More and more I hear faith communities, schools, and organizations declare they want to do the work needed to stand in solidarity with transgender and gender non-binary people. This is good news.
While some have educated themselves and committed time and money towards learning about “gay and lesbian issues,” most groups still have lots to learn about transgender and gender non-binary people and their experiences in the world.
Many cisgender gays and lesbians remain ignorant to the specific challenges many transgender and gender non-binary people face. We all have a lot to learn. As we do, we strengthen our communities and can better offer meaningful companionship and solidarity.
There are many excellent people providing education and training. In this post I highlight two people I know who can help you and your group in deepening your understanding of transgender and gender non-binary issues.
J Mase III
J Mase III is a Black/trans/queer poet based in Seattle, by way of NYC. He is the author of “If I Should Die Under the Knife, Tell my Kidney I was the Fiercest Poet Around”, as well as “And Then I Got Fired: One Transqueer’s Reflections on Grief, Unemployment, and Inappropriate Jokes about Death”.
As an educator, J Mase has worked with thousands of community members in the US, the UK, and Canada on the needs of LGBTQIA youth and adults in spaces such as K-12 schools, universities, faith communities, and restricted care facilities among others.
He is the founder of awQward, the first ever trans and queer people of color specific talent agency.
His work and musings have been featured on MSNBC, NBC OUT, Essence Live, Atlanta Black Star, GO Magazine, Believe Out Loud, Everyday Feminism, Black Girl Dangerous, Upworthy, the New York Times, Buzzfeed, the Root, the Huffington Post and more.
J Mase and I will co-lead a workshop at the upcoming Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference. He like me is also a Bible geek of sorts, and we will present Gender Outlaws in the Bible. In addition to his presentations and workshops, J Mase III has been providing a platform for other trans people of color through the awQward talent agency. See their full list of presenters including J Mase III.
Scott Turner Schofield
He is an openly trans actor, currently appearing in the American TV program, The Bold and the Beautiful. A skilled writer and actor, Scott has toured the US and Europe with his original one-person shows. Wherever he has gone, he has led workshops on transgender issues. He explains,
My purpose in life is to inspire you, your school, your job, and your family to embrace transgender people. I am a business consultant, personal coach, and educational spokesperson – and one of the top speakers in the nation on the topic of transgender identity.
What that means is, I have a ton of experience at a very high level helping people “get” this “transgender thing.” Whether it’s for you, your family, or your workplace, I am here to help you.
Recently he has begun to offer on-line live workshops for groups. Saving the expense of travel and other expenses, you can video conference Scott in to present to your group. Here is what he offers:
We will work 1 on 1, I’ll meet you where you are, and we’ll address what matters to you on this topic with compassion, in-depth knowledge, and humor!
This might include (but is not limited to):
– Terminology and concepts
– Practical how-to information so you can feel confident interacting with transgender people
– Facts and sensitive analysis on hot topics like bathrooms and the military
Individual & Family
– Transition facts and strategies
– How to be sensitive and supportive
Business / Community
– Changing, creating, and implementing nondiscrimination policies
– Creating and being a part of a supportive workplace
Sessions run hourly. Multi-session discounts available.
For more info on scheduling Scott Turner Schofield, check out his Fiverr page.