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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#TransBillMA passed in the House AND Senate!

Below are MTPC’s public remarks on the passing of the Equal Access Bill in the Massachusetts House of Representatives by a wide (veto-proof!) margin on June 1, 2016. The bill has already passed in the Senate. 

My name is Mason Dunn. I am a transgender man, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, and co-chair of Freedom Massachusetts.

Today’s victory is a long-awaited and important affirmation from our lawmakers that transgender people are valued and welcome in our Commonwealth. Not only that, but today’s vote is an inspirational way to start June, National LGBTQ Pride Month. Happy Pride!

The protections that have passed today have been pending on Beacon Hill for nearly ten years. During that time, hundreds of transgender people have bravely come forward to tell their stories and personal experiences with discrimination. I am humbled by the time and effort the transgender community and our allies have put in to get us here today. You have shown up, time and time again, to tell your stories and to be an integral part of this process. Lawmakers heard us, and they see transgender people for who we truly are — human beings, worthy of respect and deserving of basic human rights.

We are so grateful to our tireless advocates in the House: Speaker DeLeo; Chairman Fernandes; and Representative Rushing and Representative Provost, the bill’s lead sponsors. They have shown persistent and determined leadership, without which we would not be here today. We are thankful to them for their unwavering commitment to moving this bill forward and working diligently over the past months to be sure legislators did the right thing.

Today is a triumph for Massachusetts’s reputation as a leader on equality and as a beacon of freedom for everyone. We look forward to seeing this bill arrive at Governor Baker’s desk, and we eagerly await his signature. It’s time for equality for everyone in Massachusetts.

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Response to Boston Spirit Action

The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition is dismayed by Governor Charlie Baker’s failure to substantively address the transgender nondiscrimination legislation in his statements at the Boston Spirit Executive Networking event last night.

In his statements, Baker reiterated his well-trod position, saying, “if and when the bill gets to my desk I will make sure to talk to all parties involved before we make any decisions.” He once again avoided addressing whether he would sign the bill.

Spirit in Action

Community members taking part in the action at Boston Spirits Executive Networking Night

MTPC Executive Director, Mason Dunn, had this to say in response: 

“Governor Baker’s statements neglected to express any sincere support for transgender rights in Massachusetts. Baker fails to comprehend the human rights issues that are in question. Transgender people deserve fair and equal access under law to public spaces such as hotels, restaurants, public transportation, hospitals, and so much more. Gov. Baker’s continued avoidance of support for this legislation is an avoidance of support for the rights and dignity of his transgender constituents in the Commonwealth.”

Michelle Tat, an MTPC Steering Committee member, had this to say:

“I remain disappointed that Governor Baker continues to dodge and avoid questions regarding his support of the bill. At this point, his behavior does not simply reflect ignorance. Rather, his attitude and public statements around the public access bill reflects his sheer indifference to the lives of those in the transgender community.”

During Baker’s statements, transgender community members and allies spoke out when it became apparent that he would not address his position on the legislation. The frustration, disappointment, and anger voiced last night is a direct result of the delay in passing legislation that will impact the lives of thousands of transgender people in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition stands in solidarity with the community members who led the cry for action.

Tonight, MTPC is excited to host their event, Professionals for Transgender Rights, to celebrate businesses and professionals working for transgender equality. The event begins at 6pm at Monroe in Cambridge. For more information visit: MassTPC.org/PTR

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Campaign Halftime

Like it was for many of you, yesterday was disappointing for me. I had hoped that lawmakers would move on the public accommodations nondiscrimination legislation, and when they didn’t, I was sad and frustrated. We all know how important this bill is to our community. And not only did our legislation get held up this week – other important bills are still waiting to be heard, including legislation on racial profiling, women’s rights, and criminal justice reform.

But today, I woke up with fightonrenewed hope. We are still in this, and we are here to win. Although lawmakers did not take up our bill, there is amazing momentum in the State House. And I believe this momentum will propel us into 2016.

The House Speaker, Representative DeLeo, has come out in support for the first time since we began this campaign. His support, coupled with the support of Senate President Rosenberg, means that State House leadership is unified behind us. And just yesterday the State House Black and Latino Caucus released a statement of support.

Let me be clear – this campaign is not over. We’re at a halftime; a chance to regroup, strengthen our campaign. But we need your help. Throughout December, we ask that you keep calling your legislators, and work to get meetings in their districts. Keep up the pressure, so that when they come back from recess, legislators know that the time is now. We need your help, and together we can continue this fight!

Onward!

Mason J. Dunn

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Onward!

It was a weekend of celebration and excitement in the LGBTQ movement as Pride Month came to a close. Marriage equality has been achieved at the national level, and we congratulate the activists, advocates, supporters, and volunteers who made this win a reality.

But now it’s July, and it’s time to continue the work. We are one step closer to lived equality for all LGBTQ people, and we cannot stop now. Join us in the continued journey, and together we can make history for human rights.

As you may have seen, MTPC has joined forces with many LGBTQ and human rights organizations to form Freedom Massachusetts. This campaign is working to secure nondiscrimination protections for gender identity and gender expression in all Massachusetts public spaces. Please take a moment to join the campaign and sign the pledge.

Want to volunteer for the campaign? Email Katie: Katie@FreedomMassachusetts.org. We need your help with phone banks, data input, organizing, and so much more. This is an opportunity to be on the ground floor of a very exciting campaign.

There is so much work left to do, but with this momentum, we are unstoppable. Join the movement, and together we can continue to change the world.

Onward!

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We’re so honored! Join us at North Shore Pride.

ns-pride-2015

We hope you’ll join MTPC ED Mason Dunn and Steering Committee Chair Emeritus Nancy Nangeroni at the amazing North Shore Pride event in Salem, MA, on Saturday, June 20 from noon to 5.

Stop by our table to hear about our work, learn how to get involved, or just say hello! And be sure to enter our T-shirt and iPad Mini raffles!

We will have postcards you can sign for Gov. Charlie Baker asking him to support our public access bill. We’ll also have letter writing materials if you want to send something longer and more personal.

If you’re around at 1, you can see MTPC accept this year’s Joan Parker Memorial Award. Joan was a friend of North Shore Pride and she and her husband, Robert, were staunch advocates for LGBT rights.

We hope to see you there!

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