The goal of this summit is for youth 22 and under from Massachusetts/New England that identify with, or could fall under, the label ‘transgender’ or youth who are in some way connected to the transgender youth community, such as partners/friends, to meet and connect with other transgender and gender variant youth. At the summit, youth will have the opportunity to share ideas, learn about their legal rights, the larger transgender community, participate in workshops and fun activities.
There will also be a separate track with a full day of programming for parents and/or guardians of transgender and/or gender questioning youth. Parents/Guardians activities include such areas as: addressing legal issues and advocating for your child, health care with Dr. Ralph Vetters of Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center, and time for networking and guided support groups.
This event is free and light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Registration is open. This event is closed to the public and only registered participants will be admitted. For more information please contact MTPC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-778-0519.
The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is excited to announce the release of three new stories as part of their multi-media public education campaign entitled I AM: Trans People Speak. The new videos come from four members of The Theater Offensive (TTO) Staff. TTO engages local community members in creating art that gives voice to the diversity of LGBT experiences.
I AM: Trans People Speak is a project to raise awareness about the diversity that exists within transgender communities. It gives a voice to transgender individuals, as well as their families, friends and allies. MTPC launched the groundbreaking I AM: Trans People Speak project in conjunction with Transgender Awareness Week in November 2010, and has since released new videos on a consistent basis. I AM: Trans People Speak is a collection of recorded stories that aims to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions of transgender individuals by highlighting the realities of their lived experiences. I AM: Trans People Speak fosters support and raises awareness for trans communities by providing a forum where these unique stories can be shared and given significance.
One of the new videos features Abe Rybeck, TTO’s Executive Artistic Director, founder, and trans ally. TTO grew out of a drag street theater troupe in 1989, which Abe says is just one way in which his life and work owe everything to the inspiration and patience he has received from his trans friends and colleagues. Abe describes his path to becoming an ally and the ways his trans friends helped him overcome his ignorance to better understand what it means to be trans.
Another new video comes from Allison, TTO’s Communications Manager, an activist, singer/ songwriter, and trans ally. In her video, she talks about the struggles her transgender friends and colleagues face, and shares the way she works to be an ally to the trans community.
Kaamila, an Executive Artistic Director Intern at TTO who is learning how to be a trans ally, shares her unique experience as a person of color and a bisexual and queer identified woman. This experience has allowed her to understand the diversity of experiences among LGBT people and their various needs. In her video, Kaamila stresses the importance of educating yourself and taking responsibility for learning how to be a better ally to the transgender community.
The final new addition to the I AM: Trans People Speak website comes from Gabe who is an Executive Artistic Director Intern at TTO, activist, a brother, a boyfriend, and a trans guy. Gabe weaves an engaging narrative that discusses identity, family, and struggle, telling the joy of being accepted by friends, as well as the painful reality of being a college graduate who struggles to find a job because of his legal name and gender marker, making the process difficult. In his video, Gabe says “I want people to know that the transgender community is just as rich and diverse as any other community of people… I don’t want people to think that there’s one cookie cutter way to be transgender.”
These videos highlight the central mission of the I AM: Trans People Speak project by showing the diversity of experiences among transgender people and allies who belong to a wide variety of intersecting communities. Gunner Scott, MTPC’s Executive Director said, “MTPC is committed to giving transgender people and their allies the opportunity to be heard. We are thrilled that The Theater Offensive has submitted these videos, and hope that other individuals and organizations will submit their stories in order to expand the range of voices and experiences represented in the project.”
Each month, MTLA hosts a clinic near the Boston Medical Center where low income members of the transgender community can come in and describe any current or potential legal issues they may be facing, after which we will notify them if we are able to provide any help.
The next clinic is this Thursday, July 12 from 5-7 PM at Boston Health Care For the Homeless (near Boston Medical Center).780 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118
“A major impact of the Court’s decision is the 129 million people with pre-existing conditions and millions of families, including LGBT families, will have the security of affordable health coverage. We have seen this work here in Massachusetts, for example the Department of Public Health’s 2009 survey of LGBT adults found that 98.6%, of gay and lesbian respondents, 94.1%, of bisexual respondents and 92.3% of transgender respondents reporting having private or public health insurance since passage of Massachusetts health care act. In my opinion, this ruling translates into more of our community and our neighbors across the country having the opportunity to stay healthy and get the care they need, all of which positively benefits our nation as a whole,” said Gunner Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition.
For more information on the Court’s Ruling and the Affordable Care Act visit www.whitehouse.gov
On July 1, 2012, the Transgender Equal Rights Law goes into effect in Massachusetts. Making Massachusetts the 16th state to add non-discrimination laws for gender identity in the areas of employment, housing, K-12 public education, and credit. Additionally, Massachusetts Hate Crimes laws were also updated to include gender identity. This law is known as An Act Relative to Gender Identity.
This happened because of YOU! All of your hard work in educating legislators, the media, and the public about the experiences that transgender youth, adults, and families face.
Today, MTPC has been working to make sure this law gets implemented, contacting
state agencies, talking with employers, and educating service organizations to make sure their policies reflect the reality that transgender people cannot be discriminated in hiring, buying or renting a home, or attending public schools. Over the next few weeks MTPC will be releasing a series of “Best Practices” guidelines covering different areas of the law.
Planning is already underway for filing public accommodations protections in 2013, but we cannot do this without you. Legislators and policy makers need to hear about your experiences in accessing places like restaurants, hotels, emergency rooms, nightclubs, museums, retail stores, hair salons, barber shops, court houses, government offices, city halls, or any place serving the public. If you feel you have been treated unfairly, contact MTPC and tell your story. MTPC also needs the resources to make that happen, consider making a donation today.
Thank you for helping MTPC and helping your community in making Massachusetts a better place for all of us to live, work, and/or go to school in. We might all wake up on Sunday morning and not notice anything different, but I know I will feel more empowered to stand up for myself and the transgender community knowing the law is behind me and I hope you will too.
Join MTPC at North Shore Pride in Salem this Saturday!
The parade will kick off at noon on Margin St and Pride festival will take place n Salem Common from 1-5pm
Show your PRIDE! VOLUNTEER with MTPC
We are also looking for volunteers to help us with our booth, if you can spare an hour or two to talk about MTPC, sell T-shirts, and get folks to sign postcards urging legislators to support public accommodations protections in 2013 – please send us an email or call 617-778-0519 with your name and times that you can help or just show up!
Interfaith Committee on Transgender Equality Next gathering Monday June 25th from 6:30 to 8:00 at 14 Beacon Street in Boston.
Happy Pride season, ICTErs! Can you believe how long and full it has become?
It was good to see some of you at our first Community Gathering in April, the Boston edition of MTPC’s Trans Town Hall Meetings, the Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference, the Erev Pride Liberation Seder, and of course Boston Pride Day where MTPC was a Grand Marshal and tabled. I didn’t make it to the Pride Memorial Vigil or Pride Interfaith Service this year, but I heard good things. We postponed our ICTE Community Conference Call because there was so much else going on, but we will try again at the end of the summer.
Next Monday June 25th is our next Gathering, from 6:30 to 8:00 at 14 Beacon Street in Boston. Please RSVP to Mycroft@MassTPC.org if you can, but please know that it’s more than okay to just show up. We gather the 4th Monday of each month. Share information, inspiration and support with other trans and allied people interested in working at the intersection of trans and faith communities.
It’s actually time to start thinking about Trans Awareness Week in November, which includes the Trans Day of Remembrance. We’d love to see even more faith communities participate than last year. One great collection of ways to do that is through MTPC’s “I AM : Trans People Speak” project(http://www.transpeoplespeak.org/) – the Community phase means we’re now accepting stories from anywhere in the country, and we’d love to have more people of faith.
We’re also planning to start a discussion group for trans people of faith. And we’re thinking about faith-site trainings and policies – including helping faith-based social services better serve their trans clients.
Mycroft Masada Holmes
Chair, MTPC’s ICTE
Tuesday, June 26th
A Gender Discussion Group: By & For People of Color Sponsored By Kaleidoscope & MTPC
A safe, casual space for POC of all genders and sexualities to gather, meet, and discuss the issues that are important to us. While allies are important, this is intended to be a POC only space. This discussion group will meet bi-monthly and is sponsored by the Kaleidoscope group of MTPC.
A bi-monthly discussion group sponsored By Kaleidoscope & MTPC – Held 4th Tuesdays in April, June, August, October, December, February
7:30p – 9p Location: 1 st floor conference room near Park St. and Downtown Crossing T stations.
For more information contact Maxwell@masstpc.org or call 617-778-0519