New York Transgender Inclusion Forum
May 27, 2011
On Sunday, May 22nd, HRC’s Greater New York Steering Committee participated in a Transgender Inclusion Forum at Riverside Church in New York City. There were about 50 people in attendance. The lively forum addressed Transgender Inclusion within society and faith communities. I participated as a moderator. Panelists included Melissa Sklarz, HRC Member & Community Activist; Noah Lewis, Staff Attorney at Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund; Lourdes Hunter , HRC Member & Community Organizer. We were guests of Rev. Dr. Arnold Thomas of Riverside Church and Karen Taylor, Maranatha Convener. The forum was sponsored by the Maranatha LGBT Fellowship of Riverside Church.
The famous quote of Harvey Milk – “Hope will never be silent”, is the appropriate description to describe the historic day at Riverside Church overlooking Columbia University. Many of the questions demonstrated that more education was needed in the LGB community because of lack of understanding gender identity concerns. HRC’s Transgender Visibility Guide played a very helpful tool in breaking down barriers with information and terminology. The panelists shared their personal stories. The forum was done as a way to begin the education in an open setting and dialogue.
A topic or question that popped up several times centered around next steps...and wanting to share information on Transgender Inclusion and Rights with other organizations.
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