They’re Changing The Game

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From left to right: Terry Miller, Andraya Yearwood and our own Chardonnay Merlot

Welcome to your guide to podcast Episode 21, which Dawn Ennis and Chardonnay Merlot recorded on Saturday, April 27, as they returned to Connecticut from Lower Manhattan.

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They had just attended a question and answer panel moderated by espnW award-winning journalist, Katie Barnes.

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The Q&A featured Sarah Rose Huckman

 

 

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Terry Miller

 

 

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Andraya Yearwood

 

 

 

And Mack Beggs, who is the primary focus of “Changing The Game,” a new documentary also featuring Yearwood and Huckman.

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From left to right: espnW’s Katie Barnes, Sarah Rose Huckman, Andraya Yearwood, Terry Miller, and Mack Beggs

These four engaging young people have something obvious in common: they were until recently all teenagers (Mack turned 20 on April 6).

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From left to right: Sarah Rose Huckman, Andraya Yearwood, Terry Miller and Mack Beggs

And they’re all athletes.

And they were accompanied by moms and grandmas and other supportive people in the audience along with the amazing folks from GLSEN, who hosted the Q&A.

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Oh! We almost forgot. And they’re all transgender!

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From left to right: Mack Beggs, Andraya Yearwood, Sarah Rose Huckman and Terry Miller

That is something the teens stressed over and over: being trans is not what they want to be known for. They want to be known for what they do, not how they identify or dress or style their hair. Being trans is just one facet of who these people are.

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Terry Miller (left) and Dawn Ennis
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Mack Beggs and Chardonnay Merlot

Chardonnay Merlot and Dawn Ennis — who we think you know, are themselves transgender women — had a front row seat for the Q&A. And following questions from Barnes, they were among the journalists — and one of the teens’ moms — who peppered the athletes with questions.

Below the link to our 21st podcast episode, you’ll find more photos and videos of the Q&A, as well as helpful links to things we discussed!

Thanks as always for listening! Scroll down for info on how to connect with us on social media.

We have much more to share with you!

Below, here’s most of the Q&A Chardonnay and Dawn attended, in four parts.

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We’re thrilled to tell you that Andraya Yearwood will be speaking at Outsports Pride in Los Angeles as part of a panel featuring two other transgender athletes, moderated by Dawn.  Also appearing: Athena Del Rosario and Chloe Psyche Anderson.  More info at outsportspride.com

You can read more about Mack Beggs at Outsports.com 

Click here to watch the trailer for the documentary “Changing the Game.”

The movie made its debut at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival, and was directed by filmmaker Michael Barnett, produced by Clare Tucker and Alex Schmider. Alex is also the executive producer.

 

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Clare Tucker, Michael Barnett, Andraya Yearwood, Terri Miller, Sarah Rose Huckman, Alex Schmider and Mack Beggs

The screenplay was written by Barnett and Michael Mahaffie. Barnett and Turner Jumonville shared credit for cinematography. Chris Mosier, Jeffrey Pechter, Jeffrey Ellermeyer, Carlos Cusco, Emerson Machtus, Andrew Davies Gans, Allen Orr are also executive producers, and Russell Sanzgiri is a co-executive producer. The film was edited by the team of Michael Mahaffie and Amanda Griffin. Composer is Tyler Strickland and the associate producers are Jenn Roman and Jess Berry. 

The film’s Facebook page is here. 

GLAAD teamed up with GLSEN for another interview with the athletes, recorded the day before the Q&A with Chardonnay and Dawn. You can watch it below:

IMG_6519Learn more about the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition and its annual Transgender Lives “Intersection of Health and Law Conference “ held annually at UConn in Farmington, Connecticut, by clicking here. 

Rev. Aaron Miller’s church in Hartford, the Metropolitan Community Church, can be found here. 

Connecticut Voice Magazine is a new publication dedicated to and written by and for Connecticut’s LGBTQ community, the first of its kind in the Nutmeg State. Click here to learn more and subscribe! 

 

On a personal note: Sorry it’s taken so long to bring you this, and that we’ve been away. Life is what happens when you make other plans!

We’ll be back soon with a new podcast. Tweet us at @TweetBTWP,  as always, you can leave a comment here on our blog. Thanks!

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Dance, TDOV, Politics and Brexit

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We’re back after Spring Break with a new episode, #18, featuring a very personal and critically-lauded emotional interpretive dance by Chardonnay, Dawn’s coverage of International Transgender Day of Visibility for Outsports, and we cover a range of topics from the Barr Report about the Mueller Report, Mayor Pete of South Bend, Indiana (he’s the out gay man running for president) and Brexit.

You’ll find links to issues and topics we discussed, after the episode! Just scroll down.

Here are some photos from Chardonnay’s “Trans Body: An Exploration” performance at the New Haven Pride Center on Saturday, along with her Facebook post.

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Saturday was Trans Body: An Exploration of embodied history and corporeality through dance

It was beautiful to help build it, and it was an experience that will cherish forever!

I loved that people showed up. I loved building a connection with those who attended. I was overwhelmed with the tears of some afterward who took a minute to see and hear what I and Kellie Ann Lynch, a excellent choreographer, put together (THANKS KELLIE!!!!!)

I’m still processing telling my story and using my body to do it in ways I didn’t think I could. I’m still processing my tears afterward…and my tears now.

I’m still processing seeing someone come up to me afterward…in tears like me, giving me a hug and telling me how moved they were.

A person who is like me, trying to learn themselves, striving to love themselves.

Trans like me. Searching like me. Just trying to live like me.

To all those who are on this ride with me. Just know that I love you all, respect you all, and you have enriched my life.

I know that at times some of you will think, “You always say that.” Yeah, I may say that a lot….BUT KNOW THAT I MEAN EVERY WORD OF IT!

I’ve always believed, and always will believe, that we must let people know what they mean to us when they are still among us to hear it, see it and feel it. The worst regret to me is standing over someone casket thinking, “I wish I could have told them how much they meant to me when they were alive.”

Today is Trans Day of Visibility. Let’s make it a goal today to make our gratitude, love, and friendship for each other as visible as our physical presence.

Today, go up to someone who may not know that you see you them and say, “I see you, friend.”

Go up to someone who may not know that you notice what they do and how it inspires you and say, “I see your example, and it pushes me to do better.”

Go up to someone who may not know that you are seeing their struggle and say, “I see you fighting, and I have your back.”

Go up to someone who may not know that you see their allyship and say, “I see you. Keep doing the work.”

Go up to someone who may need some kindness, and be kind to our fellow trans person.

WE’RE ALL WE GOT. WE’RE ALL WE NEED!!!!!!

 

Read about the Transgender Day of Visibility here and here’s my own article on Outsports. 

Incidentally, reports in conservative media that trans flags replaced POW flags outside the Capitol Hill offices of Democrats is bullshit. Here’s the proof:

I’m not going to provide links and give these assholes clicks. You can Google “trans POW flag” and see for yourself if you’re interested.

Here’s the latest on the Mueller Report, which is being prepared for release by Attorney General and President Trump’s Chief Cover-Upper Bill Barr.

Also this week, we discuss the future for Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, potential 2020 presidential candidate. Need help pronouncing his last name? Click here. I just call him “Mayor Pete,” as do a lot of people. Here’s an article on his strategy (take down Pence as well as Trump), and here’s the one thing he said he cannot live without. 

Brexit is a bloody mess. Read all about it here.

We plan to return next week. Thanks for listening and reading!

Bolsonaro, Socialism, Shame and Transgender Inclusion

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This week, Chardonnay and Dawn discuss the controversial meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro; Chardonnay’s trip to protest American policy toward Venezuela; reaction here in Connecticut to the massacre at two New Zealand mosques, and President Trump’s inability to condemn white supremacy; “The Shame List” that names 150 colleges and universities which practice anti-LGBTQ discrimination; and a letter three British sports legends are sending the International Olympic Committee.

Photos from Chardonnay’s trip and links to topics we discussed are below the podcast.

Essential reading on Bolsonaro’s visit to the White House is at these sites: Politico, The Washington Postand ThinkProgressYou can also read about an investigation into one of Bolsonaro’s sons here. 

Here’s a link to an independent report on the weekend protests against U.S. policy toward Venezuela, and it includes video. And here are photos Chardonnay took:

 

 

Read about President Trump’s response to the New Zealand massacre here. 

Here’s a report from the Hartford Courant and one from the Connecticut Mirror about Sunday’s event at the Berlin Mosque, which is also home to the Islamic Association for Greater Hartford. Below, a video from CAIR Connecticut, via Facebook user Arig Wageeh Elhamouly.

I was in attendance (wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day), as you can see from the above video and this photo:

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Photo by MARK PAZNIOKAS, CTMIRROR.ORG

Find out more about our Muslim neighbors by going to the website of the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut. 

This week, Dawn and Chardonnay gave a shoutout to two icons in the LGBTQ sports community, one relatively new and one who’s been making headlines ever since she won a world cycling championship.

Jaimi Salone of Stanford University is the first one getting a shout-out. Salone is a discus thrower, genderqueer and proud of it! Read all about her in Outsports!

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The other is Rachel McKinnon, a transgender woman athlete who won a Masters Track Cycling World Championship in the women’s 35-44 sprint event last year. She also briefly held the world record in the 200-meter sprint qualifying event, although it was broken by the final rider a mere 10 minutes later. She’s not just someone who has written for Outsports, among other media outletsbut she has a PhD. in philosophy and teaches at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, and is also a fierce advocate online. Her paper, Including Trans Women Athletes in Competitive Sport: Analyzing the Science, Law and Principles and Policies of Fairness in Competition, is a must read. Follow her @rachelvmcinnon or find her at her website. 

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Incidentally, while recording this podcast, Dawn didn’t notice McKinnon tweeted that she was upset after seeing she was quoted in an article on Outsports, saying something she didn’t want to be quoted saying. Oops! This is why it’s always best practice to say “off the record,” or “don’t quote me on this” when speaking to a reporter. The back story is that McKinnon was asked in a DM conversation if she wanted to comment, said no, but then she wrote something else, which appeared to be a statement. It looked to Dawn as though McKinnon had changed her mind. It was our mistake, and Dawn deleted the comment at McKinnon’s request. Dawn regrets the misunderstanding and that McKinnon got upset. Read more about speaking to reporters in this excellent primer from Rethink Media. 

Dawn published two stories at Outsports.com on Tuesday: “The Shame List” compiled by Campus Pride to shine a light on 150 colleges and universities that practice anti-LGBTQ discrimination, and a letter three British sports legends are writing to the IOC about transgender inclusion in Olympic sports competition.

If you want to read the entire “Shame List,” click here. 

Read about the letter British sports icons Kelly Holmes, Paula Radcliffe and Sharron Davies are writing to the International Olympic Committee, click here.

To send your own message to the IOC, here’s the snail mail address, email and phone numbers:

Contact Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee by writing to:

Olympic Studies Centre

Villa du Centenaire

Quai d’Ouchy 1

1006 Lausanne

Switzerland

You can also call the IOC at 41 21 621 6611 or fax the IOC at 41 21 621 6718

Or email the IOC at studies.centre@olympic.org

Finally: Congratulations to Dawn’s daughter Sophie for getting inducted into the National Honor Society this week! Dawn is herself being honored by the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists at their annual Headlines and Headliners fundraiser event in Manhattan.

We’ll be back next week!

Transgender Military Ban, Calling Trans Athletes “Cheaters,” Sharron Davies vs. Rachel McKinnon, and Chelsea Manning

 

BTWPThis week, we’re back after a week away with the latest on the transgender military ban, now set to go into effect April 12th, and a poll that says a large majority of British adults believe transgender athletes are “cheaters,” as Martina Navratilova said and then said she was sorry for using that word. We also discuss the twitter feud between Dr. Rachel McKinnon and former Olympian Sharron Davies, and the re-incarceration of Chelsea Manning. 

Links can be found below the soundcloud link.

To read the poll, click here to go to Outsports, and for more information about the poll, here’s a link to the survey company. 

To read the latest on the transgender military ban, now set to go into effect April 12th, click here.

To watch the award-winning documentary about trans military service, click here for more information,and you can find it on iTunes by clicking here. 

Get educated on the debate on trans inclusion in sports by following Dr. Rachel McKinnon on Twitter and reading the research she’s done on this topic by clicking here. 

If you dare, here’s a link to British coverage of McKinnon’s feud with former Olympian Sharron Davies.

To read more about why Chelsea Manning is back behind bars, click here. And here is how you can write to her:

We’ll be back next week with Chardonnay’s report on the protest she plans to attend in Washington, D.C., my report on my musical directing debut, and, (sigh) we’ll once again rehash the Venezuela debate.

Be well!

Trans Inclusion, Billy Porter, & Vaginas!

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This week Chardonnay and Dawn discuss transgender inclusion in sports, particularly at the high school and college student level, as well as the Oscar winners and Chardonnay’s return to the stage for this year’s Vagina Monologues at the University of Hartford.

Links we’ve mentioned and photos can be found by scrolling down below the podcast!

Here are my Outsports reports on South Dakota’s narrow vote to not discriminate against transgender student athletes, like Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller

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…and here’s my report on CeCe Telfer’s achievement in track that earned the ire of Donald Trump, Jr.

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Did you miss actor Billy Porter of Pose win the red carpet at the Academy Awards? Here it is!

The complete official list of Oscar winners is here.

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Here’s how Deadline reported on Spike Lee’s reaction to Green Book’s win for best picture. Why is the movie so controversial? Read this article in People Magazine

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The dude who won best original score for Black Panther is Ludwig Goransson. And…. Wow: he’s white! Read about him here.

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Watch Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper perform “Shallow” at the Oscars.

And here are photos of Chardonnay and the cast of Dramatis Personae at the University of Hartford performing the Vagina Monologues, and taking their bows.

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If you missed their incredible renditions of My Short Skirt or They Beat the Girl Out of My Boy, or The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could, we recommend you watch these videos or find out more about The Vagina Monologues and creator Eve Ensler here.

Please join us next week for another episode of Before The War!