Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition
Headquarters Location: Jamaica Plain, MA
Mission: Founded in 2001, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is dedicated to ending discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression.
We envision a world where persons of all genders are treated with respect and fully participate in all areas of society, free from fear of prohibition, harassment or violence based on their gender identity and/or expression.
To that end we educate the public, advocate with state, local, and federal government, engage in activism, and encourage empowerment of community members through collective action.
As the Associated Press is reporting, the Transgender Equal Rights Bill took effect July 1, about seven months after Gov. Deval Patrick signed it into law. The bill bars discrimination in employment, housing, education, and lending, while also enables prosecutors to bring hate crime charges in attacks that target someone for being transgender, according to the Boston Globe.
Among those to praise the new law was Kara Suffredini, executive director of MassEquality, one of the organizations that lobbied for the law. "This a tremendously historic and life-changing day for transgender people across the state, and really for anybody that values fairness," she told the Globe.
Others shared those sentiments. "This will hopefully empower community members to step forward when they are facing discrimination," Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) Executive Director Gunner Scott told EDGE Boston. "Furthermore, it will be proactive in educating state agencies, employers, school systems on treating transgender people fairly and equally like all other residents."
Still, the law had its fair share of detractors, with many drawing attention to its lack of public accommodation protections. Last fall's removal of such a protection, which would have required all "sex-segregated facilities" such as rest rooms or locker rooms to grant admission to people based on gender identity was heavily criticized by many who considered it a key component.
“Just because it’s such a basic right for people and the fact that it’s not protected is kind of atrocious,” Kaylin MacNeil of Holyoke was quoted by the Patriot Ledger as saying in November.
Although he had actually signed the bill in his office in late November, Patrick hosted a ceremonial signing in January that drew an overflowing crowd from the local transgender community. "I sign this bill as a matter of conscience; people should be able to come before their government as equals," he was quoted as having said at the time. OR Check out: http://www.edgeboston.com/news/local/features-139105/trans_murder_victims_remembered_on_boston_common OR WE COULD USE:
Each year, National Center for Transgender Equality recognizes the hard work of an individual that has demonstrated the perserverance, dedication, and commitment of Julie Johnson. Julie Johnson, a Chicago-based transgender activist, spent her lifetime advocating for transgender equality despite the challenges of her own life.
This year, NCTE is proud to honor Gunner Scott, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, with the Julie Johnson Founders' Award for his deep commitment to transgender rights.
For over a decade, Gunner has been a leader in the fight for transgender equality. Most notably, Gunner was at the helm of the successful five-year campaign to enact the Massachusetts Transgender Equality Rights Bill. Gunner is also a founding member of the Trans Advocacy Network and sits on the Massachusetts Commission for GLBT Youth. (http://www.transequality.org/NinthAnnivAwards.html)
Expert Reviews of Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition
Evidence of Impact Summary:Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) has been a powerful force working on behalf of transgender individuals in Massachusetts. The organization played a key role in bringing about a transgender nondiscrimination bill to passage in Massachusetts in 2012, which added gender identity to a statewide nondiscrimination law. Their work on transgender equality law and effective campaigning is raising the profile and safety of the transgender community.
Organization Strengths Summary:Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition has excellent communication abilities. Their story telling, outreach, and innovative approach to public education help to mobilize the community. The organization has strong and consistent leadership. They are also an optimistic and hard-working organization.
Areas for Improvement Summary:Experts agree that Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition is in deep need of greater funding and growing capacity. The organization does great work and is currently run by a single staff person. Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition could expand their strong work if they were able to gain more stability. The organization may also consider expanding their programming to include more youth and senior focus.
He holds a BA in Liberal Arts from Goddard College, where he completed an oral history project titled “Boston Area Transgender Community Leaders and the ENDA Crisis.” He has written articles for Boston Phoenix, Bay Windows newspaper, What’s Up magazine, Sojourner Women’s Forum, “Agitate and Activate”, the introduction to Pinned Down by Pronouns, a 2003 Lambda Literary nominee anthology, and he is a co-author on the study and 2011 article in the American Journal of Public Health entitled “Transgender Health in Massachusetts: Results From a Household Probability Sample of Adults.”
Currently, he is serves on the Board of Corporators for Eastern Bank, board member for the Equality Federation, founding member of the Trans Advocacy Network, and is a Commissioner on the Massachusetts Commission for GLBT Youth.
Gunner has also been involved with the Occupy Boston movement and he was invited to participate at the “Trans-Form The Occupation,” a panel and community forum transgender awareness event held on day 58 of Occupy Wall Street in Liberty Plaza, NYC in 2011. In addition to his social justice activism, he is also passionate about saving wild lions from extinction and captivity.