Stewart resigns as executive director of TENT


Katy Stewart

Katy Stewart announced Monday, Aug. 17, that she is resigning as executive director of the Transgender Education Network of Texas “to pursue other projects and some degree of self-care that is much needed.”

In an email announcing her resignation, Stewart said she and TENT Board of Directors Chair Brandon Beck will “work closely over the remainder of this year” to transition the organization from a “board-led, staff-run model” to a working board model. “This will allow the TENT board to be more directly involved in the daily actions of the organization and provide a closer link between the community and the organization,” Stewart wrote.

She added, “Since 2010 I have found my passion in this organization, as a board member, as board chair, and then as executive director. Such passion cannot be merely transposed with a resignation. As such, I look forward to future projects with Transgender Education Network of Texas and look forward to the leadership of a working board.

“I do thank you for the opportunity to serve you and hope that you will invest patience and trust in this new direction in very capable hands,” Stewart said.

TENT’s 2015 Board of Directors includes Beck as chair, Vice Chair Stephanie Guerra, Secretary Michelle Stafford, Dukes, Terry Thompkins and Sandra Dunn. The Advisory Board members are Lauryn Farris, Lisa Scheps and Oliver Blumer.

—  Tammye Nash

TENT explains position on Plano ERO, looks for lobby day sponsors

Transgender Education Network of Texas officials released a statement today (Monday, Feb. 9), explaining why they do not support Plano’s Screen shot 2015-02-09 at 1.27.33 PMendangered Equal Rights Ordinance but at the same time don’t want to see that ordinance repealed. (Read it in its entirety here.)

TENT is also looking for sponsors to support the organization’s TransTexas Caucus/Lobby Day, coming up April 26-27.

TENT’s statement on the Plano ERO reads, in part:

“The Transgender Education Network of Texas does not appreciate the fact that an ordinance was written with the intent of adding gender identity protection without input from the transgender and gender non-conforming community. We find the restroom exclusion confusing and not acceptable. We find the exclusion of non-profits allowing them to deny important and often necessary services to the transgender and gender non-conforming community lacking.

“However, we do recognize the intent of the city to provide protection to the transgender and gender non-conforming community that was previously not provided. We do acknowledge that this new policy was not an amendment to their existing policy, but replaced it and therefore the repeal of the policy would leave Plano with no Equal Rights Policy.

“We also recognize that the vote to repeal this existing policy would, in all probability, make it almost impossible to get a policy even this inclusive passed in the future.

If the ERO withstands the Plano vote and remains the law in Plano, TENT is committed to actively pursuing amendment of the ordinance so that offensive language and discriminatory exclusions are removed.

“Therefore, considering all these facts, the Transgender Education Network of Texas is opposed to the Plano Equal Rights Ordinance, but is against the repeal of the Plano Equal Rights Ordinance.”

The statement in its entirety is available here. It includes a number of “Facts Discovered,” including the fact that no one from either the Gay and Lesbian Alliance of North Texas (GALA) or Equality Texas were asked to be involved in the wording of the ordinance, nor were representatives of those organizations able to examine the ordinance before its presentation to and approval by the Plano City Council.

The statement also includes a number of “Reflections,” as well, including noting that TENT officials believe it was “unwise of the city of Plano” not to solicit input from transgender individuals or organizations, and that they believe the city was put in place an ordinance that “protected everyone, including the transgender community, without infringing on the rights of others.”

Still, the statement notes, “TENT does feel that the bathroom exclusion is problematic for both the transgender community and the private business owners.”


TransTexas Caucus/Lobby Day

TENT is also seeking sponsors to help support TransTexas Caucus/Lobby Day, a two-day event set in Austin for April 26-27.

TENT is pairing with Equality Texas for the second year in a row to host the transgender specific lobby day, where the trans community and its allies can come together to discuss what legislative changes are needed “to prevent transgender Texans from falling through society’s gaps,” and then to lobby lawmakers to make those changes.

Sponsors are needed to help fund the logistical costs of the event, including refreshments, printing of booklets, bringing in speakers, audio/visual set-up, venue fees, a special fund to help attendees who need assistance in defraying some travel costs.

Go here to explore sponsorship opportunities.

—  Tammye Nash

TENT seeks trans military veterans for Texas Outserve-SLDN conference


Oliver Blumer

The Transgender Education Network of Texas is looking for trans veterans to serve on a panel at the 2013 Outserve -SLDN leadership conference.

TENT needs those who can attend the Oct. 25–27 conference in San Antonio and are comfortable telling their stories but is also looking for people who are not comfortable speaking in public to privately share their stories to collect for a “public narrative.”

Although “don’t ask, don’t tell” ended for gay and lesbian service members, trans personnel may still be thrown out of the military.

The Saturday afternoon panel is entitled “Transgender Veterans: Stories to Move the DADT Transgender Service Members Forward.” Those interested in participating should contact Oliver Blumer. Those interested in participating in the public narrative should contact TENT’s Katy Stewart.

Among the other presenters at the conference are the American Military Partner Assocation that has been following the Texas National Guard’s refusal to register same-sex partners of military personnel so they can receive an ID and federal benefits.

The 2013 Outserve-SLDN leadership conference will be held in San Antonio on Oct. 25–27 at the Marriott Rivercenter. Tickets are available online.

—  David Taffet

WATCH: Last-minute gift ideas for Father’s Day

Pack your junk in some ‘junderwear’

If any of you are like me, then you still haven’t gotten your dad a Father’s Day gift because, hey, it’s not the last minute yet!

And if any of you last-minute shoppers are looking for just the right gift, Willie Geist over at MSNBC has some, well, interesting suggestions in the video below.

Personally, I kind of like the rain slicker that turns into a sleeping bag (with a net “tent” over the head area to keep the bugs away). But the “junderwear” will probably get the most attention. That’s underwear that looks like a pair of jean shorts (see the photo above).

But hey, stay away from the “Happy Hot Dog Man” thing-a-mabob. That’s just creepy — in so many, many ways.

—  admin

How many tix were really sold to canceled gay Super Bowl concert? Under 100, publicist says

Good thing this didn’t happen with the gays under there. (From WFAA)

Fewer than 100 tickets — but more than 13 — had been sold to the gay Super Bowl concert originally planned for tonight at the Cotton Bowl, according to a publicist for the event.

“There were less than 100 but glad we canceled because most of the artists’ flights were canceled due to weather,” publicist Ariana Hajibashi said in an e-mail late Wednesday, in response to a question about how many tickets had been sold for the first night of the XLV Party, which was to feature the Village People, Lady Bunny and Cazwell.

Instant Tea had reported, based on a statement by Hajibashi, that only 13 tickets were sold. However, she later said that was inaccurate.

In other XLV Party news, it looks like the now-two-night event has been moved indoors, to the Fair Park Coliseum, after a tent at the Cotton Bowl collapsed was taken down more quickly than expected due to the weather.

—  John Wright

No big GOP tent for you, homos – all RNC chair candidates support ‘sanctity of man-woman marriage’

Michael Steele is fighting to keep his job as lawn jockey Chairman of the RNC and was at today’s National Press Club debate. Of course the inevitable questions about social issues came up and SURPRISE! — they all oppose marriage equality. Watch it (via The Wonk Room):

 - MICHAEL STEELE: “It’s foundational to who we are as a nation, how we define ourselves as people…not to the exclusion of others, not to diminish anyone’s individuality, but to say in a very supportive way that the family unit, the family concept, is an ideal that we aspire to.”

  – REINCE PRIEBUS: “It’s foundational in our lives… I don’t believe anybody should be denied dignity in this discussion, everyone should be loved. But at the end of the day, I believe that marriage – through the sanctity of marriage – should be between one man and one woman.”

  – ANN WAGNER: “It is the true fabric of our society.”

  – SAUL ANUZIS: “I think very straight forwardly, marriage is both a religious and a cultural institution that has existed for over 2,000 years…I think that our both belief in our kind of activity to promote marriage and promote the nuclear family is an important distinction that we have in America versus almost every other country in the world.”

  – MARIA CINO: “I believe in traditional family.”


UPDATE: In related news, on Huff Post, President of People for the American Way, Michael B. Keegan, has an interesting piece, “A Gay Tempest in the Tea Party“, about the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and the internal strife over the participation of GOProud.

In November, a group of Religious Right organizations, getting wind of the fact that GOProud planned to return to the CPAC in 2011, wrote to the conference’s organizers informing them that they would boycott the event if the gay group was allowed to participate. In a curious compromise, CPAC’s organizers said they would allow both GOProud and the far-right nationalist group the John Birch Society to participate. The protesters, including the National Organization for Marriage (apparently no longer interested in a beer summit), stuck to their boycott. Last week, in a great culture wars coup, they were joined by two of the nation’s most prominent Religious Right groups, the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America. Soon after, WorldNetDaily founder Joseph Farah chimed in with a call to “purge” the conservative movement of gays and gay rights supporters.

The Religious Right’s joint tantrum over the presence of gay people in the conservative movement is hardly going to derail CPAC, which has lined up an impressive slate of speakers, including Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, Rick Santorum, and Mitch McConnell. These politicians, adept at harnessing the energy of the Religious Right and the bank accounts of economic libertarians, are not going to be scared away by the latest iteration of the right-wing family feud. But they would be wise to stop and think about what it means for the future of their party.

The battle over gay groups at CPAC represents one of the biggest stress fractures in the Republican coalition–a small segment of the base devoted to denying rights and recognition to gay people is running up against an American public that really doesn’t mind gay people serving in the military and in increasing numbers doesn’t mind them marrying either. Although political expedience has kept anti-gay and even some gay groups allied to the GOP, as gay rights become an accepted fact of American life, the party will have to choose between including the excluders and including the excluded.

It doesn’t sound like Steele or his cohorts are getting the message and continue to pander to the fundie fringe.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin