Leone Kraus

Winter Heat: Celebrating the Work of Women in New York City

Filed By Leone Kraus | February 11, 2011 8:30 AM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: Empire State Pride Agenda, Winter Heat

I've written a lot about social media and how others in the community are using social media to reach and engage their fans. WinterHeat08.jpgOne thing I haven't spoken about yet on Bilerico is my commitment to fighting for equal rights. When I'm not posting blogs, working, or going to school (see my Bilerico bio for more), I'm volunteering for a variety of LGBT equality fighting organizations, including New York State's civil rights and lobby organization, the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA).

Since 2007, I have donated my time, money, and talent to ESPA to further the LGBT equality movement in New York. To celebrate my work and the work of other women who further LGBT causes in New York State, ESPA hosts an annual fundraiser designed specifically to celebrate and applaud the hard work of women: Winter Heat. For the third year in a row, I'm sitting on the committee for this exciting celebration and this is the second year that my partner and I are sponsors.

This year is particularly exciting for me because we are adding a new sponsorship level, Young Patron, to this year's Winter Heat. The Young Patron is a sponsor level for people ages 21-30 who want to be recognized for their commitment to equality but who don't have hundreds to fork over for upper level sponsorships. This came about because the first year I was asked to be on the committee, I was under 30 and I didn't have the means to purchase the other sponsor levels, which I wanted to do. So in one of the Winter Heat wrap-up meetings with ESPA, I brought up the idea to adding a sponsorship level that would allow the next generation of LGBT leaders to be recognized for their commitment to equality. If you're over 30, a business owner, or an employee at a gay-friendly corporation, there are other sponsorship levels that you can view by clicking here. If you're not interested in sponsoring but still want to attend, we have general tickets available, which will go on sale soon.

If you're interested in attending Winter Heat, please click here or let me know by leaving me a comment below or by emailing (see my Bilerico bio page). I always welcome the opportunity to meet other Bilerico readers.


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My last involvements with ESPA was leading the picketing in front of their NYC office with Sylvia Rivera and then later in front of their fund raising dinner for their multiple and vicious sell outs during the ENDA battles....

I have no interest in ever working with them again.

As a member of the NY State GENDA Coalition steering committee, I have worked closely with the Pride Agenda for several years. I can attest that things are quite different now than they were in 2002, when the Pride Agenda did throw trans people under the bus to get SONDA passed. They hire trans employees, have trans people on the board, and are totally committed to the passage of GENDA and other trans rights efforts.

I'm also a Patron of Winter Heat (though I'm a few years (OK, decades) too old to be a Young one). I'll see you there, Leone.

On the very day SONDA became law, a dear friend of mine, a doctor, lost her job because the hospital she worked for believed that SONDA reversed all prior legal protections for women of transsexed history in the State..........I shall never forget that, especially since nine years later, nothing has changed.

Screw words, where are the deeds? You are holding the former civil rights granted to women of history lost or called into question by SONDA hostage for special rights for crossdressers. That is the actual fact of the matter. Spin all you want, ESPA was and remains the enemy in my book.

Where was ESPA when the Maetreum of Cybele was raising funds for the only LGBt Katrina relief effort in the country? I raised and disbursed those funds and don't remember a single ESPA related penny. Where has ESPA's support of that same Maetreum of Cybele's fight for legal recognition by the Town of Catskill while we are, on our shoestring budget, taking in abused women and women in need?

Where was the sincere apology to all the women of history in ALL of upstate NY for their sell out? Or for out and out lying to Sylvia literally on her deathbed, the day before she died?

Don't even think about getting righteous with me. Screw words, where were the deeds?