History made for Jewish GLBTI in Melbourne aka 35 years on – a bat mitzvah

31 Jan , 2014  

Many years ago, I created the saying that something is truly powerful and comes from ones soul when a person feels like they floating on clouds while simultaneously having the strength to body-slam Andre the Giant.
Last night was one of those powerful moments.
This story starts way back in October 1978, when I was bah-mitzvahed at Temple Beth Israel in Alma Road, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia. Obviously, back then, I didn’t know what I know about myself now. I knew at that point there was “something going on re gender” but couldn’t explain or understand it. I remember being very nervous that day and someone going off to get peppermint tic-tacs. I remember Rabbi John Levi pulling a pocket compass out and saying that I would find my direction in life. And I remember the party in our back yard and that the weather was a perfect 25C for a week for the visiting relatives from England, Texas and elsewhere.


Transfamily starts today!

24 Jan , 2014  

Well, I can only be awake at 730 AM on a Saturday for a good reason…and today there is good one for sure!

Today is definitely a Gorilla Monsoon of WWE fame moment – history made in Melbourne. 🙂 25 January 2014 is the first meeting of Transfamily, a group for family (in the broadest sense) of trans* and gender diverse people and supporters in general e.g. friends, work colleagues etc. Excitement and adrenalin build without caffeine…

Things happen when they happen and while this has been floating in my head for nearly ten years, it has happened largely because of Lynette McDonald #adoptedmum and the Opening Doors program http://www.iepcp.org.au/opening-doors. Thanks to Sarah Burton for connecting me to the program, to the awesome Alex Mills (A.M. – altruistic mischief) program co-ordinator and the 2013 Opening Doors crew.

We’ve gradually built some sense of a foundation for trans people here in climate-diverse Melbourne over the last 10-15 years – acknowledging of course there is still much to be done – but support for those around trans has lagged behind. Today it catches up in a big way. With a Facebook group recently starting for cisgender partners of trans, gaps are being filled – so much exciting stuff!

I’m going to dedicate today equally in two parts. The first is to Nanette Rae McGregor.
Nan did so much with P-FLAG in the 1990’s and whether you know it or not Nan, you helped light a flame inside me re this need. I still have an email exchange with you from 2005 about such a group (that’s accounting training, always back everything up) about having a box of tissues on hand – I’m now making the mental note to stop at the supermarket on the way. There could be happy tears too…

The other dedication is of course is to the families and supporters of trans* and gender diverse people. We, the trans people can’t do it alone; no person can do it alone on anything really. To have you with us and strengthen our allies is just enormous.

See ya there people!

Midsumma and Pride season begins in Melbourne and victoria

11 Jan , 2014  

So…it is Midsumma Carnival tomorrow here in Melbourne. It will be a perfect 25C/77F sunny and a cool breeze.

I’ll be dividing time between the Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby stall (which Bisexual Alliance Victoria is sharing) 2 rows from Yarra River and the Seahorse Victoria stall being shared by TransGender Victoria and other trans/gender diverse groups (closer to Alexandra Avenue) with breaks to wander…and eat…and chat…and stuff. Drop by, call or SMS. 🙂 More…