A Letter of Love and Support in the Aftermath of Club Q

To our beloved trans and nonbinary community,

Once again, our resilience is called upon to see us through. I must admit I’m at a loss for words as our community and loved ones face increased attacks from the recent bomb threats at Boston Children’s Hospital to the horrific mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ club in Colorado Springs on the eve of Trans Day of Remembrance. Their terror is aimed at erasing us. It is devastating to witness. My heart aches for those who have lost their lives so horrifically and those who loved them fiercely. I am with you all in collective anger, grief, and exhaustion. 

Safe spaces are few and far between for queer and trans people. Dance floors, bars, clubs, and other nightlife spaces have historically been one of the primary places our community has gathered, learned and taught, organized and fundraised. Most importantly, it’s where we’ve found connection to community, our chosen families and friends, and the freedom to be ourselves; it’s where we’ve found love.

Make no mistake, the shooting at Club Q is a direct result of anti-trans rhetoric spewed by leaders and influential decision-makers who champion the criminalization of gender-affirming care, tout barring trans youth in sports and banning LGBTQ books in schools and libraries, parade their guns, advocate for loose gun laws and incite terror by threats and calls for violence. This abuse against the trans and nonbinary community is strategic and calculated. Like an abusive partner, they mean to isolate us, make our lives smaller, make us distrustful and exist only in the shadows, or not at all. It is the purpose of abuse: to break the spirit. And yet, we persist. Our authenticity and love for each other cannot and will not be held prisoner. This is what scares them about us, the freedom we found in being ourselves.

MTPC would like to extend our deepest condolences to the chosen family, friends, relatives, and communities of those who have been lost at the hands of senseless transphobia, queerphobia, and gun violence. I know that some of us aren’t afforded the space to process or grieve, but I hope you all have people around you to hold close and lean on. May we continue to live fully, boldly, and courageously. 

In trans power and love,

Tre’Andre Carmel Valentine

The Colorado Healing Fund (CHF) is collecting donations directly in response to the Club Q shooting. CHF provides a secure way to donate to victims of mass violence in Colorado. https://www.coloradogives.org/story/Clubq 

If you need support, please contact one of the following resources.

A photo of MG from the waist up, wearing a blue and white plaid shirt with a red tie. The top of their hair is bleached. They are standing in front of a large green plant.

The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) announced today that MG Xiong (they/them) will be joining the MTPC team as the new Programs Manager. In this role they will oversee the development and launch of the Trans Leadership Academy, the IDA Network, and MTPC’s partnership with Namesake Collaborative.

MG is a Hmong trans non-binary Bostonian who was born and raised in Alaska. They have organized in community-oriented engagement on trans and queer rights, gun violence in underserved neighborhoods, and anti-racist education. MG has served youth and adults alike, building community between generations, cultures, and identities. They are a recent graduate from UMass Boston who spent their undergraduate education researching best practices for fostering belonging for gender non-conforming individuals in spaces of learning. Outside of work and service, MG enjoys cycling around the Charles River and parenting their kitten, Atlas.

The Steering Committee and MTPC’s Executive Director, Tre’Andre Valentine are very excited about the continued expansion of the organization. “MTPC is in a period of rapid growth and transformation and I am so excited that it has brought MG to our team.” said Tre’Andre. “Their empathetic and mindful approach to this work will bring a welcome infusion of energy and expertise to our programs and community engagement work. Welcome, MG!”

The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition works to ensure the wellbeing, safety, and lived equity of all trans, nonbinary and gender expansive community members in MA. We educate the public, advocate at state, local and systemic levels; and through collective action, we mobilize community, engage in capacity building, and advance community wellness and prosperity.

Posted on May 10, 2022.

MTPC is excited to yet again be co-presenting a number of films at Boston’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival, Wicked Queer.

Trans Short Films: The Pursuit of Happiness
April 10 at 12:00pm
The Brattle Theatre
It’s the human condition, and for trans folk, it’s a heroic act by definition. Here are 10 stories about us from the perspective of the quest for human happiness.
Curated by Diane Griffin.
– Bros Before
– Sed Saepe Cadendo
– Karina’s Suit
– Birthday Boy
– Long After Us
– My Own
– River Fork
– Transformations
– How Not To Date While Trans

My Emptiness and I (2022)
April 10 at 6:00pm
The Brattle Theatre
This film is presented with English subtitles.
Raphi is young, androgynous and naive. In Barcelona, she begins a gender transition as well as an arduous journey to find her true identity. Co-written by and starring Raphaelle Perez, this is the narrative follow-up to director Adrian Silvestre’s ground-breaking hybrid doc SEDIMENTS, featuring many of the same trans performers and artists. We are super pleased to present to our WQ audience, the Sundance hit, My Emptiness and I. Director Adrian Silvestre will be present.

Framing Agnes (2022)
April 16 at 6:30pm
Bright Family Screening Room at the Paramount Center
In 1958, a young trans woman named Agnes entered a study about sex disorders at UCLA to get the gender-affirming care she needed, by any means necessary. Her story was long considered to be exceptional until never-before-seen case files of other patients were found in 2017. Directed by Chase Joynt (NO ORDINARY MAN) and featuring an all-star cast of transgender artists and performers, FRAMING AGNES uses re-enactment and genre-blurring storytelling techniques to breathe new life into previously unknown people who redefined gender in the midcentury. Featuring Angelica Ross, Jen Richards, Zackary Drucker, Silas Howard, Max Wolf Valerio (Gendernauts, Max), and Stephen Ira.

Dressed in Blue (Vestida de Azul) (1984)
April 17 at 3:30pm
Bright Family Screening Room at the Paramount Center
Antonio Giménez Rico’s stunning portrait documents the lives of six transgender women living in 1980s Madrid during Spain’s post-Franco makeover into a constitutional monarchy. Through wide-ranging conversations and interviews, the women discuss their experiences of nightlife, family, sex work, the legal system, and their personal narratives of transition. In a historical moment that witnessed a dramatic expansion of legal rights and political representation, their stories are an indictment of the repressive, transphobic institutions that remain entrenched in Spanish society. Featured in the hit series Veneno and the subject of a book-length history by Valeria Vegas, this provocative but nuanced portrayal joins a wave of rediscovered and reconsidered documents of trans lives in cinema. WQ is please to present a new restoration print of the groundbreaking documentary filmed in 1983 by Antonio Giménez-Rico.

Wicked Queer: Boston’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival (formerly the Boston LGBT Film Festival) was founded in 1984 by film programmer George Mansour. Wicked Queer is the 4th longest running LGBTQ+ Film Festival in North America and is an all volunteer organization. Our mission is to build community and to celebrate Queer storytelling and filmmaking through the uplifting of voices and stories not yet heard and to present and preserve the vibrancy of our histories.

On International Trans Day of Visibility 2022, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition is announcing the launch of our Identity Document Assistance (IDA) Network and our partnership with Namesake Collaborative to better support trans, nonbinary, and gender expansive community members in New England who are working to correct their name and gender on legal identity documents. Nearly 80% of respondents to our 2019-2020 community needs assessment listed identity documents as one of their top legal needs. Read Namesake’s press release about our partnership.

While not everyone needs an attorney’s assistance, this is a very overwhelming and complicated process that can take many months or years to complete. This is why we are partnering with Namesake Collaborative, a trans-led, Massachusetts-based business, to create an innovative and affirming new platform to streamline this process for our community. Namesake will provide on-demand guidance and support that will allow the IDA Network to have a broader reach than other identity document support programs. It will additionally reduce the strain on pro bono legal services that are likely unnecessary in many cases. We plan to launch a pilot of Namesake in Summer 2022. Initially, Namesake will only be available to residents of Massachusetts but we anticipate expanding to other states in New England as soon as 2023. If you are interested in being a beta tester for the Namesake platform or finding other ways to get involved, please follow the link below.

The second major component of the IDA Network is the Financial Assistance Fund which helps cover the fees associated with this process for those who cannot afford to pay. These fees can exceed $300, which does not including postage, transportation, passport photos, legal assistance, and so on. If you are able, please consider donating to the Financial Assistance Fund to provide much needed assistance to our community.

While the IDA Network does not currently provide legal representation or legal counsel, we do provide references to appropriate legal resources, most of which are free. Learn more about the IDA Network.

If you are a lawyer or legal agency that would like to join the IDA Network and provide free legal assistance to the trans, nonbinary, and gender expansive community for identity document corrections please contact MG Xiong!

The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition works to ensure the wellbeing, safety, and lived equity of all trans, nonbinary and gender expansive community members in MA. We educate the public, advocate at state, local and systemic levels; and through collective action, we mobilize community, engage in capacity building, and advance community wellness and prosperity. Learn more about MTPC.

Posted on March 31, 2022.

See the official press release here.

The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) celebrates its 20th Anniversary with the 11th Annual Professionals for Trans Rights (PTR) business community fundraiser, held virtually on June 16 at 7:00 PM. The event features Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley who will be awarded with one of two 2021 Carl Sciortino Trans Ally Awards. Representative Pressley will speak about what being an ally means to her and her vision for continuing to support the trans community in Massachusetts and beyond.

There are an estimated 42,000 trans people in Massachusetts. Over the past two decades, MTPC’s work has been critical in securing and defending civil rights for trans, nonbinary, and gender expansive people in the state. Today, MTPC focuses their efforts on retaining those rights and continuing to fight for lived equality for trans people with a recent focus on employment concerns. “Massachusetts was a battleground state for trans rights years ago and today when a majority of states are debating, voting and removing trans rights, we are able to focus on helping trans people thrive,” said Executive Director Tre’Andre Valentine. “Pride Month is a great time to celebrate our achievements, yet there is still a lot of work to be done.”

Sadly, one of this year’s PTR awards, the Inaugural Trans Activist Award, will be presented posthumously to Jahaira DeAlto. DeAlto was a leader and a chosen mother to many in the Massachusetts trans community. After opening her home in an act of kindness, DeAlto was killed in May. In just the first half of 2021, trans people have been murdered at a rate of more than one per week in the US with 27 known deaths.

Other highlights at the event will include the second 2021 Carl Sciortino Trans Ally Award presented to Michael Cox of Black & Pink Massachusetts and the Inaugural Trans Excellence Award Honoree, Gunner Scott, MTPC’s first executive director.

The event is free although donations are encouraged. For more information, please visit https://www.masstpc.org/ptr/ or email TreAndreValentine@masstpc.org.

UPDATE 9/23/21: Senate bill S.2282 “An Act Relative to Gender Identity on Massachsetts Identification” passed today! Thank you to our community and cis-allies who provided testimony in support of this bill!

This bill will codify the right to change one’s gender or self-identify as nonbinary on driver’s licenses, birth certificates, and all state identification documents. It also directs the state to develop a plan to allow a nonbinary option on all state forms whenever a gender choice is required.

There are currently two bills up for consideration in the MA legislature, H.3126 “An Act Providing for Gender Neutral Designation on State Documents and Identification” in the House, and H.3124 and Senate Bill S.2026 An Act Establishing Gender Neutral Bathrooms in the House and Senate.

🢂 Written testimony is being accepted for House bill H.3126 “An Act Providing for Gender Neutral Designation on State Documents and Identification” If you would like to provide written testimony, please use this template (please go to File > Make a Copy to edit and fill in your name and testimony). To submit your testimony you must first create an account for MyLegislature following these instructions. If you already have a MyLegislature account you can click here instead.

🢂 Written testimony is being accepted for House bill H.3124 and Senate Bill S.2026 An Act Establishing Gender Neutral Bathrooms. If you would like to provide written testimony, please use this template (please go to File > Make a Copy to edit and fill in your name and testimony). To submit your testimony you must first create an account for MyLegislature following these instructions. If you already have a MyLegislature account you can click here instead.

WRITTEN TESTIMONY: Written testimony can be submitted via email to Jordan Latham at jordan.latham@mahouse.gov or Mary Wasylyk at mary.wasylyk@masenate.gov. The deadline to submit written testimony is FRIDAY, October 15 by 5pm. Email with the subject line “Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight – Testimony in Favor of (Bill Number)”

If you have any questions please reach out to info@masstpc.org.

We need help to gather the support of representatives across the state! Please contact your state representative in the House and let them know that you support these bills and that you want them to indicate their support or even to sign on as a co-sponsor! You can find out who your state representatives are on the MA Legislature website.

Regarding Senate bill S.2026, we need help to reach out to Senate leadership and the Joint Committee on State and Regulatory Oversight to advocate for the passage of the bill and for the earliest hearing date possible.

Download our nonbinary gender marker FAQ

On March 23, 2021 MTPC, GLAD, and the Massachusetts Trans Health Coalition hosted an information forum regarding COVID-19 Vaccines specifically for trans, nonbinary, and gender expansive community members. Trans, nonbinary, and gender expansive community members are often denied care and experience an overall lack of access to information, resources, and support. Medical experts discussed concerns and answered questions regarding the safety, availability, and rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. This event was recorded and can be viewed at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aBDgVXQANE.

This event featured:
Carl Streed, Research Lead at Boston Medical Center’s Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery
Pam Klein, Manager of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program’s Transgender Program
Will Giordano-Perez, Physician Consultant for the RI Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee
Tre’Andre Valentine, Executive Director, MTPC

The following links were shared at the event:

Having difficulty navigating or accessing the vaccine registration process?
Volunteers are here to help: https://macovidvaxhelp.com/

MA Vaccination Info:
Email questions related to the COVID-19 vaccine: COVID-19-Vaccine-Plan-MA@mass.gov

Make an appointment for the vaccine: https://vaxfinder.mass.gov

Latest vaccine updates: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-covid-19-vaccination-data-and-updates

MA Vaccine phases: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-covid-19-vaccination-phases

MA Vaccine FAQ: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccine-frequently-asked-questions

CDC Vaccination Info:

CDC – After Vaccination Health Checker:

COVID-19 Vaccine Ingredient Lists:
Moderna: https://www.fda.gov/media/144638/download
Pfizer: https://www.fda.gov/media/144414/download
Janssen (Johnson & Johnson): https://www.fda.gov/media/146305/download

Email info@masstpc.org for any questions.

We need your help! The Senate Judiciary Committee has just announced that the hearing for the Equality Act has been scheduled for next Wednesday, March 17. We are hearing that our friends (and foes) in the Senate are getting bombarded daily with calls and emails from opponents to the Equality Act.
Even our biggest supporters in the Senate are getting hundreds of calls and emails a day from opponents and rarely any from our side in support.

The Equality Federation has created this template email that you can use to send to your Senators to show support for the Equality Act. The template includes a link to an action page where you can contact your Senators directly.

If you have any questions or would like to get involved please contact us at info@masstpc.org or contact the Equality Federation here.