Last August, I had the privilege of coming to Florida to see an old friend and present a talk to the
convention entitled “Culturally Induced Stress—It only hurts because we’re different.” It is a truism that our culture, wherever we are, complicates the important true sex identity expression of transgendered people. People just don’t get it. When we seek protection from discrimination, the way far right shows up to demonize us as any number of undesirable creatures. The churches demand our banishment from protection, yet they pay no taxes, and they simply don’t understand the importance of the separation of church and state. We do need to continue the struggle, however, as little by little, one by one, people are getting our message. We discussed the terms and definitions, as always, and moved to focus on the stages we appear to go through to become our true selves. Research, which has not been given much consideration by our community was reviewed, because it removes the need to argue philosophies and look at the hard data as presented by scientists here and throughout the world. The findings are exciting
and seem to be getting us closer to knowing the physical truth about our selves. People in our culture need to know these findings in order to stand up to the philosophers and spiritual bigots who have no facts nor research to bring to the table. J Michael Bailey’s work is a good example of junk science that was touted as ground breaking by those who would deride us. It has failed miserably due to our standing up proudly to dismiss it. The man who would be queen may in the end be J. Michael Bailey himself. Perhaps the “J” means Judy! Although much of what I covered was not rocket science or incredibly new, it got us all looking at our journeys in a different way. We must never give up on ourselves or on the culture that is in desperate need of education and direction on how they can help us.
As I write this, I am in my apartment that is covered in snow and ice. It is 10 degrees above zero. God I wish I were with you all in Florida!!
As of Dec 16, 2003 a major milestone was achieved as FORGE became incorporated as a nonprofit. This accomplishment was no small task and was a massive undertaking by Janice Carney.
Being recognized as a non-profit organization will pave the way for FORGE to secure additional funding
for future projects and support it’s a state-wide activism effort for transgender human rights. These fund raising efforts will include events, donations, and grants based on a posting on the FORGE Network from Janice Carney. Jennifer Edwards, a FORGE board member, is currently researching potential grant
opportunities. In the meantime membership fees and donations are FORGE’s primary source of
revenue. If you are interested in making a contribution, please send your donations to: Transgender Forge Inc, 3708 W. Swann Ave Tampa Fl 33609-4522.