Transgender Life and Rights

MON, NOV 8, 2010 (45:42)

Film director Sara Herwig joins Somerville’s LGBT Liaison Raffi Freedman-Gurspan for a discussion of the issues faced by transgender people in the United States. The discussion covers religious belief, federal and state laws, and cultural stigmas. The talk followed a screening of Thy Will Be Done, a documentary by Alice Dungan Bouvrie that follows male-to-female transsexual Sara Herwig on her path to ordination in the Presbyterian Church. The talk was held in the Somerville Community Access Television studio.

+ BIO: Raffi Freedman-Gurspan

Raffi Freedman-Gurspan is the Legislative and Policy Staffer for the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. She is also the LGBT Liaison for the City of Somerville, and works part-time at the Women’s Studies Program at Boston University. Adopted from Central America and raised in the Greater Boston area, Raffi has a strong multicultural background and has worked continuously since high school on human rights issues, including LGBT matters. A graduate of St. Olaf College Northfield, Minnesota in Political Science, she hopes to pursue a career in public policy-making.

+ BIO: Alice Dungan Bouvrie

Alice Dungan Bouvrie brings over 20 years of experience in the film industry to her role as documentary Producer and Director. She holds a Master’s Degree in Film Production from Boston University, a Master’s Degree in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University, and is a graduate of the DGA Producers Training Program out of New York. She is an active member of the Director’s Guild of America, and an active member and former board member of Women in Film & Video/New England. Bouvrie worked as an Assistant Director on feature films, TV series and specials, commercials and industrials for seven years then began producing documentaries as an independent in 1993, forming Mineral King Productions, a video documentary production company based in Arlington, Massachusetts. Mineral King Productions produces broadcast-quality documentary videos with an intercultural emphasis. The organization was created in response to a need for culturally based video projects that would bring depth and immediacy to topical subject matter.

+ BIO: Sara J. Herwig

Sara Herwig holds a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She transitioned from living in the male gender role to living in the female gender role in 1997. From 1999 to 2001 she was the Director of Operations at The International Foundation For Gender Education (IFGE) where she became involved in Educating others about transgender issues. She has given presentations and lead workshops for graduate classes at Harvard University, Boston University, Andover-Newton Theological School, the Human Resources Department of the University of New Hampshire, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and various conferences. Most of her education and advocacy work has been done in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She is on the National Board of That All May Freely Serve (TAMFS) one of several organization in the PC(USA) working for full inclusion of all people in the life and ministry of the church. She is currently under care of the Presbytery of Boston and was certified ready to seek a call for ordination to the ministry of Word and Sacrament in August of 2006.

+ BIO: Rachel Wiederhoeft

Rachel Wiederhoeft is the treasurer for Join the Impact Massachusetts, a grassroots organization in Boston fighting for full federal equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning or Queer citizens. She has been interested in activism and education since organizing with her high school Gay/Straight Alliance in Madison, WI.

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