All are welcome to attend Thursday, March 28, in the Grand Room at Grand Street Café, 4740 Grand St., Kansas City, Mo. The event will be co-presented by the Human Rights Campaign Kansas City Steering Committee.
As part of the event, a resource fair featuring local organizations that serve transgender people will run from 4 to 7:30 p.m. A reception with light appetizers and drinks will begin at 5:30 p.m., and a program will get underway at 6:15 p.m. After remarks from MAGLCC board president Danny Zaslavsky, the program will proceed as a roundtable, with five community representatives answering questions from the public.
The questions will be selected from submissions received before the event. Admission is free, but registration is required. To register or submit a question to the event organizers, go to bit.ly/2BCBs9N.
Many readers may be familiar with Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), which occurs every Nov. 20. That somber, reverent day is to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia. TDoR has been marked annually since 1999.
The first International Transgender Day of Visibility took place in 2009. Rachel Crandall Crocker, the executive director and co-founder of Transgender Michigan, organized the event to acknowledge and celebrate living members of the transgender community. TDoV is dedicated to recognizing transgender people and raising awareness of transphobia and anti-trans discrimination.
Attorney Madeline Johnson, the first transgender member of the Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, worked to organize the inaugural Transgender Day of Visibility event in Kansas City.
According to Marsha Riley, the MAGLCC board treasurer and a TDoV committee member, 40 people attended the first local event. Each year, attendance has increased, with 85, 120 and 200 attendees in years two through four. She expects to see 250-plus people at this year’s event, and she hopes to spy new faces among the crowd.
Riley reminds us that every trans person is unique. A trans visibility event can help to show positive examples of trans success in the community. Potential employers of trans people can benefit greatly by attending, and trans folks can network to find jobs and other personal and professional connections.
At least 30 exhibitors will have tables at the resource fair, the largest of its kind in the region. Riley likes to keep the local TDoV event fresh, varying the format and changing the venue each year.
Good news and bad news
A growing number of cities in Kansas and Missouri have passed LGBT non-discrimination ordinances. Neither state includes sexual orientation or gender identity in its list of attributes that cannot be used to discriminate in employment, housing and public accommodations.
Members of Congress have introduced bipartisan bills in both chambers to block President Trump’s transgender military ban. Some lawmakers invited trans service members to attend this year’s State of the Union address. And the California National Guard has said it will not discharge transgender troops, defying the president’s order.
The first National Trans Visibility March (transmarchondc.org) in Washington, D.C., has been rescheduled to September. It had been planned for the spring.
Human Rights Campaign: facebook.com/kansascityhrc. HRC.im/TransVisibility.
Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce maglcc.org
Who Will Be at the Resource Fair for Transgender Day of Visibility?
• aestheti.care greatskinkc.com
• Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG-KC) pflagkc.org
• Children’s Mercy KC childrensmercy.org
• Planned Parenthood plannedparenthood.org
• City Gym citygymkc.com
• PROMO promoonline.org
• quality Kansas eqks.org
• Q-Space facebook.com/jocoqspace
• Foundational Concepts foundationalconcepts.com
• reStart restartinc.org
• GLSEN-KC facebook.com/glsenkc
• Synergy Services synergyservices.org
• Good Samaritan Project gsp-kc.org
• Significant Others, Family, Friends and Allies of Transgender Persons facebook.com/SOFFA.KC
• Hallmark hallmark.com
• St. Luke’s Health System saintlukeskc.org
• Human Rights Campaign hrc.org
• The Union theunionkc.com
• KC Care Health Center kccare.org
• LGBT-Affirming Therapist Guild lgbtguild.com
• Kansas City Center for Inclusion inclusivekc.org
• Transformations facebook.com/kctransformations
• Kansas City Anti-Violence Project kcavp.org
• Transgender Institute transinstitute.org
• Kansas University Medical Center kansashealthsystem.com
• Transgender Youth Project nclrights.org/transgender-youth-project
• Law Office of Madeline Johnson tiny.cc/x13c3y
• Transparent KC transparentusa.org/chapters/missouri
• Modern Family Alliance facebook.com/kcmfa
• Truman Medical Centers trumed.org
Additional local and national resources
• Brown Voices/Brown Pulse facebook.com/brownvoicesbrownpulse
• EQUAL Trans Support Group at Kansas City Center for Inclusion [email protected]
• Get Woke KC getwokekc.com
• National Center for Trans Equality transequality.org
• Passages Youth Center at KCAVP facebook.com/kcpassages LGBTQ and allies, ages 14-20
• Trans+Allies [email protected]
A facilitated discussion group at UMKC, open to everyone
• Trans+Social [email protected]
A social support group at UMKC, exclusively for college or young adult trans+ individuals
• Transas City transascity.org Friends, family, significant others and allies of trans people
• TransMilitary film transmilitary.org/see-the-film
• Trans Talk on The Tenth Voice
4th Saturdays on KKFI-FM (90.1)