After Thwarted Kidnapping Plans, Whitmer Calls for Unity

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]

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Trans empowerment day holds seminars, spreads awareness

By |2018-01-16T02:57:02-05:00May 20th, 2010|News|

Each year, the number of resources for transgender people grows. One reason for that is because of events like Transgender Detroit’s annual Transgender Day of Empowerment, which is held at Affirmations.
This year’s event on May 15 gave transpeople and allies an opportunity to talk with representatives from groups like Kick, Transgender Michigan, the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit and Transgender Detroit about what each group does.
Michelle Fox-Phillips, founder of Transgender Detroit, said that community support and understanding of transgender people is growing. “There are a few new support groups that we know about,” she commented, “and this year we had a great panel of people that helped plan this.”
Over two dozen people showed up to the Saturday event to learn about various aspects of transgendered life. “There were seminars on legal issues and political issues that affect transgender people,” Fox-Phillips said. “Another talk was about how to contact representatives in Lansing and Washington, D.C.”
Other seminars at the event included one on transitioning in the workplace. There was also a Diversity Panel discussion held with local activists Ryan Oliver, Julien Lanway, Arlene Kish and Colt Spacer.
Many groups also had informational tables or a presence at the event, including the Black Pride Society, Detroit Latin@z, the Ruth Ellis Center and Transgender Michigan.
Fox-Phillips noted that despite an increased presence and acceptance of transgender people, there is still a long way to go.
“There is so much more work that needs to be done,” she said. “I’m so worried that the trans population is under employed and not employed. The one thing I learned last Saturday is how many trans women use brake fluid as substitute hormones. I knew about industrial-grade silicone being used, but not brake fluid. This really disturbs me. We do not need anyone dying because of this practice.”
Transgender Day of Empowerment also reminded people of groups they could join throughout the state as trans people, or as allies.
The Tri-county Transgender group in Rochester meets at Pure Laser on the second Sunday of every month from 3-5 p.m.
Transitions’ meeting is held at 6-8 p.m. every Thursday in Utica. This group offers support and recreational activities for transgender people.
Transgender Rap meets at Affirmations at 7-9 p.m. every Tuesday. They also have representatives on hand from Transgender Michigan Thursdays from 6:30-9 p.m. to answer calls to their helpline at 1-800-398-4297.
Transgender Detroit and PFLAG Detroit have teamed up to provide a Transgender Support Group as part of their regular meetings on the second Sunday of each month. They meet at The Lutheran Church of the Master in Troy.
Announced on Saturday is a group for FTMs starting up in Flint, called the Mid-Michigan Chapter of FtM International. Their goals are to:
* Offer support to FtMs, drag kings, gender queers and female-assigned-at-birth persons who are questioning their gender, plus significant others, friends, family and allies.
* Advocate for FtMs at doctors’ offices, hospitals, schools, workplaces and social outlets
* Offer education to the community about FtMs and our needs
* Offer a safe place to be oneself
* Distribute the quarterly FtM International Newsletter
At 6 p.m. May 22, the group will meet for the first time to decide what to do as a chapter, where to meet, how often, what their priorities are. The first meeting will be held at the Hollywood Diner in Flint.

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