The Sophia Report (August 18, 2014)

Simon Bolivar Festival

We had a great time at the Simon Bolivar Festival, listening to the music sampling the food, and meeting the people. It was a pleasure talking to those of you who came up and asked who I was and what the meaning of 2016 was.

The Simon Bolivar festival is a celebration of the culture of five principle countries in South America. Simon Bolivar is recognized by those countries as the Great Liberator. Together with San Martin, he led Venezuela, Columbia (including Panama), Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia to independence from the Spanish Empire, laying the groundwork for democracy in Latin America. Born to a family that owned slaves, Simon was radical in his time by fighting for fairness for all. During my time in the US Navy, I visited both Panama and Ecuador, exchanging letters for a time with someone I had met in Quito, Ecuador.

Truth in Taxation

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The Sophia Report (July 25, 2014)

Salt Lake Tribune Letter of the Week

This week I had the dubious distinction of penning the Salt Lake Tribune Letter of the Week.  Titled Don’t forget transgender in marriage debate, I was inspired to write it after reading another article that referred to the Marriage Equality struggle as a gay and lesbian issue. Under that framing, I was feeling that my marriage and those of other transgender people were being left out of the equation. Marriage Equality benefits more than just the lesbian and gay community, and that's why so many people are fighting for it. It's a Human Rights issue which opens up the possibility of families redefining their marriages around love and commitment, instead of gender and procreation.

Meeting the Mayor of Midvale

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Show Your Support

As you are probably aware, I have created a website that hosts my blog entries, my calendar of upcoming events, and is also an ideal place to get involved should you desire to volunteer, donate, or spread the word.

Will you register your support today? Yes, I'd love to register.

Even though I was Out in Convention this year on my first bid, I am planning another run for the Utah legislature in 2016. Two years may seem like a long time, but it will be here before you know it.

Before I ran, despite being an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights, I didn't have a lot of the right connections. That is changing, and rapidly. Because I ran, I have drawn support and guidance from the following organizations and people:

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Southern Baptist Convention Has Gone Too Far

I'm done with the Southern Baptists. I renounce my membership within their congregation. I had two Baptist minister grandfathers who also outspokenly renounced the SBC, and today I join them in my repudiation.

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Pride

This Utah Pride Weekend I danced for four days--not continuous, mind you, but because the opportunities were there. And in general, that's what the Pride celebrations are about. Pride is about engendering a new hope; it's about finding our voice as a community; and it's about coming together to be heard. It's about marginalized communities supporting one another and demanding representation and change. These are my people, this is one of my communities, and I want to be their voice, their hope, and an added impetus for change. So for the first time in my life I actually joined the Pride Parade. For the first time, I was no longer stealth, and in a sense, I was free to play while I made my willingness to represent known.

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What is Progress

Yesterday after dance practice, I met for the first time with Utah Progress and joined their steering committee for planning a block party in August. It was well-organized, the committee itself was quite diverse, and the brain-storming session went very well. It felt good becoming a part of something so tangibly action-oriented. Part of the objective of Utah Progress is to bring attention to the progress that is being made in Utah by bringing together and recognizing progressive organizations--hence the block party. What is my personal definition of progress?

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Utah Panel on State's Rights

With 6 days left before Governor Herbert and AG Sean Reyes are required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in Utah or appeal and get a stay pending that appeal. We still no have word from the 10th Circuit with regards to Kitchen v Herbert, and the Republicans want to convene a council on state rights? Why?

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