Upstate NY newspaper runs trans-tastic series

A view of Downtown Albany from the Hudson River

My college town newspaper, the Albany Times Union, is running an awesome series of articles about the transgender community this week that I wanted to share.

When I was in school, the Times Union was the conservative newspaper and the now-gone Knickerbocker News was the liberal paper. But the surviving paper knows its audience and Albany is liberal. No, that should read LIBERAL.

This whole series is worth a read. But not only are the articles good, so are the comments. The biggest complaint is that the LGBT community is getting too much coverage. Imagine that in the local Dallas newspaper. I expect more negative comments right here in a Texas LGBT newspaper than an Upstate New York mainstream paper is getting.

Here’s an article filled with statistics. They claim more than 8 million LGBs in the U.S. and 700,000 transgenders. There’s no census count so I’m not sure where the numbers come from.

Here’s the main page — Transgender: A Special Report. The online version begins with 75+ photos.

People just know me as Pat

The long, difficult journey of how a man became a woman

Surgery, pain, humor and no turning back

Going from Kenny to Kym was no easy road

For Drew, nothing is written

‘I like my fluid identity’

A little about Albany

Albany is a small city of about 100,000 people. The capital of New York, it’s about 150 miles north of New York City, north of the Catskills, south of the Adirondacks and where the Mohawk River empties into the Hudson River. Where the northbound New York State Thruway makes a sharp left turn to head west to Buffalo — giving the city its nickname — the armpit of New York.

Oh, and Albany is a very liberal city. So it’s not surprising they’d run this series. I just don’t know when another mainstream daily has devoted this much space at one time to transgender issues.

Albany is home to the first LGBT community center ever created in the country. Located in a brownstone a few blocks the Capitol, it’s now called the Capital Pride Center. The building was purchased in 1974 by a professor at my school and a group of us helped renovate the building. That was the first time I ever helped build stairs. Hopefully they’ve been rebuilt since then.

And Sen. Gillibrand — who represented Albany before becoming senator — was a leader in getting rid of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and pushed for marriage equality along with Governor Andrew Cuomo.

—  David Taffet

Drawing Dallas

Even with a big family (3 kids and 5 grandkids), retired schoolteacher Richard John du Pont projects a dandy’s fashion sense

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator
mark@markdrawsfunny.com

Name: Richard John du Pont

Occupation: Retired elementary school teacher

Spotted at: Kroger’s on the Strip

Colorful and vibrant, Richard was born and reared in upstate New York in a small town on the Mohawk River called Crescent. Retired since 2003, this tireless educator spent 30 years teaching 4th and 6th grades, and continues as a substitute teacher for the Dallas I.S.D (Sam Houston Elementary and Maple Lawn Elementary). He graduated with a bachelor’s in elementary education from the Central University of Iowa and a has masters in education from North Texas State University at Denton.

A man of taste: This silver-haired taste maker owns an exquisite collection of antiques, tastefully chosen to accent his beautiful home. He also lends his skill and expertise as a salesman to two estate sales and as a sales rep for Metrotex at the four large annual shows at the Dallas Trade Center.

Daddy dearest: This proud patriarch of two sons, one daughter and five grandsons sees family as the root of his life. His close-knit clan lives in the area so he is able to spend a lot of time with his children and grandchildren.

His hobbies include volunteer work for DIFFA, Legacy Counseling Center and Fresh, as well as traveling, reading, working out at Gold’s Gym Uptown, dancing and shopping. He collects vintage clothing and jewelry (more than 100 suits at least — he attends the Cathedral of Hope every Sunday in one of them with an antique brooch), and Converse and Vans shoes.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 29, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Dialing for Marriage Equality in Upstate New York

The following post comes from  HRC’s Field Assistant Jessica Jensen. Jessica is just one of 30 HRC staff that will be on the ground in 16 states by Election Day, working with HRC-endorsed candidates and engaging our membership about the upcoming elections:

Earlier this week, the HRC team up in Troy, New York held our first phonebank for the Joanne Yepsen campaign, and we have kept up the pace by having a series of nightly phonebanks that we are planning to run all the way through Election Day.  While we have all done our fair share of phonebanking in the past, this was the first phonebank any of us had ever run on our own, and although I was a bit nervous, we all knew the importance of reaching out to our membership to get them excited about this important election.

We had a small but terrific crew calling around to other HRC members in the area to encourage them to vote for and volunteer for Yepsen’s campaign for New York state Senate.  Some of our volunteers were old hands at phonebanking and some were getting involved in a campaign for the first time ever, but everyone had a great time and enjoyed meeting other HRC members in their area.  Things went off without a hitch, and we are excited about all the work we will be doing in Troy and Saratoga Springs! From knocking on doors to dialing up members, I am so proud of everything we are doing here and I look forward to keeping up the pace through Election Day.

If you live in the Capital District area of New York and are interested in volunteering for pro-equality candidates, please contact Field Assistant Jessica Jensen at 202-716-1658.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

HRC Joins Yepsen and Others in Upstate New York Rally for Equality

The following post comes from Field Staff memberJessica Jensen. Jessica is just one of 30 HRC staff that will be on the ground in 16 states by Election Day, working with HRC-endorsed candidates and engaging our membership about the upcoming elections:

This past Monday, I was welcomed to the charming city of Troy in upstate New York with one of my favorite things in the world: a big pro-equality rally.  The rally was sponsored by pro-equality state Senate candidate Joanne Yepsen, and was held to denounce the recent discriminatory remarks of New York Governor hopeful Carl Paladino.  Yepsen was joined by several others, including openly gay Troy City Councilman Ken Zalewski and HRC’s National Field Director Marty Rouse, in promoting a message of tolerance for everyone.  It was a great introduction to Yepsen’s terrific campaign and I’m excited to get to work up here in the 43rd district of New York fighting for equality throughout the state!

If you live near New York’s Capital District area and are interested in volunteering for a pro-equality state Senate candidate, please contact Field Staff Jessica Jensen at 202-716-1658.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin