Blogging for Transgender Equality: History, Challenges and Progress
Session Type(s): Panel
Starts: Friday, Jun. 8 10:30 AM
Ends: Friday, Jun. 8 11:45 AM
Room: Ballroom B
Transgender advocacy has exploded in recent years in no small part due to the ability of transgender people to connect nationally online. The immediate and swift outcry against the proposed stripping of gender identity protections in the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) demonstrated this community’s online power. But while blogging significantly shapes political activity within the transgender community, there is a risk that all of the community’s concerns may not be considered in online responses to real-world events. This panel will explore the historical development of the activated transgender community and the impact blogging and online activism have on its formation and focus. Presenters will share examples of the powerful role this online community plays in moving transgender rights forward, while also examining what is missing from the conversation.
Dr. Jillian T. Weiss is Professor of Law and Society at Ramapo College of New Jersey, where her research area is transgender workplace law. She has authored numerous academic publications, and her work has been featured by media including The New York Times and Associated Press. She is Associate Editor of The Bilerico Project, a blog of LGBT politics and culture, and has a leadership role in LGBT rights organizations, including Lambda Legal, a national LGBT impact litigation organization, GetEqual, a direct action LGBT rights organization, and The Williams Institute Advisory Board, an LGBT rights think-tank at UCLA Law School. She provides consulting services for employers, including Harvard University, Boeing and New York City, and pro bono legal representation in cases involving gender identity discrimination. She is a member of the National LGBT Bar Association, and Chair of the Planning Committee for its annual Transgender Law Institute.
Jennifer L. Levi is a leading national expert on transgender legal issues. At GLAD since 1998, she has served as lead counsel in a number of precedent setting cases establishing basic rights for transgender people. These cases include: Doe v. Yunits, in which Jennifer represented a transgender student denied the right to attend school because of the clothing she wore; Rosa v. Park West Bank, which established key protections for transgender people under federal law; Beger v. DMA, which resulted in a reversal of Division of Medical Assistance’s refusal to cover breast surgery for a transgender woman, among many others. Jennifer was also co-counsel in the case of Goodridge v. Dep’t Public Health which established the right of same-sex couples to marry in Massachusetts. Jennifer is the co-editor of Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy, and is a Professor of Law at Western New England University.
Monica Roberts, aka the TransGriot, is a native Houstonian and a trailblazing trans community leader who transitioned in 1994. She’s a writer, award winning blogger, history buff, thinker, lecturer and IFGE Trinity Award winning advocate on trans human rights issues who works diligently at encouraging acceptance of and promoting awareness about trans people inside and outside the African-American community.
Monica’s writings on trans issues from an Afrocentric perspective have been published at EBONY.com, Feministe, Racialicious, Womanist Musings, and What Tami Said
Autumn Sandeen is the Trans Progressive columnist at LGBT Weekly, as well as a long time blogger on Pam’s House Blend. Autumn is pehaps best known for being the transgender Persian Gulf War veteran who handcuffed herself to the White House fence twice with GetEqual in 2010 over repeal of DADT, for coverning the Angie Zapata Hate Crime Murder Trial from the courtroom, and for being one of the first of two transgender journalists certified to cover a Democratic National Convention (2008).
Jos Truitt is a Boston native and recent transplant to San Francisco. She joined the team at Feministing.com in July 2009 and became an Editor in August 2011. Jos attended Hampshire College where she coordinated the school’s annual national reproductive justice conference. After college she worked in the reproductive health, rights and justice movements in Washington, DC. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about transgender issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos is currently pursuing an MFA in Printmaking at San Francisco Art Institute.