by Marisa Richmond, Ph.D.
The Tennessee Transgender Political Action Committee (TTPAC) is looking forward to a busy October. The Tennessee Transgender Political Action Committee is an organization designed to educate and advocate on behalf of transgender related legislation at the Federal, State and local levels. The Committee is dedicated to raising public awareness and building alliances with other organizations concerned with equal rights legislation.
The highlight of the month is the group’s first ever Fundraising Dinner on October 23. Group members will be providing a home cooked spaghetti dinner. The keynote speaker will be Jenny Ford, Lobbyist for the Tennessee Equality Project and President of Jenny Ford Government Strategies. Tickets are $20 per person and the money raised will help support the lobbying activities of TTPAC with the Tennessee Congressional delegation, the Tennessee General Assembly, and local governments across the state. The dinner is being coordinated by Chrysis Monaco , Treasurer, ChrysisM@aol.com and Roxanne Fox, Secretary, Roxieslv2@aol.com.
Prior to the dinner, TTPAC will be visible in many ways across the state. TTPAC will make its fourth appearance on Queer Talk Radio in Nashville on October 8. The show, hosted by Dr. Joyce Arnold, can be heard on WRVU-FM (91.1) on Saturdays at 4pm .
TTPAC will be active in National Coming Out Day activities in both Nashville and Knoxville . The Nashville event, being held at Lipstick Lounge on Tuesday, October 11, is being co-sponsored by TTPAC for the second year in a row. Members will be donating food items to Second Harvest Food Bank. The Knoxville activities culminate in a march and rally featuring Mayor Bill Haslem. At least two members of TTPAC are likely to participate in the festivities.
The month ends with the Third Annual Nashville Black Pride, with the theme Liberation. In 2003 and 2004, TTPAC provided speakers to increase awareness of Transgender concerns. This year, TTPAC will have a table at the RHAPSODY IN RED on Saturday, October 29, at the Gibson Showcase Theatre in Opry Mills Mall.
All of the October activities follows an equally busy September for the members of TTPAC. At the center was the ongoing work to educate elected officials in the Federal, State and Local Governments about Transgender concerns, which helped in getting three members of Tennessee Congressional delegation to vote in favor of a Transgender inclusive Hate Crimes bill on September 14, the first time in history that either House of Congress had voted to pass trans inclusive legislation.
Several members and supporters also offered assistance to GLBT victims of Hurricane Katrina who were displaced to Tennessee . This included housing, food, clothing, job referral, and school counseling. In addition, TTPAC members met with the staff at Nashville area shelters to make them aware of the recently written guidelines for supporting Transgender evacuees which had been prepared by Lambda Legal, National Center for Transgender Equality, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
When TTPAC was created in May 2003, one of the key stances adopted was for Marriage Equality for all persons. For that reason, TTPAC is endorsing the Marriage Initiative Campaign being organized by the Tennessee Equality Project and the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee.
TTPAC also recently participated in the Cooper-Young Festival in Midtown Memphis to increase awareness of the Transgender community and at the Southern Comfort Conference in Atlanta , the largest Transgender gathering in the nation.
For more information about the Tennessee Transgender Political Action Committee, visit http://tenntg.com or contact TTGPAC@aol.com, PO Box 92335, Nashville 37209.