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Posted by: | Posted on: March 23, 2020

In Solidarity With Community During COVID-19

Dear Beloved MTPC Family and Friends,

As human beings wired for connection and community, we are being asked to go against our nature (for some…shout out to the introverts!) and practice social distancing. As MTPC, like some others #WorkFromHome, we are reminded of the unique experiences of some of our community members. Those already in physical, emotional and/or psychological isolation, migrants, low wage workers, sex workers, artists, musicians, folks working in gig economies, folks who can’t work from home, those living paycheck to paycheck, those living with no paycheck, folks with disabilities and/or living with a chronic illness, our elders, our family members and friends who are incarcerated, loved ones who are at increased risk for suicide. We hold them in our hearts, as we ask:

How do trans and gender expansive people safely connect to community when those living at the furthest edges of marginality do not have access to the internet, technology and/or structural support? How are trans and gender-expansive people taken into consideration in relief efforts and funds? How safe is social distancing in unstable housing or in relationships where there is abuse? How will trans people receive appropriate and affirming care when the government and local officials are declaring a delay on non-urgent procedures? Transgender health and gender-affirming care may be seen as non-urgent, even cosmetic when in fact, these procedures are essential to saving lives. What does safety really look like the government and local officials are using “health and safety” to increase surveillance on vulnerable communities?

There are so many more questions than there are answers. Yet, we hold on to hope even when we feel helpless. Transgender, nonbinary, two-spirit and gender-expansive people are some of the most resilient, resourceful beings in existence! No matter how society (cough: colonialism) has tried to squash us, we have made it through history. But at what cost?

There is nothing like a crisis and uncertainty to show who we really are as individuals and a society. We have found ourselves in a time, where more than ever we need each other. This is a time of innovation and creative social connection. This is not the time for human rights and civil liberties to be eroded. Please do what you can to stay informed, flatten the curve, fight against anti-trans rhetoric and legislation, and fight against anti-Asian racism and xenophobia. Do what you can to stay as safe as possible, and be kind!

In Resilience

Tre’Andre Valentine, Executive Director

 

MA Specific Resources:

Lawyers for Civil Rights Boston: Bilingual legal and community guide on the coronavirus

Ethos: Grab and Go meals available daily

Transgender Emergency Fund of Massachusetts

Fenway Health: Coronavirus, COVID-19, and Considerations for People Living with HIV and LGBTQIA+ People

Welcome to Mutual Aid Medford and Somerville (MAMAS)

Worcester Mutual Aid Group

Lowell Mutual Aid Group

Boston Mutual Aid Group

Mutual Aid and Relief Assistance by City

Massachusetts Jobs With Justice: Massachusetts Workers Emergency Relief Funds

Boston Artist Relief Fund

National Resources:

National Center for Trans Equality: The Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Trans People Need to Know

National LGBT Cancer Network: Corona Virus Information

Sins Invalid: Social Distancing and Crip Survival: A Disability Centered Response to COVID-19

Coronavirus: Wisdom from a Social Justice Lens

Coronavirus Resource Kit – a collectivized compilation of resources from disabled, queer, elderly, Asian, and indigenous people and US-based mutual aid projects.

COVID-19 Mutual Aid and Advocacy Resources – includes advocacy information and resources alongside links to similar compilations of local mutual aid projects.

them: 20 Ways To Support the Queer Community During Coronavirus

COVID-19 Mutual Fund for LGBTQI+ BIPOC Folks

COVID-19 Trans/Queer Relief Form

Posted by: | Posted on: December 3, 2019

Working for Lived Equity: MTPC Community Needs Assessment

After successfully defending trans rights in public accommodations in 2018, MTPC is focusing our efforts to center intersectional community development and leadership, and working toward lived equity.

To stay accountable to the communities we serve and represent, MTPC is conducting a community needs assessment to better understand the needs of transgender and non-binary youth, adults, elders and families in Massachusetts.

Take our survey to share your vision of MTPC’s role in helping to address your needs, and help shape the direction of our future efforts.

You will be entered in a weekly raffle for $25 gift card. Use password: MTPC2020. Survey closes on Friday March 20th.

Questions or concerns email: info@masstpc.org or call: 617-778-0519

 

Posted by: | Posted on: October 31, 2019

MTPC Welcomes New Operations Coordinator – Athena Vaughn

Boston, MA October 31, 2019

MTPC announced today that Athena Vaughn will be joining the team as the Operations Coordinator.

Athena Vaughn (she/her/hers), also known as Athena West is a Legend in the Ballroom community and has been doing LGBTQ work for over 15 years. During the last 7-8 years, she has been working with transgender communities at Fenway Health, as a Consultant for the Life Skills program. Life Skills is designed to help transgender women ages 13 – 29 manage everyday challenges like hormones, health risks, health insurance and housing.  Athena is also the Senior Transgender Health Navigator for Fenway Health/AIDS Action Committee, and has overseen the Transcend Program. 

It is essential that transgender and gender non conforming people have easy access to the services. “I don’t mind doing the leg work to ensure the safety and well being of my clients, finding them shelter that are inclusive and do not discriminate as well as health care, health insurance and a host of other resources that they may need”, says Athena. “I love working with my community because they need someone to show them unconditional love and support, to not make promises, but to do what you say you are going to do; someone to walk with them and fight with them.” 

Athena begins her journey at MTPC on Monday, November 4th. “We are thrilled to have Athena come on board” says Executive Director, Tre’Andre Valentine. “She brings such a wealth of knowledge and experience; her passion for working with community beyond is inspiring. I’m truly looking forward to working together.”

Posted by: | Posted on: September 9, 2019

Joint Statement of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and Massachusetts Trans Political Coalition (MTPC) on the Treatment of Individuals Arrested for Protesting ‘Straight Pride’ Parade in Boston

 

We are profoundly disturbed by the events surrounding the ‘Straight Pride’ parade in Boston on August 31, including the cascading missteps surrounding the counter-protest and its aftermath, at the hands of the police and the justice system. They are reminders of how far we have to go before our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and especially transgender communities can trust that our voices will be heard, and our identities respected, in the public square, without fear of mistreatment or discrimination.   

The individuals who gathered to protest the ‘Straight Pride’ parade did so to voice disagreement with the event’s extremist messages, including the message that LGBTQ people are not “normal.” Such dehumanizing statements, made by parade organizers who have ties to White Supremacist and other alt right ideologies, threaten not only the dignity but also the safety of LGB and especially transgender lives. 

Our aspirations for equal justice in our nation require protection of avenues of dissent. And yet, the heavy-handed police tactics at the rally, resulting in the arrests of protesters, threatens to squelch the voices of marginalized people, particularly the transgender community who already experience harassment and discrimination at the hands of the police. 

What happened subsequently in the courtroom did little to restore our community’s trust in the justice system. While prosecutors, under the leadership of Suffolk County District Attorney Rachel Rollins, tried to do the right thing by declining to prosecute the minor charges levied against the protesters, Suffolk Municipal Court Judge Sinnott refused to defer to prosecutorial discretion and instead insisted that many of these charges go forward. Judicial resources are not well spent on prosecuting people who showed up at a rally to engage civic values of discourse. 

To make matters worse, Judge Sinnott later mistreated one defendant, Kai De Jesus, a transgender woman of color, with humiliating and dehumanizing statements about her gender and name, including equating her name with a criminal alias. Whether intentional or not, comments like those made by Judge Sinnott send the message to transgender people that they may not receive a fair hearing in court – the opposite of the expectation we should be ensuring all residents of the Commonwealth can confidently hold with regards to our justice system.

But we have the power to change that. In 2018 the trial court created a mandated training, required of every trial court employee, including judges, setting out expectations for fair, respectful and inclusive treatment of transgender people in our courts. Last week demonstrated how critical such trainings are to continue on an ongoing basis for all court staff, including the judges who are entrusted with delivering unbiased justice. 

Last year the Massachusetts community voted overwhelmingly to uphold protections for transgender individuals in public spaces, including on the streets and in the courts. It is up to all of us to live up to our collective aspirations of upholding fairness, dignity, and respect for LGB and transgender people, and for all people in the Commonwealth. 

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Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation. GLAD participated in the development of the 2018 trial court training on inclusive and respectful treatment of transgender people in the court system.

The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is dedicated to ending oppression and discrimination on the basis on gender identity and gender expression. Rooted in social justice, we educate the public; advocate with state, local and federal government; engage in activism; and encourage the empowerment of community members through collective action. MTPC offers regular trainings throughout the state on trans and non-binary identities and on developing accessibility and inclusion for trans and non-binary communities.

Posted by: | Posted on: July 19, 2019

MTPC Welcomes New Executive Director Tre’Andre Valentine

Tre’Andre Valentine to Lead the
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition

Boston, MA July 17, 2019

The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) announced today that Tre’Andre Valentine will take the helm as its new Executive Director.

Tre’Andre, who uses he/they pronouns, brings nearly a decade of non-profit experience and grassroots organizing energy to MTPC. In their previous role at The Network La Red, Tre’Andre was responsible for managing community engagement, outreach programs, educational programming, as well as grassroots fundraising. Tre’Andre also served on MTPC’s steering committee from 2006-2016. In addition to their extensive experience in the non-profit sector, they also bring their own lived experience as an indigenous transgender person of color.

“After an extensive, two month long search process, we are so thrilled to have Tre’Andre on board,” said Michelle Tat, Co-chair of MTPC’s Steering Committee. Co-chair Kaden Mohamed added, “In Tre’Andre we found a leader with drive, excitement, and passion whose values, skills, expertise, and lived experiences will guide MTPC into its future.”

“I am humbled and honored to have the privilege of leading MTPC as we continue to forge forward,” said Tre’Andre. “Massachusetts has a strong foundation for transgender rights thanks to the leadership of my predecessors Gunner Scott, Mason Dunn, as well as the steering committee and all of MTPC’s supporters and allies. “I look forward to being a part of the effort of making a difference in the daily lived experiences of transgender, non-binary, and genderqueer individuals of Massachusetts.” 

MTPC is coming off its historic 2018 victory in the Yes on 3 Campaign, defending transgender rights at the ballot box in Massachusetts. “We now have the opportunity to help our state become a place not only with legal protections, but where trans and non-binary people experience lived equality in their daily lives,” said Tre’Andre.

Founded in 2001, MTPC is a trans led and trans focused organization that has been working for almost two decades to improve the lives of Massachusetts transgender youth, adults, and their families. The Steering Committee and Tre’Andre are excited to step into this next phase of the organization’s work and to continue building and engaging community along the way.

The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition is dedicated to ending oppression and discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. Rooted in social justice, we educate the public, advocate with state, local and federal government, engage in activism and encourage empowerment of community members through collective action.

Posted by: | Posted on: December 16, 2017

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.