Jennifer Chrisler, and Kimberly Lang, had the opportunity to attend
Creating Change, coined “the premier national grassroots organizing
and skills building LGBT conference,” in Kansas City, MO. With over
2,500 activists, leaders, students, and elected officials in
attendance, Creating Change was a transformative experience for
The week before they left for the conference, Trina and Kim sat
down to talk about which workshops would most benefit Family Pride.
They determined that they would each strive to – become an expert
on a subject – Trina on race and class, Kim on transgender
inclusion – and chose workshops accordingly.
At the beginning of a session on transgender inclusion, Kim was
asked to decide where Family Pride exists on the trans-inclusion
continuum. She was surprised to see that our organization is at
Stage 2 of 5. Family Pride added the “T” to LGB in 1998, but has
never actually offered trans-inclusive programming or done
trans-inclusive advocacy work – necessary steps to be in Stage 3.
When she looked around the room, she realized that our dilemma is
common; all of the LGBT organizations in the room were struggling
to learn how to do trans-inclusion well.
The race and class workshops Trina attended, in many ways,
paralleled the transgender-inclusion workshops. Trina learned that,
on the 6-step continuum of anti-racism, Family Pride was currently
on Step 3. In other words, the organization “sees itself as being
committed to including people of color,” but isn’t actively working
to change historically exclusive patterns.
The good news is, we now know what we don’t know. Kim learned to
think inclusively – for example, we should always have a changing
room at events so that trans people can present in the way they
feel most comfortable – and knows what steps we need to take to get
to Stage 3. And Trina learned how to ensure our actions are
anti-racist and low-income-inclusive, and knows what we need to do
to get Step 4.
After the conference, Trina and Kim presented what they’d learned
to the rest of the staff. Although it was initially overwhelming,
we’re excited to say that everyone is completely onboard. This year
will be monumental for Family Pride. In addition to offering an
array of new programs in 2007, Family Pride is now actively working
to become transgender-inclusive, anti-racist, and