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One Million Kids and The Personal Stories Project to Host 2nd Annual Garden Party and Mixer In Los Angeles

Do you like schmoozing on Saturday? Do you like parties with open bars and free food? Do you consider yourself an LGBTQ activist or ally? Do you like to travel or live in the greater Los Angeles area? If your answer to any of those questions is yes, then have we got the party for you!Come out Saturday, March 5th to our garden party benefiting The Personal Stories Project and One Million Kids For Equality.

Registration:

Early Bird (Before March 15th):
$125 Event Host
$100 Very Important Person
$75 Affluent Advocate
$30 Starving Artist

Registration (After March 15th):
$150 Event Host
$125 Very Important Person
$100 Affluent Advocate
$35 Starving Artist

Registration (Day of Event):
$160 Event Host
$135 Very Important Person
$110 Affluent Advocate
$40 Starving Artist



Food/Beverages:

An open bar with liquor, wine, beer, Hors d’oeuvres, and deserts will provided.

Entertainment:

Music for the afternoon will be provided by the extremely talented, Rob C and Alessa Ray.

Party Hosts:

Joseph Chan & Charles Chan Massey
Brad Delaney
Nikki and David Duncan
Donna Shaw
Tom Carmichael

Where the money goes:

10% (TBA) LGBTQ Youth Serving Nonprofit

45% Personal Stories Project’s Digital Storytelling Program

45% One Million Kids For Equality’s Monthly Storytelling Events

Guests will also have the opportunity to help assemble personal hygiene kits to be donated to a youth homelessness organization – this is optional for anyone interested in helping.

FAQs

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

Nope! This event is open to all ages. If you are under the age of 21, we operate on an honor system, but we ask that you please refrain from consuming alcohol.

Is there parking available at or around the venue?

There are a limited number of off-street parking spaces available. Once they run out, then there is also street parking available. If you need off-street parking, we recommend you come early as it fills up fast.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

You can reach Brad at brad@onemillionkids.org and Charles at charles@personalstoriesproject.org.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

To speed up the check-in process, we ask that you please bring your printed ticket with you. But we understand that uh ohs happen. If you forget your ticket, we should be able to find you on our list at the door. Please inform our attendant if you registered the day of the event and we will get you squared away.

Is my registration fee or ticket transferrable?

Yes! We understand that scheduling conflicts occur from time to time. While we can’t offer a refund, we are happy to transfer your ticket to another attendee. Please contact Brad at brad@onemillionkids.org and he will get you taken care of.

Roddy

My name is Roddy. This is my story.

From a very young age, when I was around six years old or so, I knew there was something unique about me. I just didn’t know what. While other boys were into cars, trucks, play fighting and all things dirt I preferred Barbie, music, and the theatre. As I got a little bit older, and my friends who were boys started to talk about girls and how pretty they were, I was starting to have the same thoughts they had about the girls about them. At this point, I did not yet know what it meant to be gay, so I thought something was wrong with me. When I was ten years old I learned what being gay was and then all the thoughts and actions up to that point in my life made sense and I knew that I was gay.

Two and half years later, at the age of 12, the first person I told was my aunt when we were on vacation. We had always been very close, and she knew everything about me because I would always tell her things and I still do. That day I had been acting shy and off because I was thinking about the shame I felt because I was gay, as I often did back then because I thought being gay was wrong because of my “religion.”

That night she came into my room and asked if I wanted to go for a walk. When we got far enough from the house where we were staying she asked me if I was ok and I told her no and she asked me what was wrong. It was then that I told her that I was gay. She stopped walking, looked at me, hugged me and said, “Honey, I already knew that” and that it was ok. After that, we walked and talked about everything for hours. And I felt much better. After coming out to her, and with her help and support I came out the rest of the family and my friends at school; some were supportive of me and others not so much.

I was bullied for several years to follow, and even though at this point in my life I knew who I was and that it was ok to be myself, deep down I started to believe all of the things people were telling me and began to go through a very difficult time in my life. I often had thoughts of suicide and actions of self-harm; I had accepted who I was but others had not, so I felt unimportant, alone, unwanted and unloved.

Fellow students would frequently call me names, push me in the halls, mock me, threaten me and sometimes even physically hurt me. I was told things like “You’ll never amount to anything,” “You’re worthless and should just die,”  “Oh look, it’s the gay kid – he’s such a fag,” and so on.  After this had gone on for three years I realized, thanks to some fantastic teachers, school counselors, friends and the work of the Trevor Project, that there were people who loved me and that life would get better. It was then that these things started to not bother me as much and I started to accept myself all over again.

I began to surround myself with friends and people who accepted me for me, who would be there for me as I worked on learning to love myself the way I was and while I found other people who were also LGBTQ. After about a year I was ready for the next phase – to become an activist and share my story and my voice in hopes that what happened to me would not happen to others, so that others like me would know that they are loved, they are important, they are wanted and that they are never alone.

I am now a proud, OUT gay man. I’m a model and actor as well as an LGBT activist. I work with organizations such as The Human Rights Campaign as a Youth Ambassador, Free 2 Luv as a Youth Empowerment Advocate, Teen Talk Hotline as a blog contributor and many other great groups and organizations to facilitate training on diversity and inclusion, sharing my voice as a positive figure for those in need.

I know first-hand that being a member of the LGBTQ community in today’s society can be very difficult. I know how hard it can be to come out and feel accepted in your school or community. I hope that by sharing my story, my experiences and my voice I can help other LGBTQ youths find the resources they need to feel safe, loved, and accepted and let everyone know that there is hope out there – all you have to do is just look past the darkness and into the light on the other side.

I’m sharing my story to inspire others to tell their own stories and to show that you can be successful no matter what struggles you face in life. I’d like lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth of all ethnic backgrounds, races, national origins and religions to know that no matter what, they are perfect just the way they are, that there will always be someone who loves them and cares about them and not to give up.

I challenge each of you to be a game changer in the lives of LGBTQ youth everywhere by being someone they can come to, talk to, look up to and always know that no matter what they are going through they are free and welcome to be themselves around you.

One Million Kids shared Roddy’s story was shared in partnership with The Personal Stories Project.

nevada conversion therapy

Bravo! Nevada Passes Ban on Conversion Therapy

Nevada passed a ban on conversion therapy yesterday and today Nevada’s Governor signed that legislation. Conversion therapy is an attempt by “therapists” or religious leaders to change a person’s sexual orientation – although it does more damage than good.

Senate Bill 201, sponsored by Sen. David Parks, Las Vegas, would make it illegal for licensed mental health practitioners to provide therapy attempting to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity. This puts Nevada on the list of progressive states that are passing laws to make the lives of LGBTQIA+ individuals better. Seven other states including Oregon, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont and the District of Columbia have banned conversion therapy.

You may recall the story our board member, Curtis Galloway, who testified in support of the Illinois bill to ban conversion therapy. Curtis now lives and operates a chapter of One Million Kids in St. Louis, and provided comments on the subject.

“I think it’s fantastic that Nevada has chosen to protect LGBTQ youth from this harmful practice! More and more states are realising that this practice is ineffective and does more harm than good. And I hope that more states follow in this path. I know that what I went through was awful, but I also know that it gets much worse than what I experienced,” said Galloway.

Many states are currently attempting to ban conversion therapy including Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia. However, some are worried that our current White House Administration may attempt to hinder the progress towards banning the practice in other States.

Curtis added, “I am very worried about the future of this movement. Vice President  Pence has publicly come out in favor of conversion therapy. I remember rallying against him when he was Governor of Indiana, driving several hours, after he signed his religious freedom act. And now this same man is second in command of our country. It’s very worrying and unsettling,” Galloway said. He added, “One thing is certain though, the bans that are in place, at least in Illinois, cannot be touched by this administration.”

Laws in other States, and now Nevada, do have flaws. They all exempt religious organizations, only creating the ban for certified therapists and psychiatrists. This means that anyone who claims to be operating a conversion therapy like establishment or session under religious grounds are exempt.

“It is a huge exemption as many of these individuals are going to start using religion as means ‘to pass the baton’ to religious leaders,” Galloway said. “However, I am hopeful that with this law as a basis, even religious attempts to convert will be found to be child abuse.”

Supreme Court Rejects Challenge of California’s Ban on Conversion Therapy

The United States Supreme Court on Monday rejected a California Christian minister’s challenge to California’s ban on conversion therapy.

The Pastor challenged the law with an assertion that it violates religious rights.

For the third time in two years since it’s passage, the court let stand a lower court’s ruling that the law is constitutional and neither impinges upon free exercise of religion nor impacts the activities of clergy members.

The law prohibits state-licensed mental health counselors, including psychologists and social workers, from offering therapy to change sexual orientation in minors. The Supreme Court in 2014 refused to review the law after an appeals court rejected claims that the ban infringed on free speech rights under U.S. Constitution’s the First Amendment.

‘Conversion therapy’, often referred to as “sexual orientation change efforts” or “reparative therapy,” is a range of practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. These practices are based on the false premise that being LGBTQ is a mental illness that needs to be cured, a theory that has been rejected by every major medical and mental health organization for decades.

“The Supreme Court of the United States has affirmed that there is no place in civilized society for so-called ‘conversion therapy.’ We at One Million Kids For Equality applaud the justices for affirming that California’s law against this barbaric ‘treatment’ for something that isn’t a disorder, is correct and just.” said OMK Co-Director, Charles Chan Massey.

To date, ‘conversion therapy’ has been outlawed in 6 states (CA, IL, NM, NJ, OR, VT) and the District of Columbia.

Statement on Attack in Orlando

In the early hours of Sunday, June 12th a deranged gunman walked into Pulse Nightclub, an LGBTQ club in Orlando, Florida and opened fire on hundreds of bar patrons. It was latin night and many of the victims are young people of color.

Our co-director and Board President, Brad Delaney had the following to say about this harrowing tragedy:

“50 people lost their lives last night and another 50 are wounded after a gunman opened fire in an LGBT nightclub in Orlando Florida. To say we are devastated would be a huge understatement. There are simply no words strong enough to describe our sadness.

Our hearts go out to the families, friends and loved ones who have been affected by this deliberate act of violence against our community.

June is supposed to be a month filled with pride, joy, and celebration. Instead, this has left many of us with feelings of sadness, anxiety and fear.

We ask that you join us in a moment of silence this morning to honor the many lives we lost last night. Take your moment whenever you’re ready.”

Gayby Baby in Chicago! Join Us For A Special Screening.

One Million Kids For Equality has been working to share the stories of youth since we got started last January – from sharing the voices of 5 youth last spring with the Supreme Court in the Voices Of Children brief to working to end conversion therapy in Illinois. Time and time again we’ve seen that when youth speak up they are able to present their stories in a way that changes hearts and minds forever.

Kids being raised by same-sex couples are growing in numbers worldwide. We are in a Gayby-Boom. But who are these kids? What do they think about having same-sex parents? And do they face different issues to other kids? At a time when the world is debating marriage equality, these questions are more pertinent than ever. Told from the perspective of the kids, Gayby Baby is intimate and sometimes humorous account of four children and their families.

We invite you to join us for this FREE special screening of GAYBY BABY in Chicago on April 30th, an Australian feature documentary in which four kids take us into their homes and share their personal experiences.

One Million Kids For Equality is cohosting a panel discussion between screenings with filmmakers and partners addressing how we empower children of LGBT parents and improve the lives of families in our work.

Secure your seats and learn more athttps://gaybybabychicago.splashthat.com/

In honor of International Family Equality Day, our sponsor for this event, MyFamilyBuilders is offering all attendees and members of One Million Kids For Equality an exclusive $10 discount off of all toy set purchases. Use promo code OMK at checkout. See the coupon below for more details.

My Family Builders

LGBTQ Organizations Call on Big Business in North Carolina to Oppose Legislature’s Attempt to Repeal Charlotte LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Protections.

 

Charlotte, NC – A coalition of LGBTQ organizations led by Equality North Carolina, Campus Pride, and One Million Kids For Equality is calling on Bank of America, BB&T (Branch Bank & Trust), Burt’s Bees, and it’s parent company Clorox to oppose the North Carolina legislature’s attempt to repeal Charlotte’s recently passed city ordinance that aims to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination.

These new legal protections mean that as of April 1st businesses in Charlotte can’t discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender customers, in addition to long-standing protections based on race, age, religion and gender. The ordinance applies to places of public accommodation, such as bars, restaurants and stores. It also applies to taxis.

Immediately after passage of the new city ordinance many within the North Carolina legislature began advocating for statewide legislative action to block local governments from enacting their own nondiscrimination protections. When North Carolina’s Governor Pat McCrory and Senate Majority Leader Phil Berger announced that they would not convene a special session of the legislature to address new legislation, the legislature took it upon themselves to convene a special session. The special session started today at 10am.

“As three of the largest corporations in North Carolina, all of which proudly protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees through LGBTQ inclusive non-discrimination policies, we believe these corporations have a moral obligation and responsibility to voice their opposition when state legislatures put the communities they serve in danger of discrimination” said Brad Delaney, President of One Million Kids For Equality

A copy of the letters to Bank of America, BB&T, and Burt’s Bees (Clorox) are available here:

https://onemillionkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/NC-BofA-Letter.pdf

https://onemillionkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/NC-BBT-Letter.pdf

https://onemillionkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/NC-Clorox-Letter.pdf

 

I am Tim, the Father of DW

My name is Tim Trantham. I am the single parent to DW Trantham, a 13-year-old male to female transgender activist. This is my story of change for the visitors of One Million Kids for Equality.

First off, I will tell you that DW was born a girl. She did not at any time like boy toys or clothes. I assumed, early on, that her female tendencies meant she was gay. At that time, I was so unaware of even the term “transgender”.

DW’s mother and I had another baby when DW was very young. Our second baby was still-born at full term. DW’s mother could never recover from this. This eventually caused the end of our marriage. It led to her crawling into a brown bottle, which she has still not climbed out of.
DW and I were apart from Easter to Fathers’ Day that year. At that point, I moved to Idaho to be with her. Within the next few years, a friend of DW’s showed her a story about “transgender people”. This changed her forever. Now, she knew who she was and that she was not alone. To be honest, I was so mad at that lady for sharing this story with my child without my permission.
The girl clothes and make-up started showing up, as well as several Barbie dolls. I tried to put a stop to all of this! “You are a boy and by God, you will act like it” was my mantra at the time. I would go to DW’s mother’s house and clean it out. I would throw away girly clothes and make-up. I went so far as to gather up all of the Barbies and burn them in the fire pit. All these things kept coming back!

Around the time DW started 5th grade, the relationship between her and her mother fell apart. I moved DW into my home full-time. She was so happy to be with me at first, but when the school I put her in made her cut off her hair and wear boys uniforms, she was devastated. Me, I thought that this may be what she needed to finally stop all of this girly stuff. I did not allow this in my home!
DW soon became very depressed. I started finding things saying, “I want to die” written in notebooks and on little pieces of paper around the house. We were no longer very close.
Counseling, I thought! That will fix everything. It did not “fix” DW. That’s probably because she did not need to be fixed. I did! Her counselor called and told me that DW had gender dysphoria. “You people must be joking,” I told them. The counselor recommended drugs for DW to help with her depression. I kind of thought that I was the one who needed “drugs” at this point.

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About the same time, I was injured on my construction job and put on office duty. One day, out of boredom and curiosity, I did the unthinkable. I typed “transgender” into the search box and went surfing. What I found changed my life permanently. Suicide statistics slapped me in the face. Prejudice and discrimination kicked me in the groin. I spent the next few days in recovery from that Google search and a lot of time in self-reflection, as well. Then, I began my own transformation. I realized it was time for me to change, change and save my child! I made BIG changes. I got a new job and we moved to Boise. I gave DW the acceptance for which she had been searching. I told her, “You are my daughter and I love you for who you are.” Then, the unthinkable, I went shopping for make-up and girl clothes.

Sixth grade, I asked for a meeting with the principal and counselor. I told them DW would be entering school as a girl. Only they knew our secret. This was DW’s best year in school so far. She was living as she was meant to be, but one day DW decided the secrecy was not for her. She wanted to make a difference for others like herself. Just before the end of her 6th grade year, I got a phone call from a television news reporter, Lauren Johnson. Lauren works for Today’s 6 and Fox 9 here in Boise. DW took it upon herself to send an email saying she wanted to come clean, to tell her story. This was “news to me” I told Lauren, but after a 30 minute conversation with her, I was reassured that our story would be told with heart and utmost compassion. It was! It took three months before our story aired. Lauren and her news director, Grendel Levy, jumped through hoops to get the story on the air. The concern was for DW’s safety. Being in a super conservative state, the station was unsure of the sentiment of the viewers and didn’t want to put my daughter in harm’s way. Eventually though, Lauren and Grendel told our transgender story to viewers, but it was shown just two weeks before the start of DW’s first day in junior high. That fact almost caused me to have them pull the story altogether. DW and I talked about how this might paint her as a target for bullying, but DW was adamant, “I must do this!” So our story was told. It became the 8th most popular story of the year, even in an election year, and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Because of the story,many people reached out to us. what we learned from many of them caused yet an other change for Dw. and I.

 *You can watch my daughter explain her feelings on being a trans teen as only she can here*

We found out that the state of Idaho was one of the 19 or so states that have legal protections for religion, but have no protections for the LGBT community. In this state a person can be fired, evicted or refused services for being LGBT. The ADD THE WORDS campaign organized 10 ten years ago in an effort to get these protections. Trying to get 4 words added to the states human rights act. SEXUAL ORIENTATION OR GENDER IDENTITY are the words that need to be added to get protections for my daughter. When we found out that a house bill HB-2 was given an open hearing Dw. and I jumped at the chance to give are testimony, along with many other people both for and against the bill. When Dw testified Tears filled my eyes as well as the eyes of most of the others in the seats at that hearing. She nailed it. I had to follow her story with my own. I wiped the tears from my eyes, stepped up to the podium and told my story of change to the committee members. I told them that if a man like me can come from burning Barbies to buying bras then certainly a group of highly educated, publicly elected officials should also be able to make a change. I was so wrong, the bill was killed in that committee. I also told them if it did not pas that we would be back and we will.

 

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You can see Dw’s testimony here

Shortly after that the bullying for Dw. increased at school. I thought some thing must be done about that problem as well. My pleas to the school brought little if any change to the bullying. When an other house bill called HB 246 came up for a hearing Dw. and I again jumped at the chance to bring about change. We jumped in to this effort with every thing we had. We rallied, marched and again testified. We stayed on top of it the whole way. I missed many days of work and Dw missed some school as well. I lost my job, her grades suffered. I am proud to say that this bill is on the Governor’s desk. We along with others that fought so hard for it will be in the Governor’s office when he signs it into law some time this week. Change can happen.

One last change I want to tell you about. We fought for the right for my daughter to use the bathroom of her gender identity. I was ready to sue when the school board finally gave in and Dw and I won that fight, but only in one school district. Now is the time when we will fight for that right to be given to all transgender people every where in our nation. Join us, together we can make a change.

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If you would like to help the Trantham’s then please click here