Category Archives: Activism

Trans-advocacy and activism.

VICTORY! Kansas Will Now Change Birth Certificates with Minimal Effort!


In a huge victory for transgender, intersex, non-binary, gender-fluid, queer, and many other persons in Kansas, the state under Governor Laura Kelly has agreed to immediately allow gender marker changes on birth certificates! To make the change, you need to submit a sworn statement that you intend to make the change, and provide either a passport, driver’s license, or medical note from a physician. From our reading of the consent agreement, no one should even need to pay to hire an attorney to do any of this – it should be a very straightforward process requiring just a notary for assistance (often available for free at your bank).

This victory is the result of the tireless advocacy and work of Lambda Legal and the firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, but very importantly due to the brave plaintiffs Nyla Foster, Luc Bensimon, Jessica Hicklin and a client identified by his initials, C.K. There was also an organizational plaintiff, the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project, Inc. (K-STEP), which was founded by the late and dearly missed Stephanie Mott, who sadly died this March before seeing this victory.

The announcement on Lambda Legal can be found here, and the consent agreement can be viewed directly at this permanent link: Kansas Birth Certificate Consent Agreement.

Time to celebrate!

Transfiguration Music Festival

From May 31 – June 1 the Transfiguration trans*-focused music festival will run live at Quixotic! The festival will feature a large array of local trans* musicians and musical artists, and you can hear much more information about it by listening to the interview of Mazzy Mann and Zoey Shopmaker on Trans Talk on 90.1 FM KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio. Quixotic is at 1616 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64108, and the event is advertised on EventBrite as running from 7:00 pm Friday to 4:00 am Sunday.

The event will also feature speeches from local activists Samantha Ruggles, Una Nowling, and Nyla Foster. It looks like a really awesome party, so give it a look!

Trans Community Calendar for May-June 2019

This is the community calendar that I present on the Trans Talk episode of the Tenth Voice on KKFI every month.  If it reads a little oddly, that is why!

Hello I’m Fiona Nowling with the Kansas City community calendar. As usual, all the calendar can be found on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TenthVoice/

 

This Sunday – that’s tomorrow – the Transgender Institute will be having an open house, where all in the community are invited. There will be food, drinks (including wine), live music, and a great time to meet many other folks from the local transgender community. The event will be tomorrow on Sunday, from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm at their new location, 420 W 42st, Suite 11 (in the basement), in the same building as Ca Va in Westport.

 

On June 22 there will be the first ever Kansas City Trans Pride March. This is a family-friendly and accessible event that will begin by gathering at Valentine Rd and Broadway in KCMO between 3:30 to 4:30, and you should park in the north west corner parking lot. The meet up will commence at Hamburger Mary’s Patio, and the march will begin at 4:30. The organizers are looking for volunteers and helping hands, and you can find out more about the Trans Pride March and volunteer should you choose to, by going to kctranspridemarch on Facebook, or by searching for kc trans pride march on transascity.org.

 

There will also be another new pride this year.  Northland Pride will take place on June 30th 3-6pm in Linden Square.  You can find more information at https://northlandpridekc.weebly.com or their facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/northlandpridekc/   They are currently accepting applications for vendors, sponsors, artists and other resources, so if you want to get involved, you can message them on their facebook page or email them at northlandpridekc@gmail.com

And of course, there’s the regular Kansas City PrideFest from May 31st – June 2nd at Berkley Riverfront Park and more details can be found at https://www.kcpridefest.org/   Choral Spectrum, whom we featured on our show last month, will be performing from 5.45 – 6pm on Saturday. We wish Anthony and the rest of the chorus all the best for their performance!

Every month, I lead the Kansas City SOFFA group for Significant Others, Friends, Family, and Allies of Transgender and nonbinary persons. We meet on the first and third Wednesday of the month. In June, that’s the 5th & the 19th in the Conference Room at Leawood Pioneer Library, 6.30 – 8pm. For driving directions and other SOFFA information, you can visit transascity.org/SOFFA or email soffakc@yahoo.com

 

Every third Thursday, the Equal Trans Support Group meets at 5:00 PM. They also have a friends plus allies meeting on the second Monday of the month, at 6pm, and both are at the Kansas City Center for Inclusion, a couple of doors down from our studio at 3909 Main Street, Kansas City Missouri.  The Center has lots of other events too, which can be found on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/InclusiveKC/

 

JoCo Q-Space is a youth group for LGBTQ youth. They meet every Thursday from 5:30pm to 8:30pm at Saint Andrew Christian Church 13890 W 127th St, Olathe, KS 66062. For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/jocoqspace/.

 

They are the Kansas equivalent of Passages, Kansas City Missouri’s long-running LGBTQ youth group, which meets at the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project’s Q-mmunity Space, 4050 Pennsylvania Ave, Suite 135, Kansas City, MO, 64111, every Wednesday at 5.30pm – 9pm.

 

There is an MTF support group at the Kansas City Center for Inclusion on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 6pm. There is an FTM support group elsewhere, both for adults and for youth, so if you are interested, please text or call Gus at 816-785-8686.

 

On the third Saturday of the month, Authentically Me meets from 1-3pm at The Kansas City Center for Inclusion. This is a social group for gender diverse children in KC and their families, aimed at children 12 and under.

 

The Kansas City PFLAG chapter, which is Parents, Families, Friends, and Allies of LGBT people will meet on the 2nd Sunday of the month at 3pm, at the Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, and the 4th Sunday of the month at 3pm, at the Kansas City Center for Inclusion.

 

I’m Fiona Nowling and that’s the community calendar for the upcoming month.

May 2019 Trans Talk on KKFI


On this month’s Trans Talk we have guests who are talking about trans-related events in our community, the vibrant Transas City of the world. First we have on Mazzy Mann and Zoey Shopmaker, who are going to tell us all about the Transfiguration Music Fest 2019, which is coming up next weekend. Then we will hear from repeat guest Robin Nazarean, who is going to talk about early plans for Transgender Day of Remembrance, as the organizers build upon the success of last years’ event. We had hoped to have on our guest from last month Faith, to tell us about the first Kansas City Trans Pride March, but she sent me some information we’ll read to you later in the program.

As usual we will have Una’s news rant, and the community calendar update.

We do hope you will be able to join us this Saturday, May 25 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org, or via various apps on your phone.

February 2019 Trans Talk on KKFI

Shea Diamond

This month on Trans Talk we’re going to spend the hour bringing you music from transgender and non-binary musicians through history! Robin Nazarean, from the local transgender rock band Evil Pillows, will be joining us in the studio to review and comment on the music all hour long! We will feature music from the 1950’s to 2019, including Billy Tipton, Wendy Carlos, two-spirit artist Shawnee, Shea Diamond (shown in the photo above), and others!

We will have a take on the transgender news of the month and then finish up the show with the community calendar update.  I do hope you will be able to join us this Saturday, February 23 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org, or via various apps on your phone.

January 2019 Trans Talk on KKFI

This month on Trans Talk we’re going speak with Courtney, a local woman who recently faced a terrifying and demoralizing level of discrimination as she was thrown out of a local casino for trying to use the ladies’ room. After hearing Courtney’s story, we will have a round-table discussion about the Supreme Court’s anti-transgender ruling this week, and what it means for the future of all transgender rights.

We will have a take on the transgender news of the month, have a book review from Anthony, and then finish up the show with the community calendar update.  I do hope you will be able to join us this Saturday, January 26 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org, or via various apps on your phone.

December 2018 Trans Talk on KKFI


This month on Trans Talk we are going to speak first with Samantha Ruggles, a prior guest on the show who spoke at both the Kansas City Demonstration for Transgender Rights and the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Samantha has recently been promoted to being the Executive Director at the Kansas City Center for Inclusion, and she will talk about what sort of activism and community support plans they have coming up in 2019. Then we will talk to Robin Nazarean, who is one of the organizers of the Transgender Day of Remembrance and a member of the punk rock group Evil Pillows. Robin is going to talk a bit about her life and what her goals and ambitions are for activism and music for the future.

We will have a take on the transgender news of the month and then finish up the show with the community calendar update.  We’re also going to have the first of a new regular monthly spot – Anthony will review a book each month that may interest our trans & non-binary audience.  I do hope you will be able to join us this Saturday, December 22nd at 1:00 pm on 90.1 KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org, or via various apps on your phone.

November 2018 Trans Talk on KKFI


This month on Trans Talk we are going to first interview Freddie Dolphus, who recently spoke at both the Kansas City Demonstration for Transgender Rights and the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Freddie is a licensed physical trainer and martial artist, and he wants to a start a gym for women of color and the LGBT community in the urban core. Then we will be joined by Saphirah Pociluyko to have a group discussion about the two recent transgender events, and what we could do to build on that momentum to increase transgender visibility and the sense of community.

We will have a take on the transgender news of the month and then finish up the show with the community calendar update. I do hope you will be able to join us this Saturday, November 24th at 1:00 pm on 90.1 KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org, or via various apps on your phone.

REMINDER: Kansas City Transgender Day of Remembrance 2018


Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance that remembers and memorializes the lives of transgender and gender non-binary persons who were murdered due to transphobia and hate. TDOR is a time for all members of our diverse community to come together in strength and power, as we read the names of the fallen and hear the voices of those who carry on the fight.

For the event of Tuesday, November 20th, the following events have been scheduled by a group of hard-working individuals from our own Kansas City area community (copied from the Facebook event page).

6:00 PM: VIETNAM MEMORIAL FOUNTAIN ON THE PLAZA (Broadway and 42nd Street)
Call-to-action rally in support of the transgender community. Local TGNC leaders will speak and equip allies with the tools and knowledge they need to support their transgender and gender non-conforming neighbors.

6:30 PM: MARCH TO COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN CHURCH (4601 Main Street)
This silent march will be just under a mile up Main Street. Please bring signs calling for transgender rights, transgender advocacy, transgender support, etc. Dress for the weather.

7:00 PM: OUTSIDE COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN CHURCH
Short debrief for all supporters.

7:15 PM: INSIDE COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN CHURCH
Vigil and place of mourning for transgender and gender non-conforming folx. Cisgender allies, please respect that this space is meant to serve as a safe place of grief and fellowship for the transgender and gender non-conforming community. We ask that you reflect on your position and situation, and respect the need for trans-dominated spaces.

8:00 PM: End of vigil and closing of Transgender Day of Remembrance.

For additional information contact JN.Hernandez@inclusivekc.org

The Great Kansas City Media Blackout of the KCDTR


The Kansas City Demonstration for Transgender Rights was held from 2:00-3:30 last Saturday, October 27, at the J.C. Nichols fountain in Kansas City, Missouri. It was advertised widely on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and resulted in a tremendous turnout. I attended and spoke, and it was the largest transgender rally I’ve ever seen in 7 years in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

It was difficult to count the number of folks who were there, but three independent counts put the most likely number at between 300-350 persons. The photo above shows the size of the crowd from a distance (I’m using this photo deliberately because many people were afraid of being identified from video and photographs).

The KCMO police were informed and present, and kept a very respectful distance. All major media outlets were contacted. I was told by two impeccable sources that KCUR, Fox4, KCTV5, KMBC9, and The Kansas City Star were not only contacted, but said they would be sending reporters to cover the event. Prior to the event 96.5 The Buzz discussed the event on October 25 on the Mornings with Jordin Silver & Friends program. On the day of the event 90.1 KKFI Kansas City Community Radio not only interviewed Parker Liu, one of the event organizers, but devoted 10 minutes to discussing transgender erasure, and broadcast live music from the local trans punk rock band Evil Pillows, dedicated to those attending the event, on the Trans Talk radio show.

The demonstration was simply incredible. It was a perfect day, the crowd was enthused and respectful, the speakers were motivated and passionate and brought many different perspectives to the crowd, and there was a feeling of love and togetherness. It was the largest and best transgender rally I’ve attended in the four-state area.

But you wouldn’t know it, from the media blackout. By the end of the event, as the hugging and tears and cheers were over and folks walked back to their homes, the only media coverage before, during, and leading up to the event was from 96.5 The Buzz and 90.1 KKFI. The only media in attendance at the event in official capacity were several folks from KKFI, including Una Nowling, the President of KKFI who spoke during the event, and several members of the KKFI News & Public Affairs staff, who also recorded the entire event. We were told that Jordin and Hartzell from 96.5 The Buzz were proudly there showing solidarity and support, but we did not have the pleasure of meeting those great folks.

So why the media blackout? Why, suddenly, despite being informed of the event in advance and having told us they would be there, did the mainstream media of Kansas City abandon us? Scanning the websites of KCUR, FOX4, KCTV5, KMBC9, and The Kansas City Star, and others showed a large amount of local mundanity, some “barking dog” stories: one site had an update on the Salem witch trials (not exactly breaking news…spoiler alert, there were no witches), one talked about concern over a new Wendy’s and Pizza Hut being built (nothing gets page clicks like fast food, right?), and yet another devoted time to tell us why leaves change color (which was presumably news to anyone from a planet devoid of deciduous flora).

Seriously? Seriously?

But not one word about the largest transgender rights rally in the area? Why not, exactly? Some speculate that several reporters were sent out to contact local Jewish organizations to comment on the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh that day – but clearly, given the significant amount of local reporting that was done by all organizations that day, there were more than enough reporters to go around.

Many leaders in the local LGBTQIA community have spoken with us, most of them privately, and all expressed significant concern at the silence over the rally. While few were ready to level charges of transphobia or a rise of hard right-wing influence or chilling effect upon the local media, all were baffled and disturbed by the media silence. I think all of us in the local LGBTQIA community should be reaching out to the mainstream media outlets, sending comments and e-mails, and asking why they didn’t show up to cover the event.

More details as they develop.

October 2018 Trans Talk on KKFI

This month on Trans Talk, we will first interview Parker Liu who will give us some breaking news on the The Kansas City Demonstration for Transgender Rights, which will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, October 27th, at the J.C. Nichols fountain at the east side of the Country Club Plaza. See this public link for more information. Una from this very Trans Talk program will be one of the speakers at the event, so make sure you plan on attending!

Then we will have live music in the studio from the group Evil Pillows, an all trans punk rock band formed right here in Kansas City! They are going to play some songs to help give us some courage and empowerment over the airwaves, and then talk about their band, their inspirations, and their music. Bonus points out there if you guess the origin of their name without looking it up! Find out more information about the band at their Bandcamp link right here!

We will have a take on the transgender news of the month, which is going to be some of the most important news we’ve ever reported upon on Trans Talk, and then finish up the show with the community calendar update. I do hope you will be able to join us this Saturday, October 27th at 1:00 pm on 90.1 KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org, or via various apps on your phone.

KCRep Hosts Free Future Perfect Project Workshop – Oct 21 2018

I received an email with information on an exciting opportunity for LGBTQ+ youth and their allies.  I’m quoting the whole of the email below to give everyone the full information they need to register.

Kansas City Repertory Theatre is proud to host
The Future Perfect Project Workshop
Sunday, October 21, 2018
Noon to 5 pm
In Rehearsal Hall —  Room 119
Olson Performing Arts Center
Located on the UMKC campus
This is a free creative workshop for high school and early college-aged youth.
The workshop team is led by the writer of the film Trevor which won an Academy Award and inspired the founding of the nationally renowned Trevor Project.
To learn more about this terrific opportunity, please visit https://www.thefutureperfectproject.com/
Please RSVP to the contacts below.
 
For many queer youth, finding a safe space is an ordeal.   Even in today’s seemingly progressive world, LGBTQ+ youth are often dismissed, bullied, and cornered into making a life for themselves on the sidelines.  As a young person, you can see into the future.  You can see a world more in-line with the values of your generation, which is perhaps too difficult for older generations to perceive right away.  Thus, we have a gap.   Through autobiographical live performance, and more specifically live music, we are able to express that vision back to our community wholeheartedly and begin to close that gap.  We believe that queer & alternative youth hold the creative keys to closing that gap, and we invite you all to join us in a storytelling & songwriting workshop to learn more ways of expressing your vision out to your community.
The workshop provides young people with prompts and ideas to further your reflection on LGBTQ+ life and on topics you want to address head-on. You will be offered the tools to transform your reflections into creative expression, and ultimately into a collaborative songwriting exercise. The workshop succeeds in creating pathways for self-discovery, not only for each of you, but also within the larger world in which you function.
Join us and  share, support and create.  Share your voices with each other and beyond.
No need to be a performer, although – if you are, that’s great! All input is valued and writing is as powerful as the songs we will create.  Your thoughts and experiences are what will propel us into the heart of the workshop.
Please RSVP KCRep by emailing Melinda at mccrarym@kcrep.org  or Lydia at fuqual@kcrep.org   and we will save a spot for you.

 

Ten Days of Trans Demands – Workplace – Kansas City

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow Tuesday 9th October at 6 pm will be the Kansas City event for the Ten Days of Trans Demands.  It will be at Kansas City United Church of Christ, 205 W 65th St, Kansas City, Missouri 64113, and there will be many speakers on being an ally and an advocate in the workplace.  For more details, see the Facebook event – https://www.facebook.com/events/250229949013821/

September 2018 Trans Talk on KKFI


This month on Trans Talk, we will feature an interview with LGBT scholar and activist Brynn Tannehill. In addition to being a retired Lt. Commander in the US Navy and a researcher at a Washington think-tank, Brynn is a frequent author for many journals and news organizations, including the Huffington Post, the Advocate, USA Today, Salon, Slate, and The New Civil Rights Movement.

Recently Brynn has been analyzing the policies and politics of the Trump Administration, the Republican and Democratic Parties, and the political and social zeitgeist we inhabit in this very strange and somewhat terrifying landscape, and she will be joining us on Trans Talk to give her analysis and perspective on where we may be headed, and how bad things could be not just for my transgender siblings out there, but the LGBT community, women, and pretty much the whole doggone planet.

We will have a new take on the transgender news of the month, and finish up the show with the community calendar update. I do hope you will be able to join us this Saturday, September 22nd at 1:00 pm on 90.1 KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org, or via various apps on your phone.

August 2018 Trans Talk on KKFI


This month on Trans Talk, we will feature an interview with Julia Rose Owens, a Kansas City transgender woman who is the sole proprietor of a business in a traditionally male-dominated industry. On our program Julia will talk about her life, her struggle, her hopes, and her fight. After speaking with Julia, we will feature an interview with K.J. Rawson, the Director of the Digital Transgender Archive, to talk about the project, it’s goals, their featured collections, and where it’s heading. Many listeners may not know it, but our very own local transgender history site, Transas City, is part of the Digital Transgender Archive.

We will have a new take on the transgender news of the month, and finish up the show with the community calendar update. I do hope you will be able to join us this Saturday, August 25th at 1:00 pm on 90.1 KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org, or via various apps on your phone.