Thursday, June 21, 2007

Late trans leader honored

Published 06/21/2007

JoAnne Keatley, left, and Martin Rawlings-Fein, present the Outstanding Transgender Individual Award posthumously to the late Louis (Lou) G. Sullivan, whose sister, Maryellen Handley, accepted the award on his behalf. The third biennial Transgender Awards were presented by SF Transgender Empowerment Advocacy & Mentorship Monday, June 18 at a reception at the LGBT Community Center. Others who were honored included Chris Daley of the Transgender Law Center, who received the ally award; and the Transgender Resources and Neighborhood Space program at UCSF, which received the organization award.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Trans Celebration Shabbat (WOW)

As a filmmaker I get really nervous before showings and that is ok, because usually there are a smattering of people in the crowd. On Friday the 1st of June at the Trans Celebration Shabbat, I had a double dose of the nerves because I was not only showing my film, Clocked: An Oral History, I was also one of the producers of the weekend and my mother was attending from Klamath Falls, OR. I wanted everything to go well for the entire weekend, so much that I came by the synagogue that afternoon to set up the projector and sound equipment about 6 hours before showtime. I readied myself for the 20 people that I expected to show up at the film screening and was surprised to find that more people than seats arrived. The room was filled to capacity and people were spilling out into the hallways, the adjoining classrooms and the stairwell.

The energy was palpable and I felt as if everything would go well for the entire weekend if my little film could drag this many people to the shul on a Friday evening, free food or not. Upon looking around the room for the faces I knew, there were a few, and many I hadn't seen in years. Yet, the majority of those crowding into the oneg room were strangers to me. People sat on the floor, the extra folding chairs, they also stood and peered around the corner while some just closed their eyes and listened to the dialog.

The Trans Celebration Shabbat brought people of every religion, and knowledge of the trans-communities, out of the woodwork to be part of something celebratory and wonderful. There is a line in my film delivered by Cecilia Chung, "In the last 40 years, we spent many years mourning and grieving what we did didn't have or what we've lost, mourning and grieving how we survived a very violent time in our community history; but because of all the progress we make, I think we will see more people feel empowered to talk about what leadership means; what diversity means; what celebrating themselves means. And gender and sexualities are meant to be celebrated, not to be grieved." I think that this is important, as transpeople we need to celebrate ourselves, our gender, our sexuality and our lives in community with others. It is when we touch others hearts and minds that we are blessed in return.

Friday, June 1, 2007

TONIGHT! New Screening for Clocked! (San Francisco, CA)

J. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California

From the J:

Shaar Zahav to host transgender events

San Francisco’s Congregation Shaar Zahav will make history when it becomes the first synagogue to host a Shabbat weekend devoted to transgendered people and issues of concern to the transgender community. The transgender Shabbat service, which begins with a potluck dinner and service, takes place Friday and Saturday, June 1 and 2. All events are open to the public.

Friday’s events begin at 6:30 p.m. with a screening of “Clocked: An Oral History,” a film about the local transgender community from filmmaker and Shaar Zahav congregant Martin Rawlings-Fein. It will be followed by a Shabbat service led by Shaar Zahav rabbinic intern Reuben Zellman.

Saturday programs run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and include Torah study; a workshop for teens moderated by Alexis Rivera from the Transgender Law Center; a discussion for parents on how to determine if their child is gender variant; and a workshop on “How to be a Fabulous Trans Ally,” moderated by United Genders of the Universe.

A pair of transgender-themed short films will also screen, followed by a workshop called “Developing New Jewish Rituals” for transgender and queer congregants; a workshop on transgender civil rights law; and one exploring Torah and spirituality sponsored by Coastside Jewish Community. Havdallah takes place at 5:30 p.m., followed by a spoken-word performance by Ali Cannon.

Shaar Zahav congregant Robert Bernardo said, “A lot of the [transgender] events in the last year have been sad occasions, usually to remember someone murdered or hurt. We wanted to create a celebration of diversity, a happy event about lively expression, being proud and being out.”

From Marty:

The J. got a few things wrong (The dinner with the movie will not be potluck, lol) but they did try to be inclusive and talk about transgender issues. Just think 30 years ago they wouldn't even touch press about the G & L communities, now they print stories about the T communities having fabulous events at LGBTQQS Synagogues.

This film screening is the second chance to see Clocked outside of my living room screenings. You don't have to stay and listen to the sermon if you don't want, but the whole weekend looks fabulous.

Friday Night June 1st at 6:30pm (Film Start Time)
Sha'ar Zahav, 290 Dolores Street, SF CA
Enjoy finger foods and watch clocked projected on the big screen!

Claudia Kenworthy Oral History

Patricia Kevina Fili Oral History