8/6/09

Show a fundraiser for new gay/transgender group



From the Times-Herald Record, August 6, 2009
Milford, Pa. — What could a transgendered woman, a feminist breast cancer survivor, a Texas redneck and a 90-year-old Southern belle have in common?
They're characters portrayed by Karen MacIntyre, who presented her one-woman show "Crazy Good Luck" at Mount Haven Resort on Log Tavern Road recently as a fund and awareness raiser for a newly formed gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender group.
MacIntyre will be performing the one-woman show at the New York International Fringe Festival Aug. 14-30. The show is inspired by her own life experiences.
MacIntyre is the ex-wife of a transgendered woman, and her best friend had a mastectomy around the same time her husband said he was getting gender reassignment. As time has allowed her to quip, "She was losing her breasts while he was gaining his."

The Upper Delaware GLBT Center was created to fill a crucial need for social and support networks within the tri-state area's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. The group grew out of founder Patty Tomaszewski's observation that there were "really no services to speak of in the area."

"It's hard for gay people not just to get together for social reasons, but to give support to one another," she added.

Aside from support and discussion groups, the GLBT Center hopes to offer services for teens, programs for families, teen groups, recreation and entertainment events, and referrals to GLBT-friendly businesses and professionals.
Youths — both GLBT teens and children being raised by same-sex couples — are among the most overlooked members of the community, Tomaszewski said.
"One of my friends said her and her partner are always trying to explain to their kids that there are other children out there who have two moms or two dads, but they never get to meet any of them," she said.

Another goal is to help educate the community at large, such as businesses who want to become more socially competent, or school guidance counselors who need information on dealing with children who are bullied because of their gender identity.
It's the kind of support system that MacIntyre, who is from Denton, Texas, would like to have had when she was coping with her husband's transition into a woman.
"Where we were living, there wasn't enough," she said, although she was grateful that Peter, who is now Petra, found a helpful support group in New York. "I'd just moved back to Texas from up here, and I had good support of friends. But for organizations to go to, I just didn't know of any."
The Upper Delaware GLBT is trying to change that for those struggling with their sexual identity, and members of the younger generation. According to Tomaszewski, the mission has just begun.
"These are all futuristic goals," she said. "But I was thinking the other day that we just got incorporated in May, and we've just had our second event, and we have three more planned. Not bad for a two-month-old organization."
For more information, write to: Upper Delaware GLBT Center, P.O. Box 1295, Milford, Pa., or e-mail UDGLBT@gmail.com.

2 comments:

Vanessa said...

As a lesbian in a long term relationship of twelve years, and both of us raising our eleven year old daughter, we feel isolated much of the time. It would be great to connect with other persons, couples, and to offer support to local young people. I am so happy that you are in the "neighborhood"!

UDGLBT said...

WELCOME!!! you are definately not alone! Not only is there a growing GLBT community in our area, but there are other same sex couples raising children. One of the things we want to do is organize activities and events for our GLBT families. Keep checking back to our blog for news and events!