We have seen some amazing progress over the summer for MTPC and trans rights in Massachusetts, and we’re preparing for a busy fall. In case you missed the news of the summer, here is a recap of what we’ve been up to and the progress we’ve made for trans rights across the state:
State Bill and Local Ordinances
While the Equal Access Bill to add public accommodations protections to the state nondiscrimination law was not passed this year, we haven’t been quiet on policy matters. MTPC and our coalition partners have been working statewide to pass local nondiscrimination ordinances that are inclusive of public accommodations. So far we have doubled the number of trans-inclusive local nondiscrimination ordinances, with more to come.
Salem, Brookline, Somerville, Worcester, and Newton all passed nondiscrimination ordinances this past summer. They join Boston, Cambridge, Northampton, and Amherst in leading fairness in our state. More cities and towns are expected to follow in the coming months, so stay tuned to hear more. If you live in a city or town that does not have a local ordinance, or if you’re not sure and want to learn more, please contact Mason to learn how you can help the movement in your city or town.
MTPC and our coalition partners are also making plans to continue the fight for public accommodations protections on the state level during the next legislative session. We plan to host a statewide Lobby Day in 2015, along with other events and opportunities for you to get involved. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on our events and activities.
This June, MTPC unveiled a new campaign to showcase our greatest asset: YOU! Hundreds of you took photos with us, showing how MTPC is all about the many faces, experiences, and perspectives embodied by our community.
Want to show your MTPC Pride beyond social media? Check out our new button packs. For $3 you get two buttons: one for you, and one for a friend or family member! To get your buttons and find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to the input from all those who participated in the Project VOICE survey. MTPC, in partnership with Fenway Health, was able to collect vital information about the health and wellness of the Massachusetts trans community. The survey results show an alarming relationship between discrimination and overall health of community members. To read the report and learn more about Project VOICE, click here.
CAT MAGIC Returns
MTPC hosted our second CAT MAGIC event in July. The celebration was an amazing opportunity to bring community members together for feline-themed fun and fancy. This time, thanks to the talented Shannon Iggy,we were able to capture some of the fun on film. Check out the photos here, and be sure to tag yourself and friends!
CAT MAGIC started as a community night, focused on celebration of the trans community and our allies … and, naturally, cats. It continues to grow as an opportunity to feature trans artists and performers, celebrate being trans, and come together as a community. Plans are in the works for the next CAT MAGIC event, so stay tuned!
Health Insurance Progress
This year has seen unprecedented progress for trans people’s access to appropriate health care. On June 20, Governor Deval Patrick announced reforms to health coverage policies to ensure that transgender Massachusetts residents have full access to treatments they need. On the same day, the state Division of Insurance issued a bulletin that bars private health insurers from excluding medically necessary care for gender dysphoria from private health insurance plans.
There remain several questions about how this will be enacted, and when. MTPC, along with our coalition partners, are working with the Division of Insurance and private insurers to ensure that these new policies are enacted. We’ve also released this FAQ about the insurance bulletins.
We’re seeing progress on many big issues that affect trans MA residents. But much remains to be done. Be sure to follow MTPC on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date. If you have questions, or want to get involved, email us at email@example.com or call 617-778-0519.