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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!
Tre’Andre Valentine, Executive Director
MA Specific Resources:
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.
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: email@example.com or call: 617-778-0519
By a voice vote, the Massachusetts State Senate this morning passed the Transgender Equal Rights bill. Exactly when the Governor, a strong supporter of the bill, will sign it is not yet known. But transgender people across the Commonwealth – approximately 33,000 in number, according to the best available estimates – have cause for celebration today. And advocates can take pride in a broad coalition effort that brought about this significant victory. MTPC is grateful to all who helped make this happen, especially including those legislators who supported the bill’s passage.
Tuesday evening, just before 9:00, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the Transgender Equal Rights bill without amendment. The version passed added “gender identity” to employment, education, housing, and credit non-discrimination law, as well as to hate crimes law. It did not address public accommodations.
Speaking eloquently in support of the bill were lead sponsors Byron Rushing and Carl Sciortino, as well as Judiciary Committee Chair Eugene O’Flaherty. Debate was limited to an hour, and during that time the only amendment offered for a vote – out of a stack offered by opponents – would have struck all but the Hate Crimes provisions. It was defeated by nearly the same margin by which the bill eventually passed.
The state Senate is expected to take up the bill for a vote on Wednesday. The Senate session can be watched at MassLegislature.tv.
Dear Community Members,
I am writing you with important news.
Lawmakers are expected to vote on the Transgender Equal Rights bill TODAY or TOMORROW.
Please take a moment NOW to contact your state lawmakers to ask for their support of this bill.
Your request for support from state lawmakers is vital. Opponents of the bill have been swamping the inboxes of lawmakers. Lawmakers need to know that the public and their constituents support this bill!
Over the next 24 hours, it is critical that lawmakers hear from bill supporters!
MassEquality will be phonebanking in support of the bill all day today. And we need volunteers! During phone banks, we talk to constituents and transfer supporters of the bill directly to their lawmakers’ voicemail boxes so they can leave messages in support of the bill. Call Justin at 617.878.2344 to sign up or send him an email!
In the days ahead, you may hear confusing things about this bill. To be clear, this bill provides vital protections in employment, education, housing, credit, and hate crimes which transgender residents of the Commonwealth desperately need. The bill is not perfect as it does not include public accommodations protections, but it is a solid civil rights bill that represents an historic step forward in supporting full civil rights protections for the transgender community.
Please contact lawmakers today and ask them to vote in favor of this bill.
How to call your legislators
• CONTACT lawmakers and let them know of your support for the bill. Like we have said before they can’t hear from us enough — opponents of the bill have been swamping lawmakers’ inboxes.
What to say when you call:
“Hello, my name is______, and I am a constituent of Representative/Senator______. I’m calling because I want him/her to vote in support of H 502/S764 “An Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights” and ask leadership to bring this up for a vote before the end of the year. I’d like to hear from my legislator about their stance on the bill and if they are going to speak with leadership. When should I expect to hear back from you?”
How to email
To find your legislator’s email address go to http://www.malegislature.gov/people/findmylegislator
Hello, my name is______, and I am a constituent of yours and I live at _______(address, city). I’m writing because I want you to support H 502/S764 “An Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights” I’d like to hear from you about your stance on this bill and if you are going vote in support of this important legislation.
Your Name, City
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition