The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is endorsing Occupy Boston, Occupy Wall St. and the Occupy Movement across the United States. MTPC is in solidarity with call for economic justice, government reform, and equal representation in government, which has been echoed by Occupy Boston activists.
Transgender youth, adults, and their families are part of the 99% of Americans who are not being represented equally by our government and whose basic needs such as housing, employment, and education are not being met.
“Coupled with gender identity discrimination, the current economic crisis has plunged many transgender people even further into poverty. For organizations like MTPC, advocating for a marginalized group, such as transgender youth and adults, we virtually have no voice or representation in state, local or federal government.” said Gunner Scott, MTPC’s executive director.
Studies have shown that economic inequality for transgender communities is severe and is often the direct result of discrimination including job loss because of being transgender, being denied a job or housing because of having to disclose one’s transgender status, or transgender youth being forced to drop out of high school or college because of harassment.
The 2009 National Transgender Discrimination Survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force found that for transgender community members:
· Transgender survey respondents experience unemployment at twice the rate of the population as a whole nationally;
· 15% of Massachusetts transgender adults live on $10,000 a year or less, also at twice the rate of the population as a whole
· 20% Massachusetts transgender adults were fired from their job and 39% were not hired due to their gender identity;
· 22% Massachusetts transgender adults were denied equal treatment by a government agency or official;
· 79% of transgender youth in K-12 were harassed and this led 11% leaving school in K-12 settings or college.
Members of MTPC, including the executive director Gunner Scott, transgender youth and adults, including many currently homeless transgender women and youth have been actively participating since the planning for Occupy Boston began on Tues. Sept 27, 2011. Transgender people continue to be welcomed and encouraged to participate in Occupy Boston at Dewey Square by the other activists, many of who are not familiar with transgender communities.
Additionally, Occupy Boston’s internal solidarity statement “recognizes the task to unify the 99%” and that transphobia, racism, classism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression are not welcomed as part of Occupy Boston.
Through this endorsement, MTPC will offer Occupy Boston activists cultural competency workshops on transgender communities and assistance in continuing to be actively inclusive and welcoming of transgender activists in the Occupy Boston movement.
MTPC will continue to reach out to transgender participants of Occupy Boston and provide resources and referrals. MTPC will also continue to maintain an open dialog with Boston City Officials and Boston Police Department’s LGBT liaison to ensure if any issues should arise that transgender youth and adults participating are treated with respect by city officials and the Boston Police Department.
In order to begin to even address some of the disparity transgender people face, MTPC calls on the Massachusetts state legislation to pass the Transgender Equal Rights Bill quickly and for Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act this session.
For more information about MTPC visit www.masstpc.org or call 617-778-0519.
Founded in 2001, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is a 501(c) 3 that works to end discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. MTPC educates the public, advocates with state, local, and federal government, engages in political activism, and encourages empowerment of community members through collective action.
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition
PO Box 301897, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130