Tag: transgender

TDOR – Transgender Day of Remembrance

TDOR Flyer

Transgender Day of Remembrance

On a special episode of the podcast we sit down with Kate Parrish, President of the RCGA (River City Gender Alliance), and she shares about TDOR Omaha and what is happening along with how RCGA is supporting the play Mama’s Girls produced by SNAP! Productions and showing now at the Shelterbelt Theater.  Click HERE to buy tickets to the show before they sell out!

Transgender Day of Remembrance is this Friday, November 20th.

TDoR Omaha presents the 4th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance at the beautiful First Unitarian Church of Omaha, 31st and Harney.  TDoR is a day that we gather in community to remember those who have died in the name of transphobia, share the living history of the transgender community, and to celebrate the transgender community.

What’s in a Name?

What is in a name? From before we even take our first breathe, outside of our mothers womb, we are given a name. Something people can know us by, and can start to formulate opinions of before they can even see us. People will begin to shop for you based on that name and they feel some sort of comfort in knowing if they are shopping for a boy or a girl.

When I was born it was 1965 and back then ultrasound technology was not being used in the United States. As a matter of fact it would be another 5-10 years before it would even emerge in the states and I would already be firmly known as Beth. There is a part of me that wishes the world could come to a place where we just allow our little creations to emerge as HUMAN and then allow them to share with us who they are as they grow and develop. So that young transgender/nonbinary humans would have the say in what they will be called long before a name that might not suit them takes hold. And they could be respected in their choice to wear non-traditional clothing for their assigned gender.

It is not typical in the transgender community for folks to comfortably share their former names, also referred to as a dead name, but I have never hated the name Beth. I do know, as a progress in my transition, I have moved further and further away from it as something that was a part of me.  Most transgender folks refer to their former name as a dead name because it is a part of their identity that is dead to them.

According to the Advocate, “dead-naming” is a term that involves “the practice of uttering or publishing the name that a transperson used prior to transition.” Most of the time, an individual will pick a new name as soon as they begin to identify as the gender they know they are on the inside. This new name, in a way, marks the “death” of their old identity and the person they once were. With a new name, they signify a new, more truthful, and more fully realized phase of their life.

Another thing that is true for me is I don’t honestly feel I was born in the wrong body, just not the one that is 100% me.  I still don’t hate my name but I do know that it doesn’t fit who I see myself as being completely and authentically.

The process for coming up with my name was a funny one. After being born and raised in Omaha and 50 years of being Beth and creating my own personal brand, so to speak, it was hard to think of how it might feel to let that all go. Or perhaps to re-create myself on the outside to match who I feel I am on the inside.

Would people still love me?

Would they understand and support me and respect my choice to be called Eli?

Well one thing is for sure, after 50 years of living a life being something I do not feel is 100% authentically me, it was time to start living for ME and allowing myself to have the freedom to be Eli! Regardless of what anyone else thinks about it.

So, here is a short video which further explains my choice to be known as Eli and to allow Beth to take a rest, after all she has really done some extraordinary things over the past 50 years! I will share more with you as I continue along my transition and I promise to answer all of your questions! Thank you for the incredible love and support you have showered on me. Thank you for giving me the freedom to be Eli!

EliNameChangePaperworkEli Rigatuso shares why he chose the name, Eli.  After 50 years of being known as Beth to his community, it took some time to settle on a name.  And as of Thursday, October 22, 2015, his name change was submitted and by December the name will be official.  We of course will keep you updated (it is a 6 week process)!
A GREAT BIG THANK YOU goes out to Joni Watke Stacy of Sena, Polk, and Stacy LLP

If you need legal assistance we highly recommend Joni Watke Stacy!

GLSEN Omaha

Today on the podcast we are talking with JohnCarl Denkovich who is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors for GLSEN and his primary role is to serve as the local chapters Director of Policy and Legislative advocacy. He also sits on the National Advisory Council for GLSENs National Board.

GLSEN Omaha is a Chapter of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. The mission of GLSEN Omaha is to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. They primarily serve the Omaha metropolitan area, including Council Bluffs, IA but provide services across Nebraska. They strive to protect students from bullying and harassment, to advance comprehensive safe schools laws and policies, to empower principals to make their schools safer, and to build the skills of educators to teach respect for all people. They work closely with the national staff of GLSEN to implement programs and affect positive change in school communities.

If you don’t see the player you can click here and listen to the podcast on Pod-o-matic!  Thank you for listening!

Vulnerability in Action

BriannaHumphrey2Today I was going about my morning as usual when I came across a lovely post on facebook by a young woman living in Kearney, Nebraska. People ask me all the time, why are you such an activist? Why does the LGBTQIA Community celebrate Pride? Why? Why? Why? Well, I can’t explain much better than this wonderful post by my new friend Brianna Humphrey, so I am not even going to try. But I will say this much, when ther day comes when people are not being rejected for being who they are, when our youth are not taking their own lives in numbers to high to even stomach, when we can truly just love and let people be and celebrate their milestones in life with them, that will be the day we no longer need to celebrate Pride, but that day has yet to come and this post reminds me of the need to keep educating, to keep being an outspoken activist, and to keep spreading HAPPY!  When I read her post and immediately asked her if I could share it here.  She agreed and here is our first guest contributor! I hope you enjoy it!  Oh and please be sure to give her some love with amazing and supportive comments!  Thank you!

(just click the date below and it will open in FB so you can read her post).

UNO Gender/Sexuality Resource Center

On this episode of Speaking Of Happy Podcast Eli interviews Jessi Hitchins, Director of the UNO Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, and Jay Irwin, Associate Professor of Sociology at UNO and is a teacher and scholar of LGBTQ identities and health. We get to know more about what the center has to offer the students as well as the greater Omaha Community in helping to create safe spaces for the LGBTQIA Community.

Jessi loves Musical theatre, is a doctoral candidate, and scooter-riding nerd. Puggle/dog lover. Passionate feminist and polysexual wife/partner. Avid UNO Maverick fan!

And Jay loves live music and binge watching television shows, his favorite is Orphan Black.

UNO_GSRC_Jessi_Jay_Me

If you don’t see the player you can click the link below and listen to the podcast on Pod-o-matic!  Thank you for listening!

Speaking Of Happy Podcast by Eli Rigatuso

Radio Talk show!

Yes humans it is time for the first episode of the Speaking Of Happy Radio Talk Show!  Hosted by Eli Rigatuso!  This is a unique version of the show as it is an interview between Eli and a long time friend.  The interview took place about a week after the Caitlyn Jenner 20/20 Interview with Diane Sawyer.  At the time this was recorded Caitlyn was still going by Bruce and was OK with the pronouns Him/He.  And I do refer to Caitlyn in this manner during the interview.  Please understand that it is imperative to honor the request of transgender people when they provide you with a name and pronouns.  It is about respect.  I wanted to share this interview because even referring to myself as Transgender was very new for me and I had yet to pick out a name that works for me or even begin to think about what my transition would look like.

Since this interview I have picked a name and have shared with my family and many friends and even strangers about my transition.  I am proud to refer to myself as Eli Rigatuso, Trans Man.  I will be sharing many other stories as well as videos created by me to this site so keep checking back.  I seriously hope you enjoy the interview.

It originally Aired on www.radiomaha.com an online radio station located in Omaha and broadcast all over the interwebs and run by an eclectic group of radioheads.  I will be doing a regular weekly talk show which I am calling Speaking Of Happy and will be interviewing local LGTBQIA organizations and people living in Omaha, Nebraska.

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If you don’t see the player you can click the link below and listen to the podcast on Pod-o-matic!  Thank you for listening!

Speaking Of Happy Podcast by Eli Rigatuso

 

Transition

This video was created from a spoken word piece written by Eli for his significant other. When he first realized he was transgender and he shared with his life partner there was some struggle. Transition isn’t just about the person who is transitioning, it is about everyone near and dear to that person as well. This video is for anyone who is either tranistioning or is close to someone who is. Please be gentle with yourselves in this process and be sure to surround yourself with people who love you and support you and will listen to you when you need to speak. I am very fortunate to have a life partner who is willing to look within and challenge herself to see the world in new and wonderful ways. She is choosing to walk this path with me and I am so very grateful for her. She is my rock, my salvation, the place I can go to find true comfort and love. There are amazing people in this world, if you are willing to let them in, they may surprise you with how they will respond! Much love and blessings to you today! I hope you enjoy this video.

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