Equality Cabaret: Making Marriage Equality a Reality — Sunday, Feb. 23 at 1pm

Equality Cabaret: Making Marriage Equality a Reality

Presented by Jim Toy Community Center to benefit Michigan Marriage Challenge.

(From left) Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer with their children, Ryanne, 3, Nolan, 4 and Jacob, 3, in their Hazel Park home on March 6. The Oakland Press/VAUGHN GURGANIAN.

(From left) Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer with their children, Ryanne, 3, Nolan, 4 and Jacob, 3, in their Hazel Park home on March 6. The Oakland Press/VAUGHN GURGANIAN.

Sunday, February 23, 2014 1:00PM at the Ark in Ann Arbor.

Ticket prices:

  • $250 – Benefactor floor front row reserved-name on program and from the stage
  • $100 – Supporter reserved seating and name on program
  • $25 – General Admission

Purchase tickets here: https://www.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?t=tix&e=8950eb5a29a3edcd1511ac30fa841cc8

PRESS RELEASE – Line-Up Announced:

 For immediate release: Line-Up Announced

Press contact: CYNTHIA DUNITZ 734-604-0396. cynthia@flemingartists.com

Equality Cabaret Making Marriage Equality a Reality

Jan. 22, 2014—Artists from Southeast MI are fighting to make marriage equality a reality in Michigan. In partnership with the Jim Toy Community Center, the artists have given their time and talent to raise critically needed funds for the DeBoer-Rowse Family to legally co-adopt their three children.  A benefit for the Michigan Marriage Challenge, presented by the Jim Toy Community Center will be held on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 1pm at The ARK, 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor, MI, 734-761-1800.   Tickets:  $250 Benefactor – reserved seating house floor front & center, $100 Supporters – reserved seating house center and $25 General Admission. Tickets on sale at the Michigan Union Ticket Office 734-763-TKTS or online at https://www.vendini.com/ticketsoftware.html?t=tix&e=8950eb5a29a3edcd1511ac30fa841cc8

This benefit is an opportunity for supporters of marriage equality to help make it a reality. Emceed by U of M Professor Holly Hughes, the evening will feature artists, such as: singer songwriter Vienna Teng (viennateng.com/), folk duo Nervous But Excited in a greatly anticipated re-union (nervousbutexcited.com), Mr. B, Chris Good & the Sweet Insurrection, Eleni Kelakos, Mark Brown as Sylvia, Dueling Divas, Dawn Richberg & Vanessa Marr, Max Brown & Family, and Matt Rice.

Help the DeBoer-Rowse Family: Hazel Park lesbian couple April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are suing the state of Michigan for the right to legally wed and thereby co-adopt their three children. Their case represents a direct, effective and rapid means of securing marriage equality in Michigan.

The state licensed the two nurses as a couple to serve as foster parents of their three special needs children, but Michigan law allows only legally married couples to jointly adopt children.  This civil right, afforded all others in Michigan, is not available to the DeBoer-Rowse family due to Michigan’s constitutional ban on state recognition of same-sex couples.  Because they are prohibited by law to adopt jointly, Rowse adopted their two sons, and DeBoer their daughter.

A team of attorneys is working hard on the family’s case; however, bringing in expert witnesses to demonstrate to the court that same-sex couples are fit parents is expensive. The lawyers estimate the witnesses and other legal expenses could cost 500,000 to $700,000. Federal Judge Bernard A. Friedman, of the Eastern District of Michigan, will begin hearing evidence in DeBoer v. Snyder in late February. The team of attorneys includes Carole Stanyar, Dana Nessel, Ken Mogill, Robert Sedler, and Mary Bonauto.

To learn more about the family and the case or to donate on-line: http://www.michiganmarriagechallenge.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/441179332649684/


Ann Arbor 4th of July Parade—March with us!

Join the Jim Toy Community Center and show your Pride in the Ann Arbor 4th of July Parade!


Bring your friends and family and not only show your Gay Pride but your American Pride as well because after all, We are American Families!

We will be lining up at 9am on Maynard Street between William and Jefferson!

Parade begins at 10am.

New Volunteer Orientation

The Jim Toy Community Center will be conducting two new volunteer orientation sessions:

  • Sunday, June 9 from 12pm-1pm
  • Tuesday, June 11 from 8pm-9pm

New volunteers only need to attend one session.

Vote Like Your Rights Depend on It!

Vote the ENTIRE ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 6th!

Election Day is tomorrow, Tuesday, November 6! Don’t forget to make a plan for when you’re going to the polls, how you’re going to get there, and what you’re going to vote for! Ask you friends and family what their plan is, and offer to help out if they need it.

Every election matters! Our representatives and elected officials make decisions about civil rights, health care, the economy, jobs, and other issues that affect our lives. Remember that your voice matters, and your vote counts!

Don’t forget to vote the non-partisan section of the ballot, often on the back or the bottom!

If you need any assistance on Election Day, call the Election Protection hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (687-8683).

Your friends at the Jim Toy Community Center 

Michigan Trans* Voter Guide

Transgender people face uncountable challenges, and we don’t want voting to be one for you. Whether you’re a first time voter or you have done this before, this guide is intended to empower you as a voter. Remember, voting is a fundamental right for all citizens. It is imperative, as a minority community, to raise our voices to make the changes we want to see.

Let’s Vote!

Here are some gender-marker related considerations that you may want to think about when deciding how you will go and vote:

  •  If you have not been able to change your gender marker on your driver’s license/ID and you don’t want poll workers seeing your ID, then absentee voting might be a good option for you.
  • If you are a first time voter, you must have registered in person at your local clerk or Secretary of State in order to vote absentee. This option is also good for trans* students, trans* folks with disabilities and trans* folks who need English assistance.

Different Ways to Vote

  • Absentee voting (recommended if you are nervous about outing yourself at the polls):
    • Absentee voting applications are in the column on the left side of the michigan.gov/vote page and the application must be to your city/township/county clerk by no later than 2pm on Saturday, Aug 4th for primaries and 2pm on Saturday, November 3rd for general. The completed absentee ballot must be returned no later than 8pm on the day of the elections.
    • First time voters: If you have registered by mail or through a third party organization, you will have to verify your identity at your local clerk by showing a photo ID. This can be done either before the elections or if you drop off your absentee ballot in person.
    • If you’ve applied for an absentee ballot and show up at the polls, that may be challenged, so do your best to turn it in if you’ve applied for it.
  • Voting in person:
    • Make sure you are at the correct polling location. Check the michigan.gov/vote webpage or ask your local clerk. An organization called People for The American Way has a polling location hotline as well (800-326-7329).
    • Please look at the Trans* Tips for Feeling Good at the Polls section for help on gender identity concerns, disability and language barriers concerns.
    • ‘Typical’ ballot: Michigan law requires you to present a photo ID to go through a typical ballot process, so bring this with you if you have it.
    • No photo ID with you: Affidavit followed by a ‘typical’ ballot: If your name is on the voter registration list but you do not have a photo ID on you, then you will go through an affidavit process:
      • First, you will sign an oath, saying that you do not have an ID on you.
      • Next, a precinct board member will ask you a few questions in person to verify some information.
      • Finally, you will be given a typical ballot and it WILL be counted as part of the voting totals.
    • Pollworkers are uncertain: Affidavit followed by provisional ballot: If your name does not appear on the registration list or if the poll workers have suspicion about whether you are:
      1. 18 years old,
      2. a citizen,
      3. a true resident of the city/township or (4)
      4. whether you registered before the deadline,

      Then you will go through the affidavit process. You will be asked questions specific to the uncertain info and will be issued a provisional ballot instead of a typical ballot.

      Your provisional ballot status only matters if it is “challenged,” which may happen if the precinct board member is still unsure about the verification of your information. This will go through a court process, post-election.

Trans* Tips for Feeling Good at the Polls

Modified from the National Transgender Center for Equality’s “Overcoming Voting Obstacles”

Remember – it is your right to vote.

If you registered to vote and you show up to vote, you vote. Period.

What you should have with you just in case:

  • If you have legally changed your name and you did not re-register under your new legal bring the following items with you to the polls:
    • The copies of the court paperwork you had to go through
    • Or some older photo IDs or physicians’ letters if you don’t have that paperwork
    • If you don’t have any of these items or don’t want to bring these items but you are on the registration lists, ask to go through the affidavit process. If you’re not on the registration list, ask for a provisional (see Ways to Vote for more info) Please also call the Our Vote hotline (866-687-8683) to report and for further assistance.
  • If you have not gotten a legal gender marker change on your photo ID and/or your photo does not ‘match’ the presentation of your gender that day, and you’re nervous about poll workers challenging your identity, you should bring:
    • Copies of older photo IDs
    • Physicians’ letters
    • Any other documents that prove you are who you are
      • Follow the same starred procedure above if you are still questioned or if you don’t have these items
  • Bring a voting buddy! Be it a fellow trans*friend, a family member or someone else who makes you feel comfortable, bring them with you to the polling location. You are legally allowed to have someone assist you in the polling both if:
    • You have a disability
    • You are unable to read or write (make sure the other person is a registered voter too!).
    • Language barriers exist

The trans* community has always been integral to positive social change, despite receiving little recognition for hard-fought efforts. We need to be involved and visible in the conversation around voting and civic engagement, so that we can hold our politicians accountable to our community. Voting is a way we build our power as a community, a way to start making change so that we finally see our values and our needs highlighted by those representing us.

AAFF: Out Night with Barbara Hammer—Mar. 28th @ 9:15pm

The Jim Toy Community Center is participating in the 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival as a community partner for Out Night with Barbara Hammer, taking place Wednesday, March 28th @ 9:15pm at the Michigan Theater. If you enter this code –  *AAFF50JTCC* – when buying online tickets, you will get $3 off the advance ticket price ($10 standard)! This screening in the theater’s main auditorium is likely to draw a large audience, so advanced tickets and arriving early are recommended.

Synopsis of the Program

A celebration of historic and influential LGBTQ films, featuring trailblazing filmmaker Barbara Hammer in person with her films. Tina Takemoto’s video *Looking for Jiro* (2011), Ira Sachs’ 1994 film *Lady*, *Frank’s Cock* (1993) by Mike Hoolboom and *Jerovi*, a 1965 film by José Rodriguez-Soltero will also be presented.

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is the longest-running independent and experimental film festival in North America. The 50th AAFF takes place March 27th – April 1st, 2012 and presents over 200 films, videos and live media performances from more than 20 countries with dozens of U.S., N. American and world premieres. For more info: http://aafilmfest.org/50

Lend Your Voice—Statussexy—Mar. 21 @ 6pm

Statussexy is the movement to address HIV in our community. Young black men ages 13-24 have the highest rates of new HIV infections, and this is happening right in our own backyard. Statussexy is a way to fight back. We’re coming together at Jim Toy on March 21 at 6pm to set a game plan.

The more voices, the better!

Where: Jim Toy Center, 319 Braun Court, Ann Arbor, MI

When: March 21 @ 6pm

HIV: The Facts, Just the Facts, Weds. Feb. 1 6pm-8pm

The Jim Toy Community Center, in conjunction with HARC, brings to you an invitation to learn about HIV/AIDS, eat yummy food, and hang with great people. If you are between 12-19 this evening is for you.  If you are over 19, this evening is for someone you love, you like, and you care for.

HIV/AIDS Resource Center
Providing HIV/AIDS related services to the people of Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, and Washtenaw Counties.

A talented speaker from HARC will share the facts—just the facts—of HIV/AIDS.

Where: Wild Wednesday, at the Jim Toy Community Center, 319 Braun Court • Ann Arbor, MI 48104

When: February 1, 2012 from 6:00-8:00

Do you know FACTS about how HIV is spread and prevented? Do you know that HIV can be passed through four bodily fluids? Do you know HIV can be prevented?


Jim Toy Center Open House, Nov. 17th 6:30p-9:00p!

11/17/11 is a Prime Day to have a Jim Toy Community Open House at the Jim Toy Community Center!

Come visit us between 6:30p to 9:00p!

We will have smiling faces, joyful conversations, yummy things for your tummy, and an update of all the amazing happenings at the center.

This is an all age open house, so everyone is welcome!

Please share this invitation with friends and family.

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