Joint Statement in Response to White House Assault on Public Health

Boston, MA – On Friday, December 15, 2017, the Trump Administration took yet another step in their efforts to suppress the rights of transgender people and minority communities. In a report from the Washington Post, we learned that the White House has issued orders to the Centers for Disease Control, stating the CDC can no longer use the word transgender, along with six other words and phrases such as “diversity” and “evidence-based,” in budget documents. This is nothing more than a prejudiced attempt to erase lives and facts, through an attack on health policy at the national level.

“Our lives and identities will not be censored,” said Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition Executive Director Mason Dunn. “We will not be erased from the conversation. We stand together in the fight to ensure that fact and science prevails, even when those in power would deny them.”

“The federal government is improperly politicizing our public health agencies. This effort compromises the life-saving work of the CDC. It makes it even more challenging to reduce health disparities and will exacerbate negative health outcomes, particularly in vulnerable populations and marginalized communities,” said Lawyers’ Committee’s Executive Director Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal.

The banned words are:

  • Transgender;
  • Diversity;
  • Vulnerable;
  • Evidence-based;
  • Science-based;
  • Entitlement; and
  • Fetus.

The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, stand firm in our resolve to fight these unprecedented attacks on our communities.

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The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition is dedicated to ending oppression and discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice fosters equal opportunity and fights discrimination on behalf of people of color and immigrants. We engage in creative and courageous legal action, education, and advocacy in collaboration with law firms and community partners.

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2017 Trans Awareness and Trans Day of Remembrance

Trans Awareness Month is in full swing. Every year we take the month of November to raise awareness, celebrate, and honor trans lives and experiences across the country.

Here in Massachusetts, the month started strong with an amazing turn out in North Andover for “Meet your Transgender Neighbor.” Over 140 people came out for a panel discussion, hosted by MTPC Steering Committee clerk Michelle Tat. Events like these are essential to raising awareness for trans lives in our communities.

This week there are dozens of events in honor of the Transgender Day of Remembrance. These events are important reminders of the violence our community faces due to anti-trans bias and discrimination. 2017 has proven to be another of the deadliest years on record for trans people. As with previous years, the intersections of racism, sexism, and transphobia are horrifically over represented in the list of those who have been taken from us. We must understand and address sexism and racism in our communities if we hope to see these numbers of deaths decrease in the future. This year we honor the lives of those who have been taken from us:

India Monroe
Murdered December 19, 2016
29 Years Old
Newport News, Virginia

Mesha Caldwell
Murdered January 4, 2017
41 Years Old
Canton, Mississippi

Sean Hake
Executed January 6, 2017
23 Years Old
Sharon, Pennsylvania

Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow
Found Murdered on January 6, 2017
28 Years Old
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

JoJo Striker
Murdered on February 8, 2017
23 Years Old
Toledo, Ohio

Jacquarrius Holland
Murdered on February 19, 2017
18 Years Old
Monroe, Louisiana

Tiara Richmond (aka Keke Collier)
Murdered on February 21, 2017
24 Years Old
Chicago, Illinois

Chyna Doll Dupree (aka Chyna Gibson)
Murdered on February 25, 2017
31 Years Old
New Orleans, Louisiana

Ciara McElveen
Murdered on February 27, 2017
25 Years Old
New Orleans, Louisiana

Alphonza Watson
Murdered on March 22, 2017
38 Years Old
Baltimore, Maryland

Kenne McFadden
Murdered on March 8, 2017
27 Years Old
San Antonio, Texas

Chay Reed
Murdered on March 21, 2017
28 Years Old
Miami, Florida

Mx. Bostick
Murdered on April 4, 2017
49 Years Old
New York CIty, New York

Sherrell Faulkner
Murdered on May 16, 2017
46 Years Old
Charlotte, North Carolina

Kendra Marie Adams (Josie Barrios)
Found Murdered on June 13, 2017
28 Years Old
Ithaca, New York

Ava Le’Ray Barrin
Murdered on June 25, 2017
17 Years Old
Athens, Georgia

Ebony Morgan
Murdered on July 2, 2017
28 Years Old
Lynchburg, Virginia

TeeTee Dangerfield
Murdered on July 31, 2017
32 Years Old
Atlanta, Georgia

Jay-Low Mcglory
Murdered on July 8,2017
29 Years Old
Alexandria, Louisiana

Gwynevere River Song
Murdered on August 8, 2017
26 Years old
Waxahachie, Texas

Kiwi Herring
Executed on August 22, 2017
30 Years Old
St. Louis, Illinois

Kashmire Nazier Redd
Murdered on September 4, 2017
28 Years Old
Gates, New York

Ally Steinfeld
Found Murdered on September 3, 2017
17 Years Old
Texas County, Missouri

Derricka Banner
Murdered on September 12, 2017
26 Years Old
Charlotte, North Carolina

Scout Schultz
Executed on September 16, 2017
21 Years Old
Atlanta, Georgia

Stephanie Montez
Murdered on October 21, 2017
47 Years Old
Corpus Christi, Texas

Candace Towns
Murdered on October 28, 2017
30 Years Old
Macon, Georgia

Rest in power.

For more information and photos of those taken from us visit: http://www.transnetworking.com/tdor2017_list/

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Military Trans Ban

[Written by Declan Nolan, MTPC Summer Intern]

On July 26th, President Trump tweeted out a ban on transgender folks serving in the U.S. Military. First of all, what does this mean? Additionally what does this mean for you as a transgender person or an ally?

At the moment, transgender already-enlisted service members can serve openly, but civilian transgender people are disqualified from serving. It is unclear what this will mean for the openly transgender people currently serving. If this series of tweets becomes a policy, the military may choose to discharge openly transgender service members.

To many people this announcement came as a shock. A common misconception is that transgender people were included in “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” but this isn’t true. The LGBT community is often talked about as a single unit which can cause confusion when differentiating between sexual orientation and gender identity. Transgender people have been able to serve openly since June 30th of last year. This policy only applies to people who are already currently serving; not new recruits.

Currently, there has been no policy memo formally articulated to the Pentagon. This means that there will be no changes made yet to the way transgender people serve in the military. This may change in the near future, but so far all is the same. There are still debates going on about transition related healthcare and if it should be covered by the health insurance provided by the military.

The idea of not allowing transgender people to serve based on their gender identity alone is blatant discrimination. Even transgender individuals who have no indication of ever serving in the military should be concerned because of the precedent this sets. So what does this mean for you as a transgender person or ally?

On order to understand this potential ban’s full effect, we should educate ourselves about the needs and experiences of transgender veterans and service members. A great resource we have found is the Transgender American Veterans Association.  They provide “unwavering support for our transgender service members and veterans past, present, and future.” We also found great information from the American Veterans for Equal Rights. Organizations like this are an important reminder to transgender veterans and service members that you are supported and cared for by your transgender community. This support comes regardless of the current or future policies put in place by the current administration.

You might be asking yourself, what can I do to help my community or the trans people in my life? There are plenty of ways to help: check out some great ones from the Advocate. If it is safe to and you are able to, get involved in some activism! If you are from Massachusetts, a wonderful campaign to get involved with is Freedom Massachusetts. They are fighting against an initiative on the statewide ballot in 2018 to repeal our state’s nondiscrimination law ensuring protection in public spaces for transgender people. They are always looking for volunteers to participate in phone banks, data entry, and in person recruitment.

To the allies of the transgender community, we need you. Keep the conversation going; educate those around you on what has happened, especially other cisgender folks in your life. Continue to learn; keep yourself educated on what this means and why it matters. Know that the fight for transgender rights cannot be won without the assistance of family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.

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In Response to Trump Attacks on Trans Military Service

The Mass Trans Political Coalition stands in solidarity with our community members who are currently serving or have served in the US military. Statements from the White House this morning highlight the attacks the trans and gender nonconforming community face at every level – from discrimination in the streets, to the workplace, all the way up to attacks from the Federal Administration.

Trans and gender nonconforming people have been a part of the fabric of our world for centuries – this includes those who have served in armed forces around the world and across time. Stating that trans and gender nonconforming people are an “expense” or “disruption” is a low and callous attack on community members who have served and continue to serve in the armed forces.

To trans and gender nonconforming service members and veterans: you are important to the MTPC community. We will continue to fight for your rights to be seen, to pursue your career, to have access to the spaces you want or need, and be validated in your gender identity. If you need support, please reach out. You are not alone.

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RISE UP! With Trans and Queer Students

Action Alert!

Join the Mass Trans Political Coalition for a rally to RISE UP! with trans and queer students. We will gather with students, teachers, adults, and allies to support students in light of the attack on trans rights from the federal administration.

EVENT DETAILS:

What: RISE UP! With Trans and Queer Students
When: Sunday, March 5th, 12pm
Where: Boston Common, in front of the State House
Who: Join the Mass Trans Political Coalition, along with trans and queer youth, teachers, and allies to support trans and gender nonconforming students whose rights are under attack.

Our Co-Sponsors:

ACLU of Massachusetts
Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia
Anti-Defamation League, New England Region
Black and Pink
Boston Alliance of LGBTQ Youth (BAGLY, Inc.)
Boston Food Not Bombs
Boston GLOW
Cambridge Women’s Center
Church of the Covenant
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
GLSEN Massachusetts
Hispanic Black Gay Coalition
History UnErased, Inc.
HRC Boston
Keshet
MassEquality
National Association of Social Workers – Massachusetts Chapter
OUT MetroWest
Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts
The Lenny Zakim Fund
The Network/la Red
Transcending Identities by Dr. Eunice Aviles
Welcoming Faiths of the Merrimack Valley

To sign up as a co-sponsor, please fill out this form.

You can RSVP on Facebook as well! 

 

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A Valentine’s Day Love Letter To Ourselves

Courtesy of Justice Roe Williams.

Dear Me,

You probably wouldn’t see the you in me now.  The wisdom from years of doing more than just living.  I don’t think that you believed in your own voice enough to see the power in your whisper. And when you decided that the rainbow really wasn’t enough, you didn’t realize that you are the pot of gold on the other side. And here I am to say…

I know you. I know how it feels to be “not right.” The things you were taught about yourself. Born into pinks, yellows and quiet purples.  From booty socks to stockings, dresses, bangs and braids. Afraid to say no, stop, this is not me. This is not who I am. You struggled with more than seeing the wrong in you but learning this is life.

It’s wrong!

The layers of self hate permeated to the soul and something always screaming on the inside wanting people to see me from the inside out not the outside in. Those colors would mean more than socialized identities and forced role play. They would look more like dark blue, Black and deep purple. For more than 15 years now my colors have been blood red, black people and green land. Colors evolve just like your many lives.

Revolution

As a child we were all shades of black and brown. You are black, they use to say “tar black.” Pretty far from light….white. I wrestled with the ugly, the ugly I believed myself to be. The awkward child that was never claimed. That poor tar black child living in back Maryland Atlantic City NJ. Not quite alone but alone on a journey finding my true self.

What you never believed you would, I did!  I traveled to places all over this continent. I have gone to college twice. I haven’t finished but guaranteed I will.  I was published in a book that was used in colleges across the nation. I was placed in jail for the right fight. I was honored and shamed. I loved over and over again before I knew I had to love myself. I have lived many lives….

Today I am closer to you now being me. I still have fear but a fear that can be erased with love. Real love! I  wish I could have seen the power in that whisper. So what I would whisper to you is Love….. Self, please love you…me!”

Loving you abundantly,

Justice Roe Williams 

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