Sara Whitman

MA trans rights bill gains momentum

Filed By Sara Whitman | April 22, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Governor Patrick, Key West, Massachusetts, on vacation, trans rights, transgender, transgender equality

I hit that place in vacation where I actually calm down. It feels good. Only problem is, Jake has a fever. Poor baby. We were supposed to go parasailing today- perhaps it's the gods telling us no.

massachusetts-quarter.jpgIt's been great here. The weather could not be more perfect. The kids have been getting along- mostly. We've yet to have any food I could say was amazing, but all has been fine.

Today will be a quiet day- not quite sure what to do with fever boy. Can't take him out in the sun for any extended period and can't imagine sitting in a hotel room all day.

In Massachusetts, the trans rights bill has finally gained some momentum. Once gay rights friendly Charlie Baker is now trolling for the conservative votes he thinks got Scott Brown elected. He calls the bill the "bathroom bill" which is so far from the truth one has to wonder if he's taking talking points from Sarah Palin.

Someone should remind him that it didn't get her elected- only a prime slot on Saturday Night Live to be ridiculed.

I'm not allowed to discuss politics while on vacation. The boys have threatened to put my hand in a bucket of cold water while I'm sleeping if I do. Good thing they don't read the blog.

After two deaths in our state by young kids who were bullied ruthlessly, one would think the rhetoric would tone done a little. It is painful, and hurts deeply. It is no way to set an example for our children.

But Governor Patrick has not only seen the light, but is using this as a issue to differentiate himself from his opponents. It is about fairness and justice, he says. Not only will he sign the bill, he has sent out a fundraising appeal stating his support of the bill.

That is my Massachusetts. And that is my governor. I wish he would chat with his pals down in DC that equality and civil rights are something to proudly use as campaign slogans.

Today we will lay low. I'll sneak a few peeks at the press on the trans bill- shhh, don't tell the kids.

In the very very near future, Massachusetts will once again be the state that I love so dearly.

And safe for all.

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I know how much work you've done on this, Sara. I'm so happy you're working to help our trans brothers and sisters, but I'm struck by the silence in this comment thread as versus the one claiming Mass Equality wasn't doing anything for trans rights.

Suddenly the room has gone quiet once the facts are staring them in the face, eh?

Kathy Padilla | April 24, 2010 1:52 PM

Actually, Bil - some of those comments were that they hadn't done anything - but people were happy if that had changed.

I hadn't posted as it seemed unnecessary given the fact that it had been dicussed and why rain on soneone's parade. And that MA passing a nondiscrimination law possibly after the Feds do isn't ....a strong argument against that history.

Are you asking to turn this happy occurance into a discussion of the history? I'll be happy to go back and dig up Sue Hyde's post at Bilerico that MassEquality had achieved equality for all lgbt folks from a while back. And some other of their board members quotes.

Kathy, I find your dig at Sue Hyde ridiculous. She is the chair of the C3 part of Mass Equality and honestly, I don't know how she has two kids, a wife, a full time job AND do all the work she's done for MA Equality.

and she's my friend. I know how passionate she is about this issue. to say otherwise... is disrespectful and wrong. borderline libel.

quiet indeed bil. and when we get it, it won't be soon enough. and it will ahve taken too long.

as gov. patrick joked at an event the other day, the media was so ruthless with him, if he walked on water? they'd say he couldn't swim.

that's how I'm feeling right now. We are doing the best we can with the resources we have.

Kathy Padilla | April 24, 2010 6:42 PM

My response was a point of personal privilege to Bill, not to reopen the discussion. I guess now to you also.

I'm happy Sue is your friend and she has a fulfilling family life. I'm not sure how that is germane to the discussion. I have some very dear trans friends in MA who were fired from their jobs and couldn't seek legal recourse while others were working to see out of state glb's have rights to marry in MA. And I've known some trans folk in MA who were murdered - but - that wasn't a hate crime in MA, either. Their friends and family were equally enamored - it sadly - didn't change reality.

Sue herself agreed her post was lacking when referring to the inclusiveness of lgbt protections in NE.

"Projector Friends,
I gladly accept all criticisms of my post, We Can All Get They-ah from Hee-ah, that note the failure to include realities concerning transgender people's protections, and lack of, in certain New England states."
Sue Hyde | May 11, 2009 11:14 AM

The presumption that marraige rights mean everyone is just fine and equal was also seen in a certain post about Scott Brown.

"I have always been so proud to be from Massachusetts. Home of the liberals, even when liberal became a bad word. We have marriage equality, we have health care,"

There was a "we" missing in all that crowing.

It's hard to extoll the value of MassEqualities' abilities to movelegislation and control the agenda in the MA State House without admitting that ....the org controlled the agenda and could have moved this legislation in the MA statehouse long ago. It choose to not work on broader issues and informed the pols what the community needed. And what it didn't. That really did have effects - because the org had so much money and was so powerful.

"MassEquality evolved from a group of gay organizations that had been working together on rights issues since 2001; the group began in earnest in late 2003, after the Supreme Judicial Court handed down its historic decision legalizing gay marriage, and advocates knew they would have to work together as never before to fight attempts to pass a constitutional ban.

The heat of battle encouraged cooperation, and many smaller groups set aside their own agendas to focus on marriage. Mass-Equality pulled in millions of dollars from local and national donors, established 11 affiliates across the state, and, at its height, employed 22 full-time and 35 part-time staff members."

"But other leaders in the community worry that MassEquality could compromise its relationship with some lawmakers if it embraced other issues.

"I think it's naive for us to wander around in other areas that may have different levels of controversy and may dilute our ability to support legislators who are with us" on marriage, said one significant MassEquality donor and fund-raiser. "The value of this organization is that it has meant what it has said, so it can't say, 'Well, we're supporting transgender rights, but - wink, nod - we will stay with you even if you don't."

Again - my hearty congrats and shout out should this pass. And things have changed.

That doesn't change what was. There's a reason it didn't pass 10 years ago. There hasn't been another state that chose to ignore the enfranchisement of the T portion of the community so completely while ensuring even the rights of out of state glb's than MA. And MassEquality was the mechanism for that process and the voice of the community in the State House. Denying that history isn't a firm base upon which to build a future. Coming from that to being inclusive is a much more potent and real story. One that some legislators might personaly identify with.

walk on water, I guess we can't swim.

Great! Here's to hoping it passes!