Tag: fair wisconsin

Fair Wisconsin T*LI Conference, Leadership Conference, & Gala

Posted by – February 11, 2014

fair wisconsin conference 2014This past weekend, Fair Wisconsin hosted its first ever Trans Leadership Institute – a full day of workshops based around trans issues. In addition, we hosted the 3rd annual LGBTQ+ Leadership Conference & Gala. Many of you donated so that I could bring people who couldn’t otherwise afford to go, and I wanted to thank all of you who supported this effort.

Kate Bornstein, as many of you already know, couldn’t be there. Kylar Broadus spoke instead, & Mara Keisling was in attendance. It was a pleasure to get to do a workshop with her, where we talked about the nature of identity and advocacy. It was good stuff, and people seemed to like it, and we’re thinking of doing it again elsewhere.

Mostly I wanted to thank all of you who contributed. The photo is me, of course, making some emphatic point about the nominative case in the use of gender neutral pronouns.  Or I was saying something about binaries, microaggressions, or cis privilege. Something like that, anyway.

Help Me Bring the Trans to WI!

Posted by – January 15, 2014

Well hello lovely readers!

It’s rare for me to do this sort of thing, but there are a couple of cool events afoot that I’ve been part of that need your support. One of them is called the Trans Leadership Institute, and it’s a day of training for trans people + allies who want to know how to do education, outreach, & advocacy on trans/gender issues. It’s part of the work I do with Fair Wisconsin and the trans division of FW called T-Fair, and it’s part of the Trans Leadership Conference taking place in Milwaukee from February 7th – 9th.

In addition, there’s a gala on Saturday, February 8th, at which none other than Kate Bornstein is speaking! (You can even come if you want to!)

So here’s why I need your help:

1) Because we desperately need more attention on trans/gender issues in WI (as we do most everywhere).

2) I would like to see a few trans people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to go to be able to do so. That is, some folks would have to take a day off work, drive, etc., and I want to help offset their costs directly.

3) There is a gala dinner on the evening of the 8th, at which none other than Kate Bornstein will be speaking, and I’d like for some of the lower income trans people I know to be able to attend. Tickets for that are $125/pop, and at the very least, I’d like to fill a table of 8-10.

So, if you would, you can either (1) donate directly to Fair Wisconsin, because it’s tax deductible!, or, (2) you can donate directly to me. (With me, of course, your name will be known only to me.) If you do donate directly to FW, do make sure you tell them what the money is for and that I sent you!

& Of course, feel free to let me know where you’d prefer the money to go – to Fair Wisconsin generally, to offset the costs for trans people to afford T*LI, or to pay for gala tickets, or all three.

Fair Wisconsin LGBT Leadership Conference: Feb 7-9, 2014

Posted by – November 18, 2013

Online registration for the 2014 Wisconsin LGBT Leadership Conference is now open — register now and enjoy early bird rates!  Held February 7-9, 2014, we have another weekend full of inspiring speakers, educational workshops and fun social networking planned, and you won’t want to miss it.  Click here to learn more about the conference and register today!

SAVE THE DATE: February 8, 2014 — for the 2014 Annual Leadership Awards and Gala Dinner in Milwaukee, featuring a Keynote by Kate Bornstein!  This annual gala dinner is our largest event and is held the same weekend as the Leadership Conference (tickets sold separately).  Online registration is coming soon!  Please contact breianna.hr@fairwisconsin.com for more information about sponsorship opportunities, or to reserve a table today.

Dinner With Tammy Baldwin

Posted by – February 8, 2013

Tomorrow I’ll be at the Fair Wisconsin Education Fund’s conference; tonight, at Fair Wisconsin’s Gala Celebration, where Zach Wahls will be speaking and Tammy Baldwin will be in attendance.

I’m doing a workshop on gender identity and the LGBTQ, and there are tons more useful and interesting workshops and panels. You can check out the whole conference book here.

It’s not too late to register or buy a ticket to the gala dinner, so get on it!

Fair Wisconsin Gala! February 9th!

Posted by – February 2, 2013

Next Saturday, Fair Wisconsin’s Education Fund will be holding a Gala to celebrate the year’s victories and leadership, and yes, Tammy Baldwin will be in attendance!

Tickets are $125 a person, and the keynote speaker will be none other than Zach Wahls. I will be there, of course.

I will also be doing a workshop at Fair Wisconsin’s Leadership Conference as well, which is a very cool event – a great place to learn about a vast array of issues facing LGBTQ people. There are scholarships available for students – and it’s only $35 for students.

WI Domestic Partnerships

Posted by – December 22, 2012

In the midst of all this bad news – the NRA’s ongoing thick-headedness, Iowa’s full speed reversal into 1953 – there is some good news out of the state of Wisconsin: namely, that Wisconsin’s domestic partnership registry has been upheld as constitutional by a state appeals court.

This is especially good news as Wisconsin has a superDOMA in place, which not only bans same sex marriage but bans anything like marriage for same sex couples.

Here’s the basic gist:

Democratic lawmakers created the registry in 2009. Same-sex couples who join it are afforded a host of legal rights, including the right to visit each other in hospitals and make end-of-life decisions for one another. About 1,800 couples were on the registry at the end of 2011, according to the latest data from the state Department of Health Services.

Members of the conservative group Wisconsin Family Action filed a lawsuit in 2010 alleging the registry bestowed a legal status substantially similar to marriage to same-sex couples. The group argued that violates the Wisconsin Constitution’s ban on gay marriage.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen refused to defend the registry, declaring it was clearly unconstitutional. Former Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, appointed private attorneys to defend it, but Republican Gov. Scott Walker fired them after he took office in 2011 because he, too, believed the registry was unconstitutional.

Fair Wisconsin, the state’s largest gay rights group, stepped into the case to defend the registry. Dane County Circuit Judge Daniel Moeser ruled last summer that the registry was constitutional, finding it conveys a status that’s not identical or substantially similar to marriage.

Which means, in a nutshell, that right now is a damn good time to donate to Fair Wisconsin and thank them for their efforts on behalf of some very basic rights of same sex couples.

WI LGBT Survey

Posted by – November 7, 2011

Fair Wisconsin and Our Lives magazine need to hear from LGBT people – & their straight allies – who live in Wisconsin. Please fill out this survey for them, as both the organization and the magazine rock.

We are fighting some uphill battles here.

Appleton Domestic Partner Benefits

Posted by – September 25, 2011

I just got this note from Katie Belander of FAIR WI. As you all know, I was one of the “local LGBT leaders” who spoke at this Appleton Common Council meeting in favor of the city granting domestic partner benefits.

Earlier this month, I was proud to stand with local LGBT and allied leaders when the Appleton Common Council granted health care and related benefits to the registered domestic partners of city employees by a vote of 10 to 6.  This is a major step forward for Appleton, the Fox Valley and Wisconsin.

But anti-fairness forces are already gearing up to try to undo the progress we have made together.

Saturday morning, the Appleton Post Crescent ran a citizen’s letter calling domestic partner benefits a “cancer [that] must be killed before it spreads” by overturning “this immoral and fiscally imprudent policy through direct legislation by referendum.”

As we learned with the state domestic partnership registry, no victory will go unchallenged. And at Fair Wisconsin, no victory will go undefended.

If you can, please make a donation to FAIR WI so we’ve got the resources to fight this one.

Milwaukee County Adds Domestic Partner Benefits

Posted by – July 29, 2011

Good news from Fair Wisconsin:


FAIR WISCONSIN APPLAUDS MILWAUKEE COUNTY BOARD PASSAGE OF DOMESTIC PARTNER BENEFITS Board grants important protections to employees, moves County forward

Today members of the Milwaukee County Board approved a measure granting health care coverage to the same- and opposite-sex domestic partners of county employees. The final vote was 13-5.

“This decision marks an important victory for fairness. Providing equal employment benefits for all county employees is the right decision,” stated Katie Belanger, Executive Director of Fair Wisconsin.

“On behalf of Fair Wisconsin, other members of the Board of Directors and more than 20,000 members and activists statewide, I thank the members of the County Board and County Executive Chris Abele,” noted Fair Wisconsin Education Board President Robert Starshak. “The collective leadership of key board members, County Exec. Abele and other activists have been impressive. We look forward to continuing our work together to advance equality and move our state’s largest county forward.”

As the statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, Fair Wisconsin is proud to have worked closely with members of the County Board and the County Executive to support the passage of this resolution. Providing domestic partner benefits and creating a more inclusive workplace is a critical step towards building a stronger, more diverse workforce that will lead Milwaukee County in the years ahead.

With the passage of this resolution, Milwaukee County has joined a growing number of employers who already grant their employees these critical protections, including the State of Wisconsin, the City of Milwaukee and Marquette University, and top private sector employers like Aurora Health Care and MillerCoors.

Me, Trans Ally

Posted by – June 30, 2011

Our Lives magazine came to the awards ceremony when I received my Activist award from Fair Wisconsin, and asked me to write a little something based on my remarks that night. So I did, and it’s in this month’s issue.

This is the fourth year and the fourth time I’ve taught a Transgender Lives course at Lawrence University in Appleton. We always spend a week of the course specifically on violence against trans people—the kind of transphobia and gender panic that cause people to be so brutal. And every year, the week before we start that section, I tell my students that we only have to wait a little while before a new case of trans violence is reported. I can say that on Thursday, and by the time we’re beginning the section the following Tuesday, I’ve been proven right. There is always one. Last year Chanel Larkin was murdered right here in Milwaukee. I want to see a year where it’s not true, and another and another, and hopefully, eventually, I will only teach that section of Trans Lives as history.

Go read the whole thing. It’s a cool magazine.

Pride: NY & Fair WI

Posted by – June 27, 2011

On the same weekend that New York made same sex marriage legal – with no residency requirement, no less! – I started working with Fair Wisconsin = a lovely way to spend the last weekend of Pride Month, no?