Tuesday, April 22, 2014

UCLA hosts First Pride Admit Weekend for LGBTQ admitted students

The weekend of April 19-20, 2014, UCLA students hosted Pride Admit Weekend (PAW), the campus's first-ever LGBTQ overnight admitted student weekend for 9 students from across the country. Organizers believe it may be the first of its kind in the nation.

"UCLA offers several ethnic-specific overnight programs geared to increase yield of a diverse students, yet no specific program focused on LGBTQ student diversity," says Raja Bhattar, director of the LGBT Campus Resource Center. "In response, our students have worked to develop the first overnight program built to highlight all the resources our campus has to offer and increase LGBTQ student enrollment at UCLA in the fall."

UCLA students braved many obstacles and navigated campus to identify LGBTQ admitted students and hosted them for two days of panels, activities and even a queer short film festival in collaboration with OutFest. They aimed to demonstrate the diversity of the queer community at UCLA and all the ways they could get involved if they choose to come to campus in the Fall.

Check out UCLA students bidding farewell to PAW students… in song!

"We hope this first cohort of students will be the beginning of a year-long leadership development program and serve as a pipeline for campus-wide LGBTQ visibility and involvement," says Raja.

UCLA's Pride Admit Weekend will be an annual program in collaboration with Bruin Day, LGBTQ Student Leadership Council, The LGBT campus Resource Center, the Gender, Sexuality and Society Floor, Office of Residential Life and the VC of Student Affairs.

UCLA Daily Bruin: "UCLA students host first Pride Admit Weekend"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

CSU Northridge hosts Trans Leadership Summit April 11-13, 2014

The Transgender Law Center is partnering with host CSUN to present the Transgender Leadership Summit this 11-13, 2014. New this year is a Trans People of Color Summit on Friday, and a Campus Track of programs Saturday & Sunday.

The 8th Annual Transgender Leadership Summit is a one-of-a-kind leadership conference that builds the foundation for community members to take action for transgender equality and justice through informative workshops ranging in topics from legal, health care, organizational development and much more.

The Pre-conference Institute for Trans and Gender Non Conforming People of Color is for Trans and Gender Non Conforming People of Color to build our awareness of the issues our communities face and discuss strategies and solutions toward building a broader movement that centers our experiences.The institute is from 9am to 4pm on Friday, April 11th. RSVP for this institute to kris@transgenderlawcenter.org

TLS Registration is online here (scroll down to the bottom for the online form). Rates are from $10 (low-income) to $50 (regular).

Visit the TLS 2014 Facebook page.

A Ride/Room Share Facebook page can be found here.


FRIDAY April 11, 2014Pre-Institute For Trans and GNC People of Color (9am-4pm)Gender and Name Change Clinic (11am-4pm)Film Screenings (1pm-5pm)Registration (2pm)Plenary and Opening Reception (6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
SATURDAY April 12, 2014Registration (8am)Workshops and Plenary (9am-4:30pm)Evening Party – Host Committee (7pm)
SUNDAY April 13, 2014Registration (8am)Workshops and Plenary (9am-3:30pm)


Valerie Spencer
Valerie Spencer has worked in the arena of Social Services, focusing on health disparities as it relates to Transgender persons and others within LGBT communities for over two decades (that’s 20 years folks). Over time she has worked with the federal government, health departments, universities, community groups, conferences and community based organizations around the country ranging from capacity building training, national advocacy consultation, and of course those key note addresses she is famous for. The directive she gives herself is simple, to make the complex comprehensive. Valerie has even dipped into artistic endeavors by co-staring in the 2004 V-Day production of, “The Vagina Monologues”, featuring an ensemble cast of all Trans-Women cast and the documentary, “Beautiful Daughters”, which aired on LOGO and Showtime networks. In 2011 Christopher Street West (CSW) – LA Gay Pride honored Valerie with the prestigious Berman Shaffer award, given for her years of community service in progressive action. In this same year the California Legislative LGBT caucus conferred upon her a state resolution recognizing her as a statewide and national leader in the movement for LGBT political and social freedoms. Currently she is pursuing her Masters degree in Social work at California State University Long Beach.

Pat Cordova-Goff
Pat is a  17-year-old senior at Azusa High School. Identifying with the Queer community at the start of her high school career, she gladly began my journey as an activist. Living in a religiously-influenced town, this was not the easiest, especially following her coming out as transgender. Nevertheless, she was taught to walk with her head high and has a jump in her step. Being elected as ASB President, running for Homecoming Queen, and making the Varsity softball team, she intends to continue to live her life, happily, respecting her identity. With that, she will also continue to advocate and work for Queer community to ensure every person is able to experience true happiness, acceptance, and peace themselves, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Jay Toole aka Super Butch
Born in 1948, Jay Toole grew up in an Irish Catholic home in the South Bronx during the 1950’s. At the age of 13, Jay returned home with the classic butch haircut of the day, a flat top. Her father threw her out immediately, with no one and nowhere to turn. For the next 8 years she lived on a park bench in Washington Square Park, a unique viewing perspective for the evolution of the 1960’s in the West Village. Ultimately she did not get off the streets or have an apartment to call her own until November 2000. She spent the five years prior navigating the NYC homeless shelter system. During her time on the streets she was arrested for crimes such as sleeping on a subway bench, sexual deviancy resulting from not wearing 3 articles of women’s clothing and much more. Jay was also beaten and abused by the NYPD regularly; she has visible scars on her leg to this day. She became addicted to drugs and alcohol as the only coping method available. Jay identifies the one reason she made her way out of the shelter system being the assistance of a few supportive queer individuals from the outside.
It’s precisely this kind of hands-on support that led Jay in 2002 to become a Co-Founder and the Shelter Director at Queers for Economic Justice (QEJ), a progressive non-profit org. committed to promoting economic justice in a context of sexual and gender liberation. From 2002-2012 Jay spearheaded movements at QEJ, which resulted in 2 written policy changes at the Dept. of Homeless Services (DHS) and the City of New York. In January of 2006 transgender folks were ensured the right to self determine which side (male/female) of the shelter system to enter. In 2007 a policy was created for homeless queer families to be housed and sheltered together. These policies continue to be honored today. Because of Jay’s work QEJ became the first and only LGBTQ organization to facilitate support groups for queer individuals inside the shelter system. Doors are open in these support groups regardless of gender identity, legal or immigration issues, mental or physical health needs, or substance abuse.
Jay began a new chapter in 2012, moving forward with her long time dream of Jay’s House. Currently she is working alongside her team to create the very first LGBTQ adult shelter in the country. Jay’s House will bring together a resource center, support and services, housing, follow up care, skill shares, mentorships and hold hands as people move through difficult systems, such as health care.