Category Archives: Activism

Trans-advocacy and activism.

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.

June 2018 Trans Talk on KKFI


We have two special guests with us today. First we will be talking with a guest who has visited with us before, Professor Larry Altman, who will discuss the current status of several legal issues impacting the LGBTQIA community in Kansas and Missouri. Then at the bottom of the hour we will be discussing issues of spirituality with the Reverend Seth Sonneville, a hospital chaplain who has worked with the transgender community for some time.

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 me this Saturday, June 23rd 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.

Sustenance for the Soul – Concert on June 16th 2018!

Transfinity KC Chorus will be holding their Spring/Summer concert this coming Saturday, June 16th, 7pm, at Kansas City United Church of Christ (65th & Brookside).

There will be lots of food, wine, and singing, and a new addition to the repertoire – poetry readings by local transgender and gender non-conforming poets.

You do not need tickets in advance, but you can make a donation at the door if you choose, to support the work of TKC.

 

May 2018 Trans Talk on KKFI

This week’s show is going to focus on music. With us in the studio, we will have Bailey Larkin, a local trans woman who performs solo as Bailey Larkin, and in the queer indie punk group, eggdropsoup. We’ll be talking to her and the other members of of eggdropsoup about their lives, music and inspiration.

We will also be talking to Anthony Stembrite about their music, life and inspiration as well as introducing him to listeners as a regular Trans Talk host.

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 me this Saturday, May 26th 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.

An Opportunity to Participate in Research on Transgender Parents

Hello everyone,

A Ph.D candidate in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware contacted us directly, and asked us to help get the word out to folks from age 18-25 to participate in a survey about transgender parents.

Being the daughter of a transgender parent herself, the researcher is looking for folks who:

  • Are between age 18-25.
  • Have a transgender parent who stayed with their partner through transition.
  • And learned about their parent’s transition when they were at least 10 years old.

People who participate in the survey will receive a $10 Amazon gift card for their time.

The flyer is linked below, but in case you have trouble reading the PDF file, the contact information is:

Andrea D. Kelley
Mail: adkelley@udel.edu
Call or Text: 610-350-6844

Note: we at Transas City receive absolutely no compensation nor benefit from publicizing this survey.

Click here to see the recruitment flyer.

March 2018 Trans Talk on KKFI


We have another full house today on Trans Talk. We are going to kick off the program by talking with Cassandra Peters, who is the founder of the Johnson County Q-Space, the only LGBTQ+ youth center in Johnson County, Kansas. Joining Cassandra in the studio today are some of the kids from the Q-Space.

In the second part of the program we have in our studio Marissa Wolf, who is the director of new works and the associate artistic director of Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Ms. Wolf is here on Trans Talk to share the details of an upcoming new play reading titled “CLICK” by Jaqueline Goldfinger, which features a transgender character.

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 me this Saturday, March 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.

November 2017 Trans Talk on KKFI

On this month’s Trans Talk Edition of the Tenth Voice we’re going to have a special interview with a woman who is part of living transgender history. You’ve heard all about the issue of transgender troops in the military, well our guest, Joanna Clark, is the grandmother of that issue. After a long career in the Navy she was ousted from the service in the 70’s and then enlisted in the Army as an openly transgender woman in 1976. She was discharged again and took on the military, suing and winning in court. She went on to fight for transgender rights in the 70’s and 80’s, being instrumental in the fight to change gender markers on birth certificates and drivers licenses in California. She then started and ran the AEGIS online bulletin board, which became the largest HIV/AIDS information database in the world, for which she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

We will have a new take on the transgender news of the month, and we will finish up the show with the community calendar update. I do hope you will be able to join me this Saturday, November 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.

October 2017 Trans Talk on KKFI

On the October Trans Talk edition of The Tenth Voice, we will open the show by listening to an interview that Fiona and I conducted with the directors and one of the cast of the local production of Casa Valentina. This is a play exploring the struggle for acceptance by cross-dressing men in the 1960’s, which is based upon a real event in the history of gender non-conformity. Then we are going to talk to a special guest in the studio with us today, a transgender woman of color who has faced many terrible obstacles in her life journey, leading to her entering sex work and being the victim of violence right here in Kansas City. She has a powerful story that I believe will speak to all of us.

We will have Una’s News Rant, a round up of some of the LGBT news this week, and we will finish up the show with the community calendar update. I do hope you will be able to join me this Saturday, October 28th 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.

Male Call – Casting Call in Kansas City for Transmen!


The Unicorn Theatre is producing a new play called HIR by Taylor Mac (a recent MacArthur Genius award recipient and Pulitzer Prize finalist). One of the characters in HIR is a young transgender man, and Director of Development Ian Crawford is looking to fight the phenomenon of “transface” by casting a transgender man in the role of a transgender man.

Folks who are interested can reach out to his email at icrawford@unicorntheatre.org Mr. Crawford says that he is happy to e-mail back and forth with anyone interested and answer questions, send them the play to read, or grab coffee to talk it over if they like. In the coming weeks they will set up a time to see people and have them audition (read through some scenes with other actors etc.) He would like to know how much, if any, acting experience they might have, but they understand due to discrimination most folks will not have much or any, and they will work with whoever they cast to make them comfortable and prepared for this. It’s reportedly a pretty large role, and they will be working with some great professional actors in town, so it could be a lot of work and a great learning experience too!

Once again, for further information, contact Ian Crawford at icrawford@unicorntheatre.org

September 2017 Trans Talk on KKFI

Renaissance lesbians.

We will have a full studio for this month’s Trans Talk edition of The Tenth Voice. We’re going to begin by talking to two members of the Equal Trans Support Group, about their group and their creative fundraising efforts at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. Next, we’ll talk with the assistant director of the UMKC LGBTQIA Programs and Services Office of Student Involvement about the services that they provide to LGBTQIA persons on campus. Finally, we have representatives of the Kansas City Bear Mafia joining us to discuss the bear community and to introduce us to their organization.

We will have Una’s News Rant, a round up of some of the LGBT news this week, and we will finish up the show with the community calendar update. I do hope you will be able to join me this Saturday, September 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.