GenderFold Action Alliance
After an initial phone convening in January 2010, the group worked towards orchestrating an in person visioning retreat in Cleveland in May 2010. The UCC Office of Health and Wholeness served as fiscal sponsor and national offices hosted the gathering.
During that May 2010 gathering, the UCC GenderFold Action Alliance was founded with 6 stewards leading the group forward, including Malcolm Himschoot and Monica Cross, two of the initial co-conveners. The name was chosen after two days of consensus-building among people of different ages. Amidst the diversity of gender identities and expressions, priority was to center those most marginalized, who might continue to use different language to name themselves in years ahead.
While some of the initial stewards were unable to continue, the GenderFold continued for 3 years. The remaining stewards called the group to retirement with this note in May 2014:
Dear public and genderrific constituents,
This post marks a formal decision by three remaining UCC GenderFold Stewards to let the existence of this informal network lapse, as of July 15, 2014.
GenderFold was birthed in 2010. These years contributed the following:
Relationships of support and friendship among trans and gender-variant people
Leadership development, including the leadership of two gender-nonconforming and transgender people in the leadership team of The Coalition for LGBT Concerns
Community-building within the United Church of Christ
Spring-boarding the advocacy of UCC people against the health insurance exclusion
Networks of transgender and gender-variant individuals continue to emerge, locally, nationally, ecumenically and otherwise. Every year that goes by marks new landmarks of progress and new critical mass for trans people within particular contexts. Even as GenderFold closes and makes way, God is doing a new thing!