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Marblehead plans forums on transgender awareness

By BETHANY DOANE

MARBLEHEAD — The Task Force Against Discrimination (TFAD) is making plans for a spring forum on supporting and protecting the transgender community.

TFAD will show a documentary on transgender experiences Sunday, March 26 from 2-4 p.m. in the Marblehead library meeting room followed by a discussion.

“People from other communities are definitely welcome to attend; young adults, parents, anyone and everyone,” said TFAD member Loren Weston.  

TFAD was formed in 1989 to battle anti-Semitism. Its mission is to make Marblehead a community where all are welcome, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic background or gender. For the past three years, Marblehead has been awarded membership as a No Place for Hate community and TFAD co-chairman Anne Marie Hunter said the recognition highlights TFAD’s efforts to push for sensitivity training on behalf of all groups targeted by prejudice and bigotry.

Hunter said group members focus on “empowering people to be who they are” through cultivating a safer, more informed and accepting society. She said there is a particularly urgent demand for better understanding and inclusion of LGBTQ community members, including transgender youth.

TFAD is not the only local organization committed to eliminating bias and bigotry. Marblehead High School teenagers were honored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for their response to anti-Semitic vandalism at the school.

Students raised $8,000 to pay for ADL-sponsored anti-bias training at Marblehead High. They also filmed an informational video with ADL, which has already been viewed in a local synagogue and shown in Sharon Middle School in Sharon, following an incident in that community.

“It is important for the community to be aware that these events are happening here in Marblehead,” Salem State Professor Melissa Kaplowitch said, adding that the TFAD “can have a wonderful effect on the schools and trickle down into the community.”

Updates on the March transgender film showing and discussion will be posted to the Facebook page for Marblehead Task Force Against Discrimination. Further information about North Shore Alliance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth (nAGLY) is available at www.nagly.org, or call (978) 224-2102.

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