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Pride Series – Liam LaFleur

Introduction

Trans Pride is something that I think all trans people have us, even when some of us have or still deal with internal transphobia. When I first realized, I was trans I had a lot of internal transphobia and honestly it still flares its evil head sometimes. Despite that I am proud to be trans and I wouldn’t choose not to be if I had a magic wand to be cis. Being trans and the journey I have been on, has made me who I am and bettered my life overall. No matter what be proud of who you we, who you are now and who you are becoming. 

Meet Liam LaFleur (he/him/his)

Liam (Lobotomy) LaFleur is a 38-year-old and who lives in the Chicago land area of Chicago Illinois. He started his medical transition in march 2012 and has gone in and out of visibility throughout it. Liam is originally from South Florida and has traveled a bit living in New York City, Jersey City, Georgia, and rural central Florida. He is happily married to his wife Tam for just over a year. He is a proud (most of the time) Cat Dad to 3 balls of fluffy terror. He co-hosts a true crime based pod cast with his wife called Die It Black. Liam is an artist that works with a variety of mediums, though he tends to learn towards Gothic horror based portraits. He is also a musician, loves to sing, play guitar, and bass. Liam is a part of the 3 piece all trans pop punk band Size of Sadness. He also plays bass guitar for an upcoming Alt-Country group Casey and the pickups. He is also a writer and has been putting together a collection of poetry.

Podcast Episode

In this episode, we talk about:

–       Pride visibility 

–       Pride History

–       Geographical Differences in Pride

–       Trans Pride

Quotables

“Pride means to me being able to take less favorable events not just in our past but our communities to keep it as a reminder why we are so visible.” – Liam LaFleur

“It gave me a place to find people and the support group I eventually went to.” – Liam LaFleur

“I don’t walk around with it as a label but if someone were to ask me or the discussion were to come up I would have no problem talking about it.” – Liam LaFleur

“I felt the climate change when he was getting elected.” – Liam LaFleur

Pride Series – Riley Gold

Introduction

What does it meant to have Pride to you? We all answer this in our own different way. This answer can change over your life span or simply change from a big or small life event. The feeling of Pride can be overwhelming or even underwhelming depending on where you are in the journey we call life. Remember what pride means to you isn’t and shouldn’t be the same as someone else’s. Embrace your journey and the pride you have in yourself because at the end of the day and at the end of your life the only person you truly have to answer to is yourself. 

Meet Riley Gold (he/him/his)

Riley Beau Gold is a transgender man, born in the UK and recently immigrated to the US to be with his American wife. Riley is a human empowerment engineer and coach with a neuroscience background and over 8 years of coaching experience working with an eclectic mix of amazing humans.

The creator and founder of Fearless Humans, Riley utilizes and embraces both brain science and spiritual methods and practices to create programs and experiences and to coach, mentor and teach. His own experience and journey as a transgender man has given him deeper insight and understanding into the very human journey to come all the way out about who we are and to embrace and shine our unique light in the world.

He believes that the greatest freedom you will ever have in life is the freedom to be who you are and that your power lies in the remembering, defining and tapping into it. Everything he creates is designed to support his mission and message to empower and support beautiful humans to show up as all that they are and to give the world all that they’ve got.

Podcast Episode

In this episode, we talk about:

–       What is means to feel pride

–       Feeling connected

–       Pride in the UK vs USA

Quotables

“When I start to think about pride the opposite of pride is being shamed.” – Riley Gold

“Pride is being a joy in your being.” – Riley Gold

“Pride is kind of like coming all the way out, not just coming out of the closet but literally being all the way as who you are.” – Riley Gold

“We need to be around be we feel connected to.” Riley Gold

Pride Series – Greg Green

Introduction

Pride is supposed to be fun and happy, but we should also remember how pride started. The beginnings of pride were rough for those going through it especially trans people. They struggled to get recognition and rights and as trans people we are still fighting these same fights today. Despite the hard things involved with pride we also need to embrace the part of pride that is fun and exciting. The part of pride that make up all the amazing events that happen around what pride stands for. We have fought hard over the last 50 years and although we still have a long way to go we should cherish pride and what it truly is for. To have fun and celebrate who you are. 

Meet Greg Green (he/him/his)

Greg Green a trans man from South Carolina. You might remember him from episode 38. Greg graduated from The Citadel in 2006 with a degree in Psychology. After working 5 years as a Police Officer and Firefighter, he began working in the trade business at FedEx. Greg has been a member of Tau Kappa Phi Inc., a non-profit LGBT Greek lettered organization since 2004. During this time, he helped to maintain a space within Tau Kappa Phi for transgender men, Alpha Omega Kappa Fraternity, Inc. serving as the first president of the organization. Greg served as a moderator for a transgender support group at Garden of Grace United Church of Christ. He has been on the board of South Carolina Equality as the chairman of the Trans Action Task Force. Greg has spoken in Washington DC with the U.S. Department of Justice; Federal Bureau of Prisons, Dorn VA Hospital, Federal Correction Institution; Edgefield, SC, Federation of Families Summer Summit and various other engagements. He also runs the Transgender Awareness Alliance. 

Podcast Episode

In this episode, we talk about:

–       What pride should be

–       Navigating being POC and trans

–       What happened to the “B” and the “T”?

–       Having fun at pride events

Quotables

“Pride is just the sense of comfort to be able to be who you are, to be out and to be proud of it.” – Greg Green

“I would like to see it change to be more inclusive.” – Greg Green

“There is a “T” in LGBT.” – Greg Green

Pride Series – Mikaela Alexandria

Introduction

Discrimination is something the trans community deals with every day in many different ways. It’s something trans people have been fighting against since the beginning with Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera at the forefront in 1969. But honestly, we were dealing with discrimination against us centuries before that.  Those two women stood up against not just straight people but also against cisgender gay people. We have been discriminated against for centuries and its time we put our foot down and stomp out discrimination against us.  

Meet Mikaela Alexandria (she/her/hers)

Mikaela Alexandria, born in 1961, is a transgender woman who grew up in a family of 4 brothers and no sisters. She grew up in a small suburban town north of Chicago and after high school, served in the US Navy from 1980-1992. After transitioning to civilian life, she went on to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems (2003). She finally discovered she was transgender in September 2019 at the age of 57. Being a late transitioner, she’s learning new things every day and has been on HRT for only 6 months. Besides her love of travel, she also enjoys cooking and keeping fit riding her bicycle. She’s currently working as a Computer Network Engineer in downtown Chicago.

Podcast Episode

In this episode, we talk about:

–       Being proud of yourself

–       Trans Elders

–       Discrimination

Quotables

“Pride means to be proud of who I am.” – Mikaela Alexandria

“The people that came before me gave me the ability to come out and transition.” – Mikaela Alexandria

“Discrimination is a taught social trait, it’s not something we are born with.” – Mikaela Alexandria

Pride Series – Elten Friday

Introduction

Love and community is what pride is all about. The LGBTQ+ community every year comes together to celebrate our love for the community we are a part of. We come together with open arms and acceptance regardless of who you are. We march together in the parades across the world to be visible and proud of each other. Proud of where we have come from and where we are going. Love is never ending in the LGBTQ+ community and let’s make sure we continue to show the world that we love unconditionally. 

Meet Elten Friday (they/them)

Elten Friday, is a non-binary and openly gay adult living near Chicago Illinois. They use They/Them pronouns. Elten works as a social worker in the foster care system and has a passion for LGBTQIA+ issues. They are leading change with LGBTQIA+ training and practices in their company along with other passionate people. They are pursuing a master’s degree in social work and counseling so that they can better help LGBTQIA+ youth. It is their mission in life to help others. 

Podcast Episode

In this episode, we talk about:

–       Being visible

–       Love and community

–       Fighting for our rights

Quotables

“It’s a time when we can be visible and be out in public and see people like us.” – Elten Friday

“Pride is about love and community.” – Elten Friday

“We have a lot more fighting to do, we don’t have all the rights yet.” – Elten Friday

Pride Series – Gearah Goldstein

Introduction

Inequity is something the trans community has been dealing with for a long time. It is something that people like Gearah and people before her fight to eradicate every day. We see inequity in not just big things like taking away trans healthcare, but other things like job access. As long as we continue to fight these battles we will win the war. I know sometimes it doesn’t feel like we are moving very far very fast, but we need to continue to stay strong and fight together because we will be triumphant. 

Meet Gearah Goldstein (she/her/hers)

Gearah is an inclusion and diversity consultant and nationally-recognized LGBTQ subject matter expert who works tirelessly to focus on and illuminate the importance of discussing topics of race, gender, ethnicity, age, equity, disability, acceptance, and understanding. Her transgender life experience and people-first attitude encourage a positive learning environment that opens hearts and minds. Gearah is warm, approachable, engaging and always finds ways to bring people together. 

A main focus of her work involves training within businesses, organizations, government agencies, hospital networks, law-enforcement personnel, and schools. Her training curriculum employs best practices as outlined in the WPATH Standards of Care and HRC’s Corporate Equality Index. 

Gearah is frequently quoted in the media supporting the narrative of accepting and protecting people who identify within the LGBTQ community. Over the last several years, her visibility has reached millions of people around the world. She has been featured in influential national media including: The TODAY Show; The New York Times; Rolling Stone; ABC, CBS, NBC national news; The Chicago Tribune; NPR, and many other outlets. 

Gearah is often invited to speak at professional conferences, universities, and schools.

She is also co-founder of The GenderCool Project, a national storytelling campaign that showcases successful and talented young people who identify as transgender. GenderCool is empowering the world to see diversity as positive and important.

As a community advocate, Gearah has trained more than 2,000 volunteers through Chicago’s Center on Halsted, the largest LGBTQ center in the Midwest. In addition, she founded the Transfeminine Alliance Chicago, which meets weekly. She is also credited with bringing LGBTQ policies and procedures to school districts across the state of Illinois.

Gearah is committed to bringing positivity and visibility to your inclusion and diversity approach.

Podcast Episode

In this episode, we talk about:

–       Race inequities

–       Equity for LGBTQ+ people

–       Oppression

–       Title VII Decision

Quotables

“Pride is about who we love and not who we fear.” – Gearah Goldstein

“This year I think the layers of Pride and the conversation of being the intersection of pride and race, sexual orientation and race, fluidity and race, it has changed and for the better.” Gearah Goldstein

“Many of us were afraid of the oppression we knew existed but we did not want to partake in as a participant.” – Gearah Goldstein

“There is nothing like fighting for rights as a person.” – Gearah Goldstein

Pride Series – Malcolm Ribot

Introduction

Being proud to be a trans person isn’t always something that is easily accomplished. It is something personally for me that eves and flows. It can be real difficult being a trans person in today’s world and due to that it makes me go back to my years of feeling transphobic towards myself. Unfortunately, those things don’t give me the ability to be proud of being trans and be proud of who I am. This is something I believe many trans people deal with on a daily basis. Despite the hardships we go through we need to make sure we stay proud of who we are and proud of having a trans experience. 

Meet Malcolm Ribot (he/him/his)

Malcolm Ribot is, a trans man who is a community builder, avid hiker, graphic designer, artist, constant wanderer, wiggler, and man of trans experience. He was born in Maryland and grew up in PA, Germany, UT, IN, and IL – where he graduated with his Bachelor’s in Graphic Design. After working at a travel goods company for 5 years as their packaging designer, he left for life on the road and found his true purpose and calling as the FTM Traveler.

In June, 2015, he began traveling with his trusty copilot Catahoula pup, Grayson, connecting fellow men of trans experience with one another – helping folks like him see that they are not alone, and that there are other folks like them often even nearby. He’s done so in 49/50 states, Vancouver, Brighton, and Berlin thus far – with much more to come. He now also volunteers, works with, and partners with his favorite non-profit The Venture Out Project bringing together queer folks in the outdoors – combining 2 of his great passions into 1!

His trans experience, and his efforts have been featured by/in: NBC OUT, Buzzfeed, Transform Washington, and much more. 

Podcast Episode

In this episode, we talk about:

–       Pride Celebrations

–       Pride in being a trans man

–       Being visible

Quotables

“To recognize where we came from and be out and open and be who we are.” – Malcolm Ribot

“My pride in being a trans man has shifted throughout my journey.” – Malcolm Ribot

“Feeling is not linear.” – Malcolm Ribot

“It’s still important because our rights and protections keep getting taken away.” – Malcolm Ribot

Pride Series – Marc Renaud

Introduction

Do you remember your first pride event? I remember mine distinctively and how I felt in that moment I stepped down the street of the pride festival. It was like I was looking at my family, the family I had longed for, for so long. Despite knowing other queer people existed I always felt alone until I was at my first pride event. In that moment, I realized there were so many of us out there and so many of us fighting the hard fight. Pride events are meant to bring community together and for many it’s the only time of the year that they get to be a part of that community. Despite many places around the world not being able to have those events this year we continue to celebrate and have different kinds of events. Get ready because all the pride events to come are waiting for you to lift your head up and find the community you have been longing for. 

Meet Marc Renaud (he/him/his)

Marc Renaud is a 37-year-old, married transman from Michigan, born and raised. Marc is a advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and founder and co-host of Trans A.M. Podcast. Marc co-hosts the podcast with his wife, Ashley in which they discuss transitioning, marriage, work, family, coming out, life, LGBTQ issues and many other topics. By day, Marc is a Team Lead and Legal Assistant at a Real Estate Law Firm who specializes in helping people keep and stay in their homes. After spending nearly, a decade working in Real Estate Law, Marc knows the ins and outs of Real Estate Law in 8 jurisdictions. Marc is major animal lover and loves being a father to their dog, Ty, their cat, Theo and their turtle, Squirtle! Marc also is an avid music lover, 420 lover and lover of all humans.

Podcast Episode

In this episode, we talk about:

–       Being a part of the LGBTQ community

–       First pride experiences

–       Normalcy?? What’s that?

Quotables

“The first pride experience for me was life changing.” – Marc Renaud

“Pride is love, human connection and speaking.” – Marc Renaud

“We just want to live our normal lives.” – Marc Renaud

Queer Kid Stuff

Lindsay ‘Lindz’ Amer creates LGBTQ+ and social justice media for kids and families. Through their multi-media production company, Queer Kid Creative, they write, produce, and co-host Queer Kid Stuff, an original LGBTQ+ educational webseries for all ages, and a brand new family-friendly podcast called Activist, You! where they explore social justice topics through interviews with kid & youth activists. They perform QKS music and stories at schools, museums, libraries, and local LGBTQ+ community centers around the country. They recently performed to a packed house at the Bill and Melinda Gates Discovery Center in Seattle, WA as a part of Amplifier’s We The Future Campaign. Artwork from the campaign depicting Lindsay has been distributed to over 13,000 schools and seen by an estimated 500,000 students nation-wide. They are a fellow with The Coaching Fellowship, a Creative Resident at SPACE on Ryder Farm, and a TED Resident, they were named a Rising Star by GLAAD, a 2018 Queero by them.us, were a 2018 Webby Honoree, and have received grants from the Tegan and Sara Foundation, Made in NYC Women’s Media Fund, the Awesome Project, and VidCon’s Emerging Creator program. The Huffington Post calls Queer Kid Stuff a “groundbreaking YouTube educational resource.” Teen Vogue praised their episode on consent during the height of #MeToo that “shows exactly why there’s no excuse not to grasp consent. Even toddlers can understand it.” And @shondarhimes tweeted she’s “so here for this!” Lindz is currently developing a picture book, scripts for television, and a full-length screenplay about a non-binary kid!

– JULY 28, 2020

Title VII Update with Mason Dunn

 Introduction
 
We were VICTORIOUS!!! We conquered Title VII despite the hardships we were facing, but we still have fights to win. Despite this wonderful victory there were things in the pipeline for the Supreme Court that either they chose not to weigh in on or voted not in our favor. We need to keep these things in mind when we do win a victory. Remember we are fighting a war and we will win some battles and lose some battles, but we have to keep our eye on winning the big prize. We have been fighting to pass the Equality Act for 30 years now. So please make sure you go out and vote in November. We need to win the rights for all.  
 
Meet Mason Dunn (he/they)
 
Mason Dunn (he/him or they/them) is the State and Local Policy Manager for GLSEN. They are the former Executive Director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), and has worked in the national movement for transgender rights for over 15 years. During their time at MTPC, Mason successfully advocated for the advancement of non-binary gender markers on Massachusetts state ID’s, participated in coalition to address restrictions in healthcare and gender marker changes on Massachusetts birth certificates, and worked to build the coalition which passed state-wide nondiscrimination protections in public accommodations for transgender and non-binary people. In 2018, Mason co-chaired the historic 2018 Yes on 3 campaign, which successfully defended the Massachusetts’ trans-inclusive public accommodation nondiscrimination law, in the nation’s first ever state-wide vote on transgender rights.

Beyond their full-time work, Mason teaches at UNH in Manchester in the Communication’s Department, is a board member with The Equality Federation, and serves on the state Commission on LGBTQ Youth. Mason is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association, and a 2012 graduate of the University of New Hampshire School of Law with the Daniel Webster Honor’s Scholar Program.
 
Podcast Episode
In this episode, we talk about:
–       Title 7 Update
–       Title 9
–       Trans Healthcare setbacks
–       Equality Act
 
Quotables
 
“It’s still the early days, we still have lawyers at the federal level saying I don’t know what this means.” – Mason Dunn
 
“Largely religious employers for whom religion is an existential part of the job function are exempt from these types of non-discrimination protections.” – Mason Dunn
 
“Gorsuch argument was that Title Vii discrimination covers gender identity and sexual orientation.” – Mason Dunn
 
“What’s next is passing the Equality Act.” – Mason Dunn