The questions at the "Dallas Transgender Advocates Conversation With Bishp Robinson" were unrestricted and free flowing. Bishop Robinson with disarming candor explored many topics in depth.
The reactions I saw in our diverse transgender panel was amazing and maybe one of the most gratifying payoffs of the entire experience. Some of our panel members advocacy has artificially split our community over it's response to our removal from ENDA and sadly lengthened the span of time between contacts. It was an amazing sight as once cordial yet distant advocates were rejoined in this room by Bishop Robinson's desire for communication.
After all other questions had been asked only one remained......
What of the "Half Loaf of Bread". Sticking in everyones craw, what is the moral and spiritual justification for leaving us behind, humans who were previously fully committed allies, unprotected in home and workplace in the sights of rapist, murderers and the predatory blood thirsty jackals focus on the family and Westboro baptist church?
All panel members present had previous agonized over Bishop Robinson's response to the Dallas Voice's earlier inquiries which resulted in the half loaf response and soul searched for a way to understand Bishop Robinson's answer.
None accomplished this. Not one of us desired to be anything but beneficial to Bishop Robinson, but when our very survival is being jeopardized by rich party goers the Transgender T once again stands up, proud and brave, a tribute to Rita, Angie and countless other gender diverse dead.
Vanessa, our political expert would ask, and ask she did. Followed up by Lisa Scheps. How do we accept being left behind. How can we be docile to the gay and lesbian community as we are mowed down in the streets?
Our conversation ended without closure as we watched the taillight's of the mercedes and BMW's fade ......
....as one hotel worker I had talked to said "oh ya, you're the street people".
By Kelli Busey
Proud Transgender Woman
November 24, 2008
Sylvia Rae Rivera, 1951-2002, was a Stonewall Riots Veteran and LGBTQ/Drag Queen activist. Many will remember Sylvia as the Coordinator of the Food Pantry for Metropolitan Community Church of New York where she was a member. On her deathbed she insisted that Rev. Pat Bumgardner promise the church would create accommodation so that LGBTQ Youth could find a safe space to spend the night when all other options were exhausted.
Born from that promise is ‘Sylvia's Place’, an emergency night shelter for self identified Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, transgendered, transsexual and questioning youth from 16 to 23 years of age. Its primary focus is to provide a safe space, a good meal, bathroom facilities and toiletries, a cot for the night and breakfast in the morning. The Care Workers provide a listening ear, affirmation, and a friendly voice of encouragement.
Our aim at Carmen’s Place is to transform these young lives from the chaos and brutality of performing sexual acts for money, food or shelter and living in the streets, to stable adults contributing to society with a self-reliance that meets the best of each individual’s abilities, free of shame.
322 East 14th St.
Between 1st and 2nd Aves
212 477 4744
@ MCC Church
W. 36TH St .
Between 9th and 10th Ave
Lucky S. Michaels, Director of MCCNY Homeless Youth Services
212-629-7440 Ext. 226.
Mona Rae Mason
The Transgender Project
Stopping The Hate