JTCC 2012: Year in Review and A Look Ahead

The Jim Toy Community Center has prepared its 2012 newsletter. Inside you’ll find a review of our activities and accomplishments over the past year as well as a look ahead to the future. Download it today!

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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 

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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.

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Candidate Forum—Fri. Nov. 2, 6-7pm

Join us on Friday November 2nd from 6-7pm for a candidate forum for the Michigan 22nd Circuit Court – Washtenaw County. The event will be hosted by the Bar at 327 Braun Court.

Remember, the Circuit Court and other important judge elections are in the non-partisan section of the ballot, often at the bottom or on the back. Don’t forget to vote your entire ballot on November 6th!

Both Carol Kunhke and Jim Fink have been invited to participate in the forum. Jim Fink has declined to attend. 

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Call to action: All hands on deck!

Please consider joining us for a pro-equality, non-partisan Get Out The Vote night of fun volunteering at the Jim Toy Community Center, Monday, October 29 from 6 to 9pm. We have phone calls to make AND a mailing to process (just the right size for kid hands). This is a chance to make a difference! We hope to see you Monday!

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OUTFest 2012 – Tomorrow

One last reminder to everyone: OUTFest 2012 is tomorrow, Sept. 29, beginning at 5 p.m.!  We have a ton of things planned for everyone, including a variety of wonderful food and beverage vendors, fantastic entertainers including Abigail Stauffer, Out Loud Chorus, DJ Mark Johnson at the Necto Dance Pavilion and more!

We can’t wait to see you there – And remember: We’d be nowhere without our wonderful sponsors, so please thank them for supporting JTCC!


See you tomorrow!

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Get out the Vote for Equality

With the election just around the corner, it is absolutely imperative, now more than ever, that we identify pro-LGBT voters and get them out to the polls. That’s what our new initiative called, Get Out the Vote for Equality, is all about. We need you to step up and help us stop the blatant attack on the rights of LGBT individuals. If we continue to stand by and do nothing, our rights will continue to deteriorate. That’s not something we can afford to lose.

Below is a volunteer form that we are asking you to fill out; there you’ll find dates and times of our volunteer events. Please sign up for at least one shift. The work of passionate volunteers in our community are why we’ve been so successful so far in our efforts but there’s still so much work to be done before the upcoming election and we need you. The work is not only rewarding but it’s a great way to meet community members with the same interests and passions as you. Will you join us? Again, the sign-up form is below. Please take the time look at the shifts and sign up!


Please contact Alex Ngo, our Outreach Intern, if you any questions whatsoever. Thank you!

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Get ready for OUTFest 2012!

OUTFest 2012

The 18th OUTFest returns to Ann Arbor’s history Kerrytown District Saturday, September 29 with a multiplicity of activities and entertainment for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and allied community of Washtenaw.

This annual celebration begins in the evening at Braun Court, across from the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market. This year’s event will spill into both the Braun Court parking lot as well as the block of N. Fourth Ave. between Catherine St. and E. Kingsley.

OUTFest is a longstanding tradition of Braun Court, in honor of National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11.

“National Coming Out Day is so important because it encourages people, young and old, to come out as LGBT, ally, queer or questioning” explains OUTFest Committee Co-Chair Ashley Schwedt. “But what is most vital about celebrations like OUTfest is that people are literally coming out into a community that already supports and affirms who they are.”

The celebration includes music, dancing, entertainers, food (vendors and Braun Court restaurants), a beer tent, the Grassroots stage with local musicians, speakers, representatives of political campaigns, a children’s play area, raffles and a NECTO-sponsored Dance Pavilion with DJ Mark Johnson.

OUTFest began as a project of Jim Toy Community Center (Previously the Washtenaw Rainbow Action Project) in 1995. The Jim Toy Community Center is a resource for the LGBT residents of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and greater Washtenaw County seeking to provide information, education, social events and advocacy for the community.

Since it’s conception, JTCC’s OUTFest has been hosted and produced with the assistance – and at times leadership – of \aut\Bar co-owners Martin Contreras and Keith Orr, large supporters of the center. This year, OUTFest has been organized by a number of JTCC volunteers working in collaboration with the center’s board of directors.

OUTFest 2012 is 5 p.m. to midnight, September 29 at Braun Court, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. This event is free and open to the public, though a small fee is necessary for access to the celebration’s beer tent. For more information go to www.JimToyCenter.org or search Facebook for “Jim Toy Community Center”.

OUTFest 2012 Sponsors


Between The Lines Newspaper



Trillium Real Estate


Get Out and Live!

Out Post Magazine

For sponsorship information, email Terry McGinn at TerryM@JimToyCenter.org or call 734-834-0598.

Volunteer with JTCC

With just a little over a month to finish planning OUTFest, the Jim Toy Community Center is in need of more volunteers! We’ve got a lot done but there’s still plenty to do!

Join the JTCC on Aug. 26th at 1 p.m. in Braun Court to discuss donations, sponsorships, volunteers and entertainment!

For more information about volunteering of the 26th’s meeting, contact Ashley Schwedt at Aschwedt@umich.edu.

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Get out the Vote for Equality!

It’s rough being Queer in Michigan, so let’s work together to change that!

We are taking a stand against all the anti-gay and anti-transgender issues that have been proposed and enacted in the past couple of years and making sure we don’t lose any more of the rights we have left. Over the next few months leading up to the November election, the Jim Toy Community Center will be working to identify, engage and mobilize pro-equality voters in Washtenaw County. The Center received a $10,000 grant from Michigan Voice to join with other LGBT organizations across the State in this effort.

We don’t need to tell you how important this work is, but we can’t do it without your help! We need to activate scores of volunteers to engage throughout the community. Even if you can spare just a little bit of time, we need you. Find a time to help and sign up (as a volunteer) today!

Please contact Sandi Smith or Arthur Endsley for more information.

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Gay Journalist LZ Granderson will Keynote Pride Dinner

Monday, June 25, 2012
Cocktails: 6:00 PM, Dinner: 7:00 PM
Morris Lawrence Building, Washtenaw Community College

Award-winning CNN and ESPN online gay journalist LZ Granderson will keynote the Jim Toy Community Center’s Pride Dinner on Monday, June 25, at the Morris Lawrence Building, Washtenaw Community College, with cocktails at 6:00 pm and dinner at 7:00 pm.

LZ Granderson

Granderson was named 2011 Journalist of the Year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, as well as 2009 GLAAD Award winner for digital journalism . He is a CNN weekly opinion correspondent and senior writer at ESPN. Granderson is an openly gay, African American journalist who tackles topics of race, sexuality and gender in society and sports. Many of his recent commentaries are archived here

The event will also honor the career of Dr. Sandra Cole, noted sexologist and longtime champion of equality for transgender individuals, who will receive the Jim Toy Lifetime Achievement Award. The Rev. Gail Geisenhainer of the Ann Arbor Unitarian Universalist Church will serve as the evening’s MC.

Tickets are $85 per person or $150 for two. They may be purchased on this website using PayPal, at Common Language Bookstore, or by sending a check to: Jim Toy Center, 319 Braun Ct., Ann Arbor, MI 48104 (indicate if vegetarian entrée is preferred.)

Washtenaw Community College is located at 4800 East Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor. For more information contact Terry McGinn at 734.834.0598 or by e-mail.


Dinner Options
Vegetarian Entrée?
Would you like to be seated with other parties?

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