Equality Ride alumns launch Legalize Trans* campaign

Black shirt with white writing which says 'Legalize Trans*'Asher Koleiboi, co-director of the 2010 Equality Ride, launched the Legalize Trans* campaign in July with the help of 2007 Equality Rider Brian G. Murphy. The Legalize Trans* campaign is an artistic and educational campaign intended to create dialogue and draw attention to the lack of inclusivity within the popular American Apparel "Legalize Gay" campaign. Legalize Trans* serves to emphasize the need for Transgender inclusivity within the dominant national Lesbian and Gay rights movement, and provide public education and resources that focus on navigating legal resources for Trans/gender non-conforming people. 

Since the campaign and product line launched in July, over 100 shirts have been sold. In addition to the original black shirt, the campaign now includes shirts in red and blue and an assortment of buttons, as well as a pay-what-you-want computer desktop wallpaper. Legalize Trans* is nearing 1,000 fans on Facebook and has received press coverage from The Advocate, Bilerico, and other local and international news outlets.

Soulforce is extremely pleased with the work Asher and Brian are undertaking to raise awareness of trans* issues, critique exclusionary LGB politics, and empower trans* people. After production, transaction, and web costs, the proceeds from the sale of all Legalize Trans* items go to fund medical, living, and other expenses for trans* people.  Trans* individuals and trans-focused individuals can signup as affiliates (for free) to sell shirts to earn money for themselves, their organization, or other trans* folks.

You can buy a shirt at www.legalizetrans.com
You can apply to be an affiliate at: www.legalizetrans.com/sell

Responding to recent "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" developments

Our friends at Servicemembers Defense League put together information for us regarding the recent action around "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell", the military policy which prohibits openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual individuals from serving.

  1. Tuesday’s announcement that Judge Phillips of the Log Cabin case has ordered a stop to discharges was positive news. However, the government will likely appeal the decision, and it is still not safe for servicemembers to come out. We must keep the pressure up to repeal DADT through Congress during the lame-duck session. SLDN’s most recent release (from last night) about these events is at this link.
  2. Election season is upon us, and DADT repeal can play a role in local discussion. Organizations can encourage membership to check on where their elected officials and candidates stand on DADT repeal and bring up the issue with these candidates. Here are links to the Murphy amendment roll call in the House, the Senate Armed Services Committee vote, and the Senate floor vote on cloture so people will know where their elected officials stood when it counted.
  3. These talking points still apply for letters and other communication with senators. They emphasize holding the Senate accountable for the failed cloture vote and looking toward the lame-duck session.

We hope this helps!

US based Ex-Gay ministry tries to buy support from affirming Kenyan minister

There is "far more support" for religious African organizations that will name the gays of Africa as self-righteous, justified, deniers of the Word of God, rebellious against God, and as forcing the government’s hand to protect the human rights of sexual minorities, says Rock House Way, "ex-gay" ministry of Tennessee.

For the full letter from Rock House Way, go to Other Sheep Exec Site blog

New Documentary to Walk Across the Country

The Road Less Travelled By is a documentary film about walking across America and opening a dialogue about same-sex marriage. The crew, led by director A.J. Goodrich, will begin the trek on February 1st 2011 in San Francisco.

The journey will cover approximately 3,900 miles and take a total of seven months to complete, leading the crew over mountains and deserts, through Native American reservations, to Texas and the Deep South, past the devastated Gulf and the country’s capital, ending in New York.

To learn more about the film and see how you can participate and support the team, please check out http://www.roadlesstravelledfilm.com/

Soulforce Annual Report 2009 – 2010 Released

Cover of the 2009 - 2010 Soulforce annual review. Features the title of the report in the center with photographs from various actions above and belowThe Soulforce Annual Report for 2009 – 2010 is now available. You can download the report here: 2009 – 2010 Soulforce Annual Report

The report is in PDF format. If you need a program to open the document, Adobe Acrobat Reader is available for free. Please contact webmaster@soulforce.org if you have any issues downloading or opening the report.

Exodus pulls support from anti-gay "Day of Truth"

A national Christian organization will stop sponsoring an annual event that encourages school students to "counter the promotion of homosexual behavior" because the event has become too divisive and confrontational, the group’s president told CNN on Wednesday.

"All the recent attention to bullying helped us realize that we need to equip kids to live out biblical tolerance and grace while treating their neighbors as they’d like to be treated, whether they agree with them or not," said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, the group that sponsored the event this year.

Called the Day of Truth, the annual April event has been pushed by influential conservative Christian groups as a way to counter to the annual Day of Silence, an event promoted by gay rights advocates to highlight threats against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

Read the news on CNN

Ray Boltz to perform at LIFE Rally

The accomplished singer/songwriter Ray Boltz will be making a special appearance at the upcoming Soulforce LIFE Rally to be held in Philadelphia. The rally is being held to bring awareness to the staggering number of LGBTQ youth and young adults who are driven to suicide by teasing and relentless bullying. 
This issue is especially prevalent at the moment with five recent suicides making national headlines within the last 3 weeks. Countless  suicides and other hate crimes go unreported each year. 

Please plan to attend the rally and/or support Soulforce financially so that we can sponsor this and other programs. Find more info about the rally on our website and also on our Facebook event page.

You can also donate to help us make all of our programming accessible and sustainable.

Life Rally during Soulforce Symposium

Logo for Life Rally. The iconic "LIFE" design from Philadelphia's Love Park with the I in rainbow. Text around the border reads End LGBTQ Suicide! Love Park Philadelphia. Soulforce Symposium. Fri 11.5.10 8:30 PMThe news over the past several weeks has been astounding.

Increasingly, LGBTQ youth are feeling the burdens of an unjust society as they are bullied and taunted for being who they were created to be. Recently, 5 youth made national news after suicides – and the lives of countless other LGBTQ people are gone and unreported.

This must stop!

We must take a stand in solidarity, support and love to let LGBTQ people know they are loved and affirmed, exactly as they are! We must put an end to this systematic oppression that persecutes our LGBTQ friends, family, and loved ones and we must create a better world for ourselves and all those in it

Enough is enough!

Join us on Friday, November 5 at 8:30pm at Love Park in the heart of Downtown Philadelphia as we celebrate life with a rally and a special performance from singer/songwriter Ray Boltz. Find more information on our Facebook event.

This event is one of many taking place during the Soulforce Symposium, an effort to disperse the truth about religion, science, and reparative therapy.

Soulforce will be joining the group Affirmation in San Fransisco on Oct 6th as they rally to end LGBTQ youth suicides.

Even if you can’t attend the symposium or rally please donate so that Soulforce can continue to support the work for equality and full inclusion of all LGBTQ people!