On December 5th, the Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG) team will be going live with 24 straight hours of music, comedy, good acting, bad acting, interviews with activists and leaders, raffles and bid-wars, a drag extravaganza, and probably at least one very confused overnight volunteer.


Click to see how Executive Director, Sayer Johnson is roped into letting our

 “visionary” producer take over the Telethon.


2020 has certainly been a year... for all of us and especially the transgender community. Between the risk of trans rights being rolled further back, increased violence, and a higher impact from COVID-19 than other marginalized groups, MTUG has seen firsthand how 2020 has taken a toll on transgender individuals. We need each other now more than ever, and, even though we have to remain apart, we can still create a community space.


MTUG is giving a much needed goodbye to 2020 with its annual Telethon. For 24 hours, the team will staying up to bring their love of b-movies, internet references, and a healthy dose of self-deprecating humor to give the trans community a bit of optimism at the end of a pessimistic year The event will be live streamed from MTUG headquarters, and in addition to video submissions from within the transgender and queer community, the event will also feature interviews with:


  • Jean-Marie Navetta, Director of Learning & Inclusion, PFLAG National
  • Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region & Southwest Missouri
  • Washington University Transgender Center
  • Forward through Ferguson
  • The first openly transgender state legislator in Colorado and the fourth in the United States, Briana Titone
  • Author, Organizer and Clergy Candidate Elle Dowd, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Luka Cai, Project Facilitator, St. Louis Queer+ Support Helpline (SQSH)


Over the course of this year, MTUG has dramatically shifted how they have supported transgender people in the St. Louis area. The headquarters has been transformed from a community space into a food and toiletry pantry that takes online orders and has served 78 families and individuals across the area facing food insecurity. The support groups and office hours have gone online and the organization has continued to serve trans and queer individuals with STI testing, unhoused support and more.


For the past three years, the 24-hour telethon has been a  major fundraiser for MTUG, with donations increasing every year. In 2020, that is taking a back seat in order to shift the focus of the event to make a space for our community. By producing an event that brings laughs, showcases amazing queer talent and highlights the voices that are making a difference this live event has the power to uplift the community. Tune in, share the moment with friends, help decide which karaoke song our host will be tortured with (yes, we mean every word of that), grab some popcorn, and if you can, donate to the Metro Trans Umbrella Group’s 2020 Telethon.


About Metro Trans Umbrella Group


MTUG seeks to address resource gaps and provide community and support for trans individuals in the St. Louis area. For the past seven years, MTUG has seen unprecedented growth. Starting with the sole focus of peer-led support groups, the organization has expanded to provide much-needed resources to this marginalized population. In 2018, the generous donation of a home in the Benton Park neighborhood of St. Louis allowed MTUG to further expand and better meet the needs of trans people in the area. 


About the Telethon


2020 marks the fourth year of MTUG’s telethon. Starting in 2017 as a Learn more about the 4th Annual Telethon here: stlmetrotrans.org/#telethon



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