Stephanie Mott

Ten Steps to Winning the Transgender Bathroom “Debate”

StephanieMottBy Stephanie Mott

  1. Stop Calling It a Debate – If your argument against allowing transgender people to use the bathrooms associated with their gender identity amounts to repeating a lot of garbage that is patently false, it is not a debate. There are truth-tellers and there are liars.
  1. God Said – All ye who are persons of faith AND believe gender identity should be respected, even/especially in bathrooms, please stand up and say so. I know that a lot of you are already doing that. We need a lot more. Please.

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Awakenings, Intersections, and Transgender Activism

StephanieMottBy Stephanie Mott

As the world began to see me as a woman, the world began to take away privilege. I knew male privilege existed. I just didn’t think I was part of the problem. When I let go of the male persona and moved into authenticity as a woman, I couldn’t help but notice the changes in how the world viewed and treated me.

The changes included devaluation of my opinion, preconceptions about my abilities, and having to be more intentional if I wanted to have a voice. Less subtle was the realization that not only was my opinion seen to have less value, but also the sanctity of my body and my life.

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An Unconditional Act of Faith – Rev. Cynthia Meyer Comes Out to Her Methodist Congregation

StephanieMottBy Stephanie Mott

It was a great honor to stand outside on this chilly, windy, winter day. It was a great honor to stand with pastors and members of congregations, from Wichita, from Kansas City, and I am certain from points beyond. It was an honor to stand with these brave people as they braved more than the cold on this day. They were braving the act of publicly outing themselves as LGBTQ allies.

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Column: Claiming My Religious Right

StephanieMottBy Stephanie Mott

In the days of my youth, I knew little of the meanings of terms such as the religious right and the liberal left. I was taught to believe in a loving God, and that, I have begun to understand, is the greatest fortune of my birth. I was raised by parents who believed in a loving God.

The religious right that is the subject of this blog is not the religious right that comes to mind as these words are used to classify a particular brand of faith. The religious right I speak of, is my right to believe in a loving God. It is a right that was stolen from me. It is a right I have claimed once again.

It is not the right to force my religious beliefs on another. Nor is it a requirement for anyone to embrace the spiritual nature of the universe. In truth, it seems strange to me that the Creator of the universe would be so vain as to require that someone must believe before they are worthy of unconditional love. Not to put too fine a point on it, but adding the requirement of believing in God in order to qualify for unconditional love kind of negates the unconditional part.

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Column: Transgender Acceptance Simplified: The Air and the Light

StephanieMottBy Stephanie Mott

In the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” there is a scene where Evelyn Couch (Kathy Bates) is asking her husband, Ed, if Ms. Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy) can move in with them. She explains how Ms. Threadgoode has changed her life and Ed is all like “It’s not going to happen.” Evelyn persists and Ed finally asks her, “What has changed?”

She says, “The air and the light.” Then the movie goes on without stopping to recognize that Evelyn Couch just said the most amazing thing. What has changed? The air and the light. The air. Every breath I take. The light. Everything I see.

You ask me what has changed since I stopped pretending to be a man and began living as the woman of my soul? The air and the light.

To begin with, there is air now, and there is light. There never was before. Light was non-existent. Every breath contained thoughts of suicide. I could not imagine the day when I could live as my woman self. I could not continue trying to live as the man I never was.

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Learning and Sharing at Womyn Rising Topeka 2014

Womyn Rising
Photos courtesy Dan Brennan. (l-r) Holly Weatherford (Advocacy Director with the ACLU of Kansas), Ann Mah (Former Kansas House Representative), and Stephanie Mott

By Stephanie Mott

Living as a woman in the state of Kansas for the last seven years, I have learned many new things. How does one rightly go about being a woman? After all, I spent many years trying to figure out how one rightly goes about being a man – to no avail, I might add. Thus, seven years ago I began the process of discovering, uncovering, and recovering the woman of my soul. It never occurred to me that one day I would be organizing a women’s conference in Topeka.

Last weekend Capital City NOW worked together with the Washburn University Women’s and Gender Studies department, the Washburn student group STAND (Students Together Advocating Non-Violent Dating), YWCA of Topeka Center for Safety and Empowerment, and the local chapter of the League of Women Voters to present the first-of-its-kind Womyn Rising conference at Washburn University in Topeka. As vice-president of Capital City NOW, I had the honor of being the conference committee chairwoman.

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Column: Transgender Education – Teaching the Teachers

StephanieMottBy Stephanie Mott

Is transgender education partly responsible for transgender discrimination?  Unfortunately the answer to that question is yes. It is time for us to message the message. What does it mean to be transgender? Who are we? What do we need you to see about us?

The single most significant barrier to transgender equality is the idea that transgender women are not really women. So, why do we continue to teach it?

We, which is inclusive of me, have repeatedly taught the very same ideas that stand in the way of seeing us for who we really are. The teachings are embedded in the message we share. Perhaps we should learn to teach the ideas that open up the doors of understanding.

In our own writings; in the words that are found in articles, on blogs, and in our own minds; we unintentionally reinforce the message we most need to confront. We do this when we talk about becoming a woman or becoming a man. We do this when we use the word, “transition”?

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