TransHaven – Who We Are and What We Do

TransHaven (incorporated as TransHaven Missouri) came into being on the evening of June 26th, 2009 when a phone call was received from trans woman in Central Missouri who was looking for somewhere to stay, she had fears of violence coming from her neighbors. A group of individuals tried to find her a place to stay, but found there was no known place to suggest given the urgency of the need. From that evening, TransHaven was informally put together, given a long list of issues facing the Trans Community of Missouri. Often taken as an organization working in and for the St Louis area, TransHaven began working it’s advocacy in various manners and projects across Missouri and Southern Illinois.

TransHaven is a Board-only non-profit organization incorporated in the State of Missouri and last fall became a 501(c)3 Non-profit (Pending) organization registered with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), awaiting our final tax-exempt status. While one common belief is that TransHaven is a social services organization, it is in fact not. TransHaven’s Charter and Mission Statement is one of social justice and advocacy. While we understand the need for them, we do not provide support groups, social networking or provide references to legal and medical aid.

Instead, TransHaven works an advocacy to remove barriers, address discrimination and violence towards the Trans Community. TransHaven lobbies to the limit allowed by the IRS, supports other social justice organizations as advisors and occasionally provides lectures and training to Universities, groups and organizations to help educate them of the Trans Community.

So what are we doing? TransHaven began it’s first major step by working with PROMO and Alderman Shane Cohn, to bring Gender Identity/Gender Expression language into St Louis’ Non-Discrimination policy. We are working with the City of St Louis to help develop transitional shelters for all LGBT homeless and we are working with Missouri’s Department of Revenue to bring identity document reform for Trans individuals in Missouri. We are a member organization of the Missouri Safe School’s Coalition in an advisory role, we are lobbyist’s for the Missouri Non-Discrimination Act (MONA) in which we are working to help bring job protections to all that are LGBT in Missouri. Even more recently, we are working to bring about a fair Voter ID Act, which in it’s present form, may take away the right to vote for many trans-identified individuals.

But we aren’t done. When the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS) report came out this past February, we requested the specific data for Missouri from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and decided we wanted more from more people. So we developed our own survey based upon that and one done by TransOhio and hope to reach out to the finite corners of Missouri and capture those that did not participate in the NTDS. From our survey and the data from the NTDS, TransHaven will develop our own Policy Priority on helping to remove barriers of the Trans Community in Missouri.

TransHaven – Advocates for Trans Equality

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Trans Survey Launches at St Louis LGBT Health and Resource Fair

On April 16, TransHaven will be launching their “Trans-Missouri Needs Assessment Survey”  at the LGBT Community Health and Resource Fair. While we had planned an earlier launch date, our self-critique of the Survey took a bit longer than expected and then saw this event quite apropos to launch it. We expect trans-identified people to be able to take it online, and we will have paper copies available at the Fair, on Saturday

From the results of this survey of the Missouri Trans Community, as well with the Missouri-specific data from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS), TransHaven will develop their Policy Priorities for the constituency it serves in Missouri.

The data collection will be done in a manner in which total confidentiality is assured, inputs from varying aspects of those Trans-identified throughout the state of Missouri will be collected and analyzed. We will be seeking such demographics as how one identifies, location by zip code, income and marital status. Other metrics sought will be instances of bias and discrimination such as in the workplace, incarceration and public accommodations. While we know the national statistics, it is imperative we gather as much Missouri data as we can, to better serve the Missouri Trans Community.

Noting that the NTDS, conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) garnered 128 individual responses in Missouri, we are projecting that with our own state-wide resources we can reach out to more of the (Missouri) Trans Population. We hope that those that are trans-identified residing in Missouri, take part in this survey.

Visit our table at the Second Annual LGBT Community Health and Resource Fair.  We hope to see you there!

TransHaven – Volunteers in Advocacy, for the Trans and LGBT Community of Missouri

News – Information – Community     www.transhaven.org

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St Louis QFest 2011: Riot Acts and Other Queer Stuff

We’ve seen ‘Riot Acts – Flaunting Gender Deviance in Music’ more than once, last August at the TransOhio Conference in Columbus, Ohio and at a couple of private screenings. Nothing held back in these performances by those that are Trans, GQ and simply Queer, a variety of styles, nothing ‘unbold’ and nothing to fear.

TransHaven was approached by Cinema St Louis to ask if  we would sponsor this film at QFest-St Louis 2011 and of course we jumped at the opportunity. How better to than to project gender expression than with artistic impression by these performing artists. Take a look at the ‘Riot Acts’ trailer here, then join us at the Tivoli Theatre on Friday April 15th, at 9:30 p.m.

‘Riot Acts’ is just one of many in a tremendous variety of films at The Stella Artrois QFest-St Louis 2011, we hope to see you there!

TransHaven – Proud sponsor of St Louis QFest -2011 www.transhavenorg

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Mr. Missouri Leather, Guest Speaker At Trans*Continental Breakfast

In an collaborative outreach between the Leather and Trans Community of St. Louis, DJ Kaiser, Mr. Missouri Leather 2011 will be our guest speaker for our April edition of the Trans*Continental Breakfast to be held on April 23rd.

DJ won the competition held on the weekend this past February 25-27 at JJ’s Clubhouse, and in a Vital Voice story spoke of his winning platform of Trans-inclusion in the Leather Community. Subsequent to winning the title, DJ and TransHaven met to discuss ways to foster further Trans inclusion throughout the St Louis Region and beyond.

DJ will speaking of the road he traveled to win his title, his message to further Trans inclusion in leather competitions and further Trans acceptance in the Community. We welcome the entire Community to visit us for the Trans*Continental Breakfast, a gathering of the Trans Community for food, discussion and Family.

Trans*Continental Breakfast is held at TransHaven’s offices, located at 3672A Arsenal St, across from Tower Grove Park, next to St John’s Episcopal Church.

April 23rd – 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

This event is free, donations graciously accepted.

TransHaven – Advocates for Trans Equality and the LBGTIQA Community

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Missouri-specific Trans Discrimination Fact Sheet

Missouri-specific data from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS)  has been provided to TransHaven as a Fact Sheet for use in our Advocacy for the Trans Community in Missouri. The data compiled by the National Center for Transgeder Equality (NCTE) and The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) describes various aspects of bias and discrimination towards the Missouri Trans Community.  While the fact sheet for Missouri does not cover every aspect of the NTDS, in a Vital Voice article, we have provided a summary of comparison of a portion of that data and provides a confirmation of the focus on which TransHaven has taken it’s advocacy to date.

We encourage those working on and lobbying for such initiatives as the Missouri Non-Discrimination Act (MONA) and/or the Missouri Safe Schools Act, to use this Fact Sheet in your presentations and meetings with legislators and educators throughout the state. 

To further the data in which to work with, TransHaven will be launching it’s ‘Trans-Missouri Needs Assessment Survey’ on Monday, April 4th 2011, in which we will attempt to gather a broad range of demographics regarding Trans-identified individuals residing in Missouri, to further define the direction of TransHaven’s advocacy in Missouri.

TransHaven – Advocates For Trans Equality   www.transhaven.org

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Trans-Missouri Needs Assessment Survey

On Monday, April 4th, TransHaven will be launching their “Trans-Missouri Needs Assessment Survey.”  From the results of this survey of the Missouri Trans Community, as well with the Missouri-specific data from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS), TransHaven will develop their Policy Priorities for the constituency it serves in Missouri.

The data collection will be done in a manner in which total confidentiality is assured, inputs from varying aspects of those Trans-identified throughout the state of Missouri will be collected and analyzed. We will be seeking such demographics as how one identifies, location by zip code, income and marital status. Other metrics sought will be instances of bias and discrimination such as in the workplace, incarceration and public accommodations. While we know the national statistics, it is imperative we gather as much Missouri data as we can, to better serve the Missouri Trans Community.

Noting that the NTDS, conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) garnered 128 individual responses in Missouri, we are projecting that with our own state-wide resources we can reach out to more of the (Missouri) Trans Population. We hope that those that are trans-identified residing in Missouri, take part in this survey. The link to the survey is projected to be in place on April 4th, in the interim prior to our report projected for late Fall 2011, we will be publishing the Missouri-specific data from the NTDS, as provided by NCTE/NGLTF. We are anticipating receiving that data in the coming weeks and publishing that here and on our website.

News – Information – Community     www.transhaven.org

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TransHaven names Mid-Missouri Regional Coordinator

TransHaven is pleased to announce that Christianne Benedict has joined the TransHaven Team and will be our Regional Coordinator for mid-Missouri. Christianne will represent TransHaven  for the region and also work on TransHaven’s 2011 core state-wide projects. We are very thankful to have such an energetic and dynamic individual become part of our Advocacy.

About Christianne:

Christianne Benedict is a graphic designer and writer. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 1990 with a degree in fine art.  She is a published film critic and presented a seminar on transgender imagery in mass media at the Southern Comfort Convention in 2005. She wrote and narrated a short critical film about transgender depictions in the movie, The World According to Garp, that was shown at the Filmmuseum in Berlin in 2009. She has been writing about movies on the internet since the mid-1990s. She currently writes about movies at her blog, Krell Laboratories, where she also occasionally writes about trans depictions in mass media.

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