With the passing of Labor Day the Summer season is officially over and that means a lot more than simply not wearing white. It means that for many of us it is time to get focused and get back to work.
That applies to us in the trans* community as well and there is a lot going on over the next few weeks. Let’s take a look:
Upcoming Transgender Events & Activities
September 21 – One of our Renaissance members, Jo Christ will be presenting “The Life Story of an Intersex World War Two Veteran.” Jo has led a full and exciting life and being an intersex individual has made it all that much more extraordinary. So join her at the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Center at 7pm.
October 2 - Special service at the MCC Lehigh Valley church to include a transgender blessing. MCC is fully welcoming to the LGBT community and is a great place to take your first steps out of the closet.
October 8 – Monthly Renaissance Dinner. Prior to our normal monthly meeting, a group of us will be meeting at the Bethlehem Brew Words for some fun and dining. Please feel free to join us and RSVP on the events page on our website. Festivities begin at 5:30pm.
October 8 - Our monthly support meeting for trans* people and their supporters starts at 7pm at the MCCLV church. Our special guest will be Julie from Style MedSpa who will be providing information about laser hair removal and other services that her team offers.
October 26 – We are very excited to announce the Renaissance is sponsoring a support meeting just for the spouses, significant others and family members of trans* individuals. It is easy to forget that when a trans* person transitions their family and friends do so as well creating stress and other challenges for them. This is an opportunity for these individuals to network and support each other. Learn more by clicking on our events page.
November 12 – Our monthly dinner and trans* support meeting is scheduled at the MCCLV. Our special guest will be Chief Mark DiLuzio of the Bethlehem Police Department who will be there to discuss trans* issues and to take our questions. We will also have Trish Sheriden on-site offering great deals on jewelry.
November 20 – Is the International Day of Transgender Remembrance. This annual event is designed to raise awareness around issues of violence against trans* people and so that we can honor those whose lives have been lost to anti-transgender violence. Please look for upcoming details regarding services and events in your area.
Making a difference by getting involved
As you can see, Transgender Renaissance is working hard on expanding our services to the transgender community in the Lehigh Valley, Eastern PA and Western NJ. Our goals are three-fold:
To provide support and resources for the trans* community and their families
To reach-out to the broader community to educate them about trans* issues
To provide opportunities for trans* individuals to socialize and enjoy life outside of the closet.
Those last two points can be easily overshadowed by the first one. The truth is that many trans* people are seeking the support of others like them . They want to know that they are not alone and that they have a safe place where they can go to learn and socialize. But if trans* people are ever to be better recognized and integrated into society as a whole we must also consider the importance of getting involved and getting out there into the larger community as a whole.
Every month Renaissance receives requests to have our members meet with local educators, companies and groups who want to know more about the transgender experience. We try to accommodate as many of these requests as possible because studies show that once someone has met and gets to know a trans* person they are much more likely to accept them in their workplaces and in public.
But that type of education does not have to happen in a formal setting. Through our monthly dinners and other social events such as going to concerts, museums or other activities our trans* members are able to enjoy “everyday” activities while showing the public at-large that we are a non-threatening part of the community as a whole.
How Can You Get Involved?
The more trans* people get involved with groups like Renaissance and get involved with our community the better it will be for everyone. So think about how you can help our community to thrive. Could you write a blog article or a letter to the editor? Or perhaps you could organize an outing for some of your trans* sisters or brothers! Maybe you could meet with your local state representative about trans* rights or you could simply have a conversation about trans* issues with a friend or neighbor.
The key is to get moving and to get involved… Even if it is in a small way.
Help Us Serve You!
If you have an event or other news item that you would like us to list in this monthly update please contact us. We are always looking to do outreach, education and advocacy for the transgender community in Eastern PA and Central NJ.
Learn More About the Lehigh Valley Transgender Community
Would you like to write for our transgender blog or learn more about our support group for transgender people in the Lehigh Valley and eastern Pennsylvania? If so, please contact Lehigh Valley Renaissance or better yet join us at one of our monthly meetings!