Showing posts with label Transgender rights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transgender rights. Show all posts

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Social Justice, the next step

Over the course of the last few years my social justice work has led me to be involved in many causes.  Each effort has deeply affected me in ways that I struggle to verbalize. One of these causes is Transgender rights.  Working to have all of humanity recognized as sacred, valuable and deserving of human dignity is for me the very foundation of social justice.

As part of following the issues I am involved in I joined a Face Book group called "Transgender Day Of Remembrance". The site collects and distributes stories of murders of and assaults on members of the Transgendered community. Below find a listing of the headlines from just June 2014

Ohio man indicted on six counts in robbery, murder of transgender woman

Police arrest homicide suspect after garbage truck driver finds body in Walnut Hills
Transgender activist found dead in O.C. mourned as leader

Bashed for being transgender'

Body of transgender woman found burned, dumped behind garbage bin

Guilty plea in killing of transgender woman in New Westminster
Anaheim police investigating suspicious death of transgender woman
To put this in perspective the Transgender community is about 0.030 % of the population. Frankly if such high numbers of any other demographic in America were being murdered or assaulted there would be national outrage!  The fact that there is not is telling as to old stereo types that live in the subconscious of even the most progressive of our communities.

Today I urge you my readers to make this issue, your issue, stand in support of the transgendered community. Not because you know transgendered individuals, not because you are progressive in belief, but because every human being deserves the advantages of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  

It is just the right thing to do!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ten Pagans Who Made A Difference in 2012


# 10 Ed Hubbard

Ok, I know Ed can be a controversial individual in our community. Even I have had some consternation in my communications with Mr. Hubbard over time. What you may not know is that when called upon to help heal many of the past hurts in our community Ed stepped up, worked with individuals who were not always kind to him and focused on what was good for the community. Many of our so called leading Elders and Interfaith leaders found themselves unable to do this. Ed I applaud you for your ability to put personal history aside and act in the interest of the entire community. In 2012 you made a difference.

# 9 Star Foster

Ms. Foster’s contribution to our community is without question.  Her establishment of a Pagan presence on Patheos exceeded anything that has gone before in terms of intelligent discussion and debate. Star deserves a vote of thanks from the entire community for blazing a trail that many online sites are now following and expanding upon. While Star is no longer with Patheos, her impact on the community will be felt for many years to come.

# 8 Cara Schulz

Those who attend events in the Mid West are sure to know Cara for her unique mini events at festivals. On a more serious note Cara is the managing editor of the Pagan Newswire Collective. If leading Pagans is like herding cats then it would be fair to describe Cara’s job as doing so after adding a bulldog. Always accessible, social, even tempered and willing to listen Cara has navigated the waters of multiple issues that have had high potential to explode this year. The grace she exhibits in accomplishing her duties is a great example for the entire community.

# 7 Holli Emore

When it comes to someone focused on obtaining achievements that benefit the entire Pagan community there is no one who comes to mind as quickly as Holli Emore. As Executive director of Cherry Hill Seminary her dogged pursuit of accreditation and efforts to establish Cherry Hill as an institution that resources the best minds in Pagan culture and studies establish her as not only a Pagan who made a difference, but also one who will continue to do so in the future.

# 6 Michelle Mueller

In most cases individuals make this list for specific accomplishments. In the case of Michelle Mueller, the opposite is true. Her place on this list represents recognition of her many involvements in the Pagan community. One cannot participate in serious discussion of Pagan issues or attend academic conferences without becoming aware of Michelle’s many contributions and involvements.  If there were a “whose who of Pagandom” this individual would be listed under dozens of categories.  She deserves to be recognized for all she does as Pagan leader.

# 5 Luisah Teish

If you do not know who Luisah Teish is, you have missed not only a massively inspirational force in the women’s movement, but also one of the most profound and funny speakers I have ever had the pleasure to hear speak. Luisah’s client list reads like the top ten most inspirational women in the world for good reason. Check her out and you will wonder why she has not landed on this list before.

# 4  David Grega (posthumously)

When David died the future of our community suffered a great loss. His voice was the voice of challenge, insight, debate and hope for the future. Mr. Grega was my friend, my foe and an incredibly talented pod caster. Even in his death an important and difficult conversation was sparked in the Pagan community about health; David would like that! You will be missed. Our community could well use more like you!

# 3 M. Macha NightMare

Many would expect to see Macha on this list due to her many accomplishments, perhaps as a leader of Reclaiming or due to her continual activism around social justice. In this case, however, it is her willingness to walk away and take her own road that prompts her listing.  In publicly leaving a tradition that has been part of her practice for decades, Macha stands as a great example of having a personal relationship with the Goddess.  While I have great respect for Reclaiming, my respect runs even deeper for those who I witness making tough decisions and seeking growth in their path. Macha, you are an inspiration to us all.


# 2 Melissa Murry & Ruth Barrett

The process of weaving a new thread into the fabric of social justice is often messy, angry and lead by loud voices of righteous indignation.  On a rare occasion leaders step forth who approach anger with reason, compassion and understanding. Such was the case when Ruth and Melissa addressed the issue of transgender inclusion at this year PSG. These two women set a great example of how conflict can lead to understanding and agreement when listening and mindfulness result in progress. 

# 1 Margot Adler

No Margot is not on the list for having written one of the classic Pagan books. No she is not on the list for her work at NPR. No she is not on the list because she gives a great talk on Vampires.  Margot Adler makes the top of this years list as someone who is continually accessible, consistently traveling to meet and speak to new Pagans.  More than one person new to the Pagan path have told me that having a conversation with Margot is like visiting with an old friend.  For being the classiest of the class acts in our community Margot deserves recognition for all she has done in 2012. Some people depend on past accomplishments, others like Margot continue to raise the bar on what service to the Goddess looks like.