Friday, November 19, 2010

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Tomorrow, November 20, is the 12th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

According to the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition , "The annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) memorializes individuals who have been killed throughout the world in the previous year because of anti-transgender hatred. Between 2008 and 2009, at least 163 people were murdered because of their gender identity or gender expression.  Unfortunately, we do not have good numbers for 2009-2010."

Learn more about the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) at this link.

The Rev. Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, has issued a statement on the TDOR at this link.

May we always have the courage and compassion to stand on the side of love with our transgender sisters and brothers.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day for Night

We had a marvelous fundraising concert on November 13 -- a "jazz ball" -- put on by Day for Night, a local jazz ensemble that includes a singer, keyboards, guitar, sax/flute/clarinet, guitar, bass, and drums.  They were so excellent.  The talent level is unbelievable to me.  They are fronted by UUCiA member Patty Brayden (vocals, pictured, left) and her husband John Finbury on keyboards.

Something like 70 folks showed up -- a wonderful turnout. We also had some very nice refreshments, thanks to the Congregational Family Committee.

Below you will find some videos I took -- just snippets I filmed with my camera, so the quality of filming/recording isn't good.  These videos do not do the band justice, believe me!  But just to give a little sense of the flavor, I'm including the videos here.

Here are the videos ....  The electric guitar is distorted in my sound.

This final video is an instrumental, "Freddie Freeloader".  The guitar chords are distorted, but listen at about 58 seconds in and the recording sound is better!

If you ever get the chance, don't miss out on seeing them perform!  We hope that they will perform at UUCiA for years to come. 

To the right:  A picture of the instrumentalists in the band.  (Click on the picture to see it larger.)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Veterans (Armistice) Day for Peace

Photo:  I am at the microphone, offering "Words of Peace" at the start of the "Veterans (Armistice) Day for Peace" of the Smedley D. Butler Brigade of Veterans for Peace, held on November 11, 2010 at Sam Adams Plaza, Faneuil Hall, Boston.  (Photo by Nate Goldshlag.)

This past Thursday was Veterans Day (formerly known as Armistice Day).  As some may know, I am a US Navy veteran (active duty from '90-'94).  Over the past few years, I have become increasingly involved with Veterans for Peace. 

Veterans for Peace is a non-profit organization made up of veterans who (according to its mission statement) recognize their “greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace”; VFP is an “educational and humanitarian organization dedicated to the abolishment of war”.  The local chapter, the Smedley D. Butler Brigade, is named after Marine Corps General Smedley Butler, who won two Congressional Medals of Honor but then went on to write War is a Racket as he came to see that he had spent his career fighting for the interests of rich people and corporations. 

For the past several years, the Smedley Butler Chapter of VFP has marched after the Veterans Day Parade in Boston.  We're not part of the official parade because the organizers of the official parade do not want groups to march with more than one banner, nor do they want groups to march calling out cadences.  Since VFP wants to spread its message with multiple banners, signs, and cadences for peace, we march after the main parade, after the street sweepers and ambulance and so on.

After the parade, we had our special event, "Veterans (Armistice) Day for Peace" (pictured above).  There were many wonderful speakers and performers.  I'm going to share three videos I took.  The first two are partial performances by the Leftist Marching Band, and the third is a mime peace, "War through the Ages" (about 6 minutes).  I hope you will enjoy them.

I have found my involvement with the "Smedleys" to be very moving.  Some of the members have been peace activists for as long as I've been alive!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Jazz Concert Party this Saturday night! (November 13)

Enjoy an evening with friends and wonderful LIVE music – Saturday, November 13 at 7 pm. The featured band is “Day For Night” with Patty Brayden on vocals and John Finbury on keyboard.

Beverages, snacks and desserts will be available. Suggested donation $10.00 – proceeds to benefit UUCiA.  Please join us!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Merrimack Valley PFLAG Chapter -- kick-off event tonight

This evening, I will be one of the panelists at a Merrimack Valley PFLAG Chapter kick-off event....  Here's the announcement from Greater Boston PFLAG:

Greater Boston Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays invites you to an event to talk about what can be done to make Andover, Methuen, Haverhill and Lawrence safe, welcoming and inclusive communities for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.


 An Evening of Dialogue on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People

Tuesday, November 9
7:00 to 8:30 pm
Memorial Hall Library - 3rd Floor
2 North Main Street
Andover, MA 01810

Free and open to the public

Light Refreshments

Event highlights:

·        An extraordinary new film, "Always My Son"

  • Panel of speakers including parents and youth

  • Learn the latest research on the importance of Family Acceptance

    Who should attend? Anyone who wants to learn about how to be an ally to LGBT people, parents of LGBT people, LGBTQ people, Gay Straight Alliance Advisors, Teachers - Anyone and Everyone!


    For more information, contact: or visit or call (781) 891-5966

    Greater Boston PFLAG is a group of parents, families, friends, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. We help change attitudes and create an environment of understanding so that our gay family members and friends can live in a world that is safe and inclusive. We accomplish this through support, education, and advocacy. Greater Boston PFLAG offers:

    · Monthly group support meetings - New monthly meeting at South Church, Andover, 4th Tuesday . Go to: for a complete list of meetings in Greater Boston.
    · Confidential telephone support and information
    · Parent-to-parent support
    · Safe Schools Program teacher and student training
    · Elsie Frank Scholarship Program
    · Gay straight alliance assistance

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010


    Don't take your right to vote for granted...