updated 01-29-2013

Issues

MTPC does its best to provide resources to our trans community on the issues that differentially affect us. Issues of particular interest to the trans community include:

Discrimination

In November of 2011, Massachusetts became 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.

Education

The evidence is overwhelming that transgender and gender non-conforming youth need active school support and protection for their physical, mental and educational well-being. Massachusetts requires non-discrimination on the basis of gender identity in the areas of education, employment, housing and credit/lending.

Employment

An employer who discriminates against an employee or applicant on the basis of the person’s gender identity is violating the prohibition on sex discrimination contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to an opinion issued on April 20, 2012 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Health Care

Transgender people report the highest rates of discrimination and barriers to care among LGBT people. The trans community in Massachusetts cites two main problems with accessing health care: locating providers who are knowledgeable about transgender people and health issues and securing and paying for needed services.

Homelessness

Transgender and gender non-conforming people continue to experience overwhelming levels of harassment and discrimination in shelters and programs across the Commonwealth and nation. Homelessness within the trans community is critically common.

Housing

It is illegal in the state of Massachusetts to discriminate against an individual on the basis of gender identity in the area of housing. Home sellers and landlords have a responsibility and a requirement under the law not to discriminate in the sale, rental, or financing of property. Under the law, a home seller or landlord cannot establish discriminatory terms or conditions in the purchase or rental, deny that housing is available only to persons in a protected class, or instruct an agent or broker to convey such limitations to potential applicants.

Identity Documents

Information about legal name changes, gender marker changes, and gender no-match letters.

State and Local Laws

Information about the Massachusetts Act Relative to Gender Identity and local ordinances.

Suicide Prevention

Videos, postcards, and brochures.

Trans Prisoners

MTPC works to ensure that local, state, and federal legislation, policies, and practices that affect prisoners are allowing appropriate dress codes and are not denying trans prisoners access to medically necessary trans-related health care, canteen items, trans-related educational materials and books, and/or visitors.

Violence

Voting

MTPC produced a guide to Transgender Communities and Voting Access (pdf) for election officials and poll workers. The goal of the guide is for registered voters who are transgender not to face discrimination or be challenged when trying to cast a ballot in Massachusetts.

Youth and Families