masstpc:

From the National Center for Transgender Equality:

Save the LGBT-inclusive Violence Against Women Act by calling your senators now. The Senate may take up the bill in the coming days. 

And the programs covered in VAWA are so crucial for trans people—nearly a fifth of trans people have faced domestic violence from their families because they are trans or gender non-conforming.

Call your Senator now and let them know how important these programs are for all survivors of violence.

Learn more here: http://wapo.st/14S1qPs
kisareth-studios:

Today we have a shot taken in battle from Chronicles of a Dark Lord Episode II: Tides of Fate. This is the long awaited sequel to our first release, Chronicles of a Dark Lord. 
The second image is the main menu/party status menu. Check out the beautiful character portraits done by our very own Elizabeth Yeterian!
If you haven’t already—take the time to get to know us by looking over our website. While you’re there, we’d very much appreciate it if you’d upvote us on Steam Greenlight so we can get our games out to more retro gaming/retro rpg fans! 

This game’s focus on equality is amazing, having played it! It isn’t often that LGBTQ characters are mentioned in a video game, much less an RPG. Kisareth Studios takes a page from Bioware and sets the stage for a new and bright future in game development and design. 
Their company is founded by a transgender woman, and their staff includes quite a few people on the LGBTQ spectrum. In a primarily male dominated industry, Kisareth Studios’ vision for the future of gaming is one that cannot be understated.
When the subject of the flames this stance will undoubtedly bring arose, Kisareth had this to say:
“ You know what the wonderful thing about CoaDL is? It’s something that struck me right away. It exists in a world where we have gay, bi, trans and such peoples, but it’s not a big deal. It’s not treated as anything different or out of the ordinary, it’s just accepted as a matter of fact. You’ll notice there aren’t bigots in the world of Cora, there may be some in our world, but we’re not concerned with them…at all. ” 
Bravo!  kisareth-studios:

Today we have a shot taken in battle from Chronicles of a Dark Lord Episode II: Tides of Fate. This is the long awaited sequel to our first release, Chronicles of a Dark Lord. 
The second image is the main menu/party status menu. Check out the beautiful character portraits done by our very own Elizabeth Yeterian!
If you haven’t already—take the time to get to know us by looking over our website. While you’re there, we’d very much appreciate it if you’d upvote us on Steam Greenlight so we can get our games out to more retro gaming/retro rpg fans! 

This game’s focus on equality is amazing, having played it! It isn’t often that LGBTQ characters are mentioned in a video game, much less an RPG. Kisareth Studios takes a page from Bioware and sets the stage for a new and bright future in game development and design. 
Their company is founded by a transgender woman, and their staff includes quite a few people on the LGBTQ spectrum. In a primarily male dominated industry, Kisareth Studios’ vision for the future of gaming is one that cannot be understated.
When the subject of the flames this stance will undoubtedly bring arose, Kisareth had this to say:
“ You know what the wonderful thing about CoaDL is? It’s something that struck me right away. It exists in a world where we have gay, bi, trans and such peoples, but it’s not a big deal. It’s not treated as anything different or out of the ordinary, it’s just accepted as a matter of fact. You’ll notice there aren’t bigots in the world of Cora, there may be some in our world, but we’re not concerned with them…at all. ” 
Bravo! 

kisareth-studios:

Today we have a shot taken in battle from Chronicles of a Dark Lord Episode II: Tides of Fate. This is the long awaited sequel to our first release, Chronicles of a Dark Lord. 

The second image is the main menu/party status menu. Check out the beautiful character portraits done by our very own Elizabeth Yeterian!

If you haven’t already—take the time to get to know us by looking over our website. While you’re there, we’d very much appreciate it if you’d upvote us on Steam Greenlight so we can get our games out to more retro gaming/retro rpg fans! 

This game’s focus on equality is amazing, having played it! It isn’t often that LGBTQ characters are mentioned in a video game, much less an RPG. Kisareth Studios takes a page from Bioware and sets the stage for a new and bright future in game development and design. 

Their company is founded by a transgender woman, and their staff includes quite a few people on the LGBTQ spectrum. In a primarily male dominated industry, Kisareth Studios’ vision for the future of gaming is one that cannot be understated.

When the subject of the flames this stance will undoubtedly bring arose, Kisareth had this to say:

 You know what the wonderful thing about CoaDL is? It’s something that struck me right away. It exists in a world where we have gay, bi, trans and such peoples, but it’s not a big deal. It’s not treated as anything different or out of the ordinary, it’s just accepted as a matter of fact. You’ll notice there aren’t bigots in the world of Cora, there may be some in our world, but we’re not concerned with them…at all. ” 

Bravo! 

masstpc:

image

Demand equal access to public accomodations for transgender people in MA! 

The cosponsorship deadline for the Equal Access Bill is February 1. So now‭ ‬is the time‭ ‬to make your voice heard‭!‬ Contact your state senators and representatives‭ ‬TODAY‭ ‬and ask them to support the bill.

In November‭ ‬2011,‭ ‬Massachusetts became the‭ ‬16th state to add non-discrimination laws for gender identity in the areas of employment,‭ ‬housing,‭ ‬K-12‭ ‬public education,‭ ‬and credit.‭ ‬Additionally,‭ ‬Massachusetts Hate Crimes laws were also updated to include gender identity.‭ ‬This law is known as the Act Relative to Gender Identity.

This new‭ ‬law did not‭ ‬include protections in public accommodations,‭ ‬though.‭ ‬Public accommodations‭ ‬include‭ ‬banks,‭ ‬gas stations,‭ ‬beauty salons,‭ ‬doctors‭’ ‬offices,‭ ‬court rooms,‭ ‬hotels,‭ ‬restaurants,‭ ‬shopping centers,‭ ‬theaters,‭ ‬sports arenas,‭ ‬museums,‭ ‬libraries,‭ ‬zoos,‭ ‬beaches,‭ ‬public transit,‭ ‬airports,‭ ‬public streets,‭ ‬sidewalks,‭ ‬and many other places open to the public.

Here’s what‭ ‬YOU can do to ensure all transgender people in Massachusetts have‭ ‬equal rights to‭ ‬use‭ ‬public spaces‭ ‬free of any discrimination.‭ 

     1) Locate your‭ ‬state officials

‭     2) ‬Ask for your‭ ‬State‭ ‬Representative or Senator by name.‭ ‬Usually you end up speaking with a legislative aide.‭ ‬Introduce yourself as a constituent.‭ ‬Give your name and town.‭ ‬Tell them that passing the‭ ‬Equal Access‭ ‬Bill is VERY important to you.‭ ‬If they need more information,‭ ‬tell them the bill has been filed as‭ ‬House Docket‭ ‬#1172‭ ‬and‭ ‬Senate Docket‭ ‬#568.‭ 

The Equal Access Bill would add‭ “‬gender identity‭” ‬to existing Massachusetts civil rights law for public accommodations,‭ ‬which currently prohibits discrimination on the basis of age,‭ ‬race,‭ ‬creed,‭ ‬color,‭ ‬national origin,‭ ‬sexual orientation,‭ ‬sex and marital status.‭ ‬Nationwide,‭ ‬15‭ ‬states,‭ ‬the District of Columbia and‭ ‬187‭ ‬cities and counties‭ (‬including Boston,‭ ‬Cambridge,‭ ‬Amherst and Northampton‭) ‬have passed non-discrimination laws or ordinances protecting people on this basis.

If you would like to follow a detailed script when calling,‭ ‬you can‭ ‬find that here.

     3‭) ‬Fill out our Report Results form to let us know how it went.

Another way that you can help is to talk up‭ ‬#MAtransbill online.‭ 

We’d love for you to post to Facebook,‭ ‬Twitter,‭ ‬Tumblr,‭ ‬etc.,‭ ‬about why you are supporting the Equal Access Bill today.‭ ‬Why are public accommodations protections important to you‭? ‬Use the hashtag‭ ‬#MAtransbill,‭ ‬and add‭ ‬#TransMA and‭ ‬#MApoli if there’s room.‭ Here’s a sample tweet:

Stop discrimination in MA public accommodations based on gender-identity/expression. Call sens/reps 1/31! http://www.masstpc.org/take-action/contact-elected #MAtransbill

If you’d like more information,‭ ‬please check out these resources:

‭* ‬2013‭ ‬Equal Access in Public Accommodations Legislative Brief‭ ‬(PDF‭)

What Are Public Accommodations‭?‬ (PDF‭)

Consequences of Not Having Equal Access Protections in Public Accommodations‭ ‬(PDF‭)

Twitter’s down right now, but let’s see what we can do to continue getting the word out! New Englanders, this means you! 

masstpc:

Are you wondering why Massachusetts needs to pass an Act Relative to Equal Access in Hospitals, Public Transportation, Nursing Homes, Supermarkets, Retail Establishments, and all other places open to the public? Below are just a few of the consequences of transgender people not having equal access to public spaces.

Imagine trying to get a drink with friends and being refused service based on your gender identity or expression. This is a harsh reality transgender residents of Massachusetts face daily. In 2010 in Peabody, a group of trans women were attempting to meet for a social function at a local restaurant. They were refused services because their licenses did not “match their appearances.” When the women challenged this, the establishment’s management told them their entrance denail was “due to the length of their skirts.” After filing an unsuccessful mediation with the Peabody Licensing Board, the women took their case to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and ultimately won their case.

Being refused service at a restaurant is frustrating, embarassing, and hurtful. Being outed in front of others could even lead to physical danger. And it gets worse. Public accommodations also include places like doctor’s offices, emergency rooms, urgent care facilities, nursing homes, and more. Whether it be a routine primary care appointment or admission to an emergency room, transgender individuals can still be turned away under current Mass. law, all because the doctor or attending nurse on duty “Doesn’t treat people like you” or thinks your case is “A separate thing” to be addressed by mental health professionals instead of a clinician.

This was the case for MTPC steering committee member Mycroft Masada Holmes. During a medical appointment in Boston, Mycroft came out as transgender while discussing medical needs and history. The doctor became visibly uncomfortable. “She really was not pleased and just more and more seemed to want to end the interview,” said Mycroft. Without the Equal Access Bill, transgender individuals in Massachusetts will continue to face situations like this.

But don’t take it secondhand from us, hear it straight from Dagen, a Massachusetts resident who is currently affected by the lack of equal access to public accommodations. For Dagen, many of the problems he has faced in finding a primary care physician have been based in ignorance more than cruelty or blatant discrimination. He had to approach more than 30 doctors before finding one he felt could deal with a trans patient. And, even so, he had trouble scheduling a pap smear. Hear it in his own words.

Once public accommodations protections are in place, health care providers should receive instructions about how to implement the law, including best practices recommendations. This information will teach them about what being transgender is and how to provide good and compassionate care.

Check out our Call to Action for easy instructions on how to find your state legislators and what to say to them. February 1 is the deadline for Mass. senators and representatives to sign on as cosponsors of the Equal Access Bill. Please call your legislators NOW and ask them to commit to cosponsorship.

Another way that you can help is to talk up #MAtransbill online. Here’s a sample tweet:

Stop discrimination in MA public accommodations based on gender-identity/expression. Call sens/reps 1/31! http://www.masstpc.org/take-action/contact-elected #MAtransbill

If you’d like more information, please check out these resources:

Thank you for your support!

masstpc:

http://www.boston.com/community/moms/blogs/child_caring/2013/01/when_a_relative.html

A reader asks parenting blogger Barbara Meltz how to deal with telling her 8- and 12-year-old children that their aunt is transgender if they ask. In the letter-writer’s (very hurtful words):

My brother is married to a transgendered individual. “B” lives as a woman but is still, biologically/physically, a man. When people meet her, it’s often obvious to them that she is really a man. “B” has been with my brother for over 15 years now and both my daughters call her “aunt” and do not realize she is a man.

My oldest is 12 and my youngest is 8. I do not want to keep secrets from them … do I raise the transgendered issue? Do I wait for them to ask? They’re going to ask some day, I know and I don’t want them to feel like this is a deep dark secret (though my brother and his spouse do not discuss the issue — ever).

Click the link to see Meltz’s answer and other readers’ responses. Perhaps you want to weigh in with your own advice.

Our answer, also posted at that page, is: 

The previous commenters have made some excellent points. What needs to be addressed here, obviously, is this letter writer’s attitude toward her sister-in-law. Of course parents must put their own children’s needs before those of other adult people. But the assumptions about what those needs might be in the future and how to handle the personal details of someone else’s life are very skewed. We hope that the letter writer will do some self-educating about transgender issues before trying to teach her children about this topic.

To begin, why is it assumed that the aunt’s being transgender is a secret that needs to be kept or revealed, as though it’s the most pertinent piece of information that everyone must know about her, whether she wants to share it or not? We don’t expect people to disclose other information such as being an ex-Catholic, an ex-smoker, an ex-gymnast, or an ex-army captain. Also, the preferred term is “transgender” not “transgendered,” like “smart” or “tall” instead of “smarted” or “talled.”

Deciding whether someone is a woman based on the presence or absence or appearance of a couple of body parts is reductive. And it’s antifeminist to try to take away a woman’s agency in declaring what she is or isn’t. We really should be, as a society, past the point where a group of people get to determine for someone else what her relationship should be with her own body, how she can dress, and how she can interact with the world. Do we all want to go back to a time when women weren’t allowed to have short hair or powerful jobs or wear pants?

Also, the letter writer is assuming that the children will ask questions about their aunt because the letter writer herself does not think of the aunt as a woman, even though so far the children have never treated the aunt as anyone but their aunt. If everyone in the family just treated this trans woman as the real woman she is, perhaps the children would just grow up thinking that the concept of “woman” is diverse enough to include all the people they meet in life who present and identify themselves women regardless of what sex they were labeled at birth.

But if the children do ask, there is nothing wrong with that. And it’s a great opportunity for the letter writer to be a great parent and to explain that there is no set of rules for being a woman (or for being a man), that women act and look in a wide variety of ways, and that how to treat someone shouldn’t depend on that person’s gender (or race or economic status or religion or physical ability, etc.). Most important, the letter writer can teach her children that all people are to be treated with respect and kindness.

Perhaps in advance of these types of questions, the letter writer could begin teaching her children about the various ways in which people within their community and across the world are diverse in so many wonderful ways and how no single characteristic determines the whole of who someone is. Those are always good lessons to teach children, even ones who don’t (knowingly) have diversity within their families.

As this state’s only organization led by and for transgender youth, adults, and our families, we at the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition know all too well the discrimination transgender people face from both family members and the public. By becoming better informed about gender identity, the letter writer and this blogger, Barbara F. Meltz, can help change that for these children’s aunt.

We are including a few links and book recommendations here that the letter writer and others may find useful in understanding transgender issues.

Transgender 101: masstpc.org/media-center/transgender-101

I AM: Transgender People Speak video project: transpeoplespeak.org

A documentary about Uncle Bill becoming a woman: nodumbquestions.com

Luna by Julie Ann Peters – a young-adult novel about a transgender teen

10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert and illustrated by Rex Ray – a picture book about a transgender child

Transitions of the Heart: Stories of Love, Struggle and Acceptance by Mothers of Transgender and Gender Variant Children edited by Rachel Pepper

True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism—For Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping Professionals by Mildred L. Brown and Chloe Ann Rounsley

masstpc:

Did you know that transgender people have no legal protections against discrimination in places of public accommodation in Massachusetts? We can fix this problem by passing the Equal Access Bill.

A “public accommodation” is any establishment, public or private, that is open to the general public and that provides, or endeavors to provide, some type of goods and/or services to the general public. The Massachusetts Public Accommodation Law (M.G.L. c. 272, s. 92A, 98 and 98A) defines a place of public accommodation as “any place, whether licensed or unlicensed, which is open to and accepts or solicits the patronage of the general public.”

Why is passing the Equal Access Bill important? Check out these places where trans people can still be discriminated against in Massachusetts. The list may surprise you.

Hotels, motels, campsites, and other places of lodging

Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and other establishments serving food or drink

• Retail establishments, including stores, shopping centers, car rental agencies, and other retail establishments

Theaters, concert halls, sports arenas and stadiums, and other places of entertainment

Convention centers, lecture halls, and other places of public gathering

• Museums, libraries, galleries, and other places of public display or collection

• Parks, zoos, amusement parks, beaches, and other places of recreation

Public transit and bus stations, train terminals, airports, platforms, and other transportation facilities

Public streets, highways, sidewalks, boardwalks, and other public ways

• Service establishments, including laundromats, dry cleaners, banks, gas stations, barbershops, beauty salons, travel agents, funeral parlors, and employment agencies

• Providers of professional services such as law offices, accountants, and insurance agents

• Health care facilities, including medical and dental offices, hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, nursing homes, and other health care facilities

• Public spaces and offices of state and local government agencies including, court rooms, hearing rooms, meeting rooms, waiting areas, lobbies, entrances, polling places (where you vote), public information counters and displays

Think it can’t or won’t happen to you or someone you know? Think again. Massachusetts transgender youth and adults routinely experience discrimination and harassment in public accommodations and services.

58% of surveyed transgender people were verbally harassed or disrespected in a place of public accommodationor service, including hotels, restaurants, buses, airports and government agencies.

Imagine what it would be like if you the Basketball Hall of Fame wouldn’t let you in, even with a ticket, because “they don’t serve people like you.”

Imagine being refused admission to Plimoth Plantation because you are transgender.

Imagine a bus driver verbally harassing you and being so openly hostile that you have to get out miles ahead of your stop for fear of your own emotional and physical safety.

Worst of all, imagine being denied admission to an emergency room because they “can’t help people like you.”

How you can help

February 1 is the deadline for Massachusetts senators and representatives to cosponsor the Equal Access Bill. Please call your legislators NOW and ask them to commit to cosponsorship.

Check out our Call to Action for easy instructions on how to find your legislators and what to say to them.

Another way that you can help is to talk up #MAtransbill online.

masstpc:

Demand equal access to public accomodations for transgender people in MA! 

Now‭ ‬is the time‭ ‬to make your voice heard‭!‬ Contact your state senators and representatives‭ ‬BY JANUARY‭ ‬31‭ ‬and ask them to cosponsor the‭ ‬Equal Access Bill.

In November‭ ‬2011,‭ ‬Massachusetts became the‭ ‬16th state to add non-discrimination laws for gender identity in the areas of employment,‭ ‬housing,‭ ‬K-12‭ ‬public education,‭ ‬and credit.‭ ‬Additionally,‭ ‬Massachusetts Hate Crimes laws were also updated to include gender identity.‭ ‬This law is known as the Act Relative to Gender Identity.

This new‭ ‬law did not‭ ‬include protections in public accommodations,‭ ‬though.‭ ‬Public accommodations‭ ‬include‭ ‬banks,‭ ‬gas stations,‭ ‬beauty salons,‭ ‬doctors‭’ ‬offices,‭ ‬court rooms,‭ ‬hotels,‭ ‬restaurants,‭ ‬shopping centers,‭ ‬theaters,‭ ‬sports arenas,‭ ‬museums,‭ ‬libraries,‭ ‬zoos,‭ ‬beaches,‭ ‬public transit,‭ ‬airports,‭ ‬public streets,‭ ‬sidewalks,‭ ‬and many other places open to the public.

Here’s what‭ ‬YOU can do to ensure all transgender people in Massachusetts have‭ ‬equal rights to‭ ‬use‭ ‬public spaces‭ ‬free of any discrimination.‭ 

     1.) Locate your‭ ‬state officials

‭     2.) ‬Ask for your‭ ‬State‭ ‬Representative or Senator by name.‭ ‬Usually you end up speaking with a legislative aide.‭ ‬Introduce yourself as a constituent.‭ ‬Give your name and town.‭ ‬Tell them that passing the‭ ‬Equal Access‭ ‬Bill is VERY important to you.‭ ‬If they need more information,‭ ‬tell them the bill has been filed as‭ ‬House Docket‭ ‬#1172‭ ‬and‭ ‬Senate Docket‭ ‬#568.‭ 

The Equal Access Bill would add‭ “‬gender identity‭” ‬to existing Massachusetts civil rights law for public accommodations,‭ ‬which currently prohibits discrimination on the basis of age,‭ ‬race,‭ ‬creed,‭ ‬color,‭ ‬national origin,‭ ‬sexual orientation,‭ ‬sex and marital status.‭ ‬Nationwide,‭ ‬15‭ ‬states,‭ ‬the District of Columbia and‭ ‬187‭ ‬cities and counties‭ (‬including Boston,‭ ‬Cambridge,‭ ‬Amherst and Northampton‭) ‬have passed non-discrimination laws or ordinances protecting people on this basis.

If you would like to follow a detailed script when calling,‭ ‬you can‭ ‬find that here.

     3‭) ‬Fill out our Report Results form to let us know how it went.

Another way that you can help is to talk up‭ ‬#MAtransbill online.‭ 

We’d love for you to post to Facebook,‭ ‬Twitter,‭ ‬Tumblr,‭ ‬etc.,‭ ‬about why you are supporting the Equal Access Bill today.‭ ‬Why are public accommodations protections important to you‭? ‬Use the hashtag‭ ‬#MAtransbill,‭ ‬and add‭ ‬#TransMA and‭ ‬#MApoli if there’s room.‭ 

If you’d like more information,‭ ‬please check out these resources:

‭* ‬2013‭ ‬Equal Access in Public Accommodations Legislative Brief‭ ‬(PDF‭)

* What Are Public Accommodations‭?‬ (PDF‭)

* Consequences of Not Having Equal Access Protections in Public Accommodations‭ ‬(PDF‭)

Signal boost for all you MA residents! 

masstpc:

To learn about experiences of trans youth, adult, and families, explore the I AM: Trans People Speak videos. MTPC started the I Am Project in 2012 to raise awareness of the diversity among transgender individuals within our communities. The project provides a platform for trans people to speak for ourselves. These positive stories can help combat the negative stereotyping of the trans community in fiction and the news. 

MISSION:

I AM: Trans People Speak is a project to raise awareness about the diversity that exists within transgender communities. It gives a voice to transgender individuals, as well as their families, friends, and allies.

“The stories of everyday transgender Americans remain relatively unheard in both national and LGBT media,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “These stories will not only empower members of the transgender community who rarely see relatable stories, but also educate Americans everywhere about the fact that the community is a valuable part of the fabric of our culture. The campaign will also shine a light on the high level of discrimination that our transgender friends, family and neighbors continue to face in schools, the workplace and in their own communities.”

Together we can make our own media and continue to make a positive change in the representation of transgender people. We do this by focusing on the full individual. Transgender people come from a range of experiences and backgrounds, including age, race, ethnicity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

This is the space to empower yourself and your community by sharing your own experiences. By coming together as a community and telling our own unique tales about our path through life, we can share common ground, mutual journeys, and even bring our own unique experiences to the forefront to share with others. Creating a positive media representation of transgender individuals begins and ends with us, and it is a powerful feeling to share one’s story with others. We invite you to submit your story and tell us your chapter of transgender history. 

GOALS:

This project allows transgender people, family members, friends, and allies to:

  • Empower themselves through sharing their own stories and speaking for themselves
  • Be visible by participating in a nation-wide project
  • Show the diversity of backgrounds and experiences that exist within trans communities
  • Provide a forum to learn about, connect with, and find support through the stories of other community members
  • Educate the public about the reality of transgender peoples lives and the unique challenges they face due to pervasive bias, stereotypes, and misunderstanding.

If you would like to share your story, please visit: http://www.transpeoplespeak.org/submit-your-story

Rather than focusing on medical transition and private medical information, we invite you to share your stories about your identity and experience. We invite you to tell us:

  • How‭ ‬it has been for you accessing housing‭? ‬Accessing education‭? 
  • How has it been interacting with your family and friends‭?‬ 
  • How does your race/ethnicity intersect with your trans identity‭? 
  • What activities and hobbies are you interested in‭? 
  • What‭ ‬other‭ ‬communities are you part of‭? 
  • What has been the most difficult part of your trans experience‭? ‬What has been the best part‭? 
  • What do you want the world to know about your story‭? 

Whether you’re an every day Clark Kent or you’re actually Superman, we still want to hear from you. 

In a world that is often full of discrimination and saddening statistics, offering a hopeful and common voice for those who may be beginning their trans* journey is key. Offering a common tale that may resonate throughout your community, or even with someone across the world is key to creating positive change and creating a world where we are all equal, regardless of gender identity or expression. 

This project is centered on the full individual because people are more than their gender. This is a space to empower ourselves and our communities by sharing our own lived experience, and we welcome yours. We look forward to hearing from you! 

kisareth-studios:

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Chronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode 1 Tides of Fate, the critically acclaimed old-school RPG from indie developer Kisareth Studios, has been revamped and relaunched for a new audience. Building on the success of previous versions, this new version features several key changes,…

masstpc:

The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition offers a transgender 101 FAQ for anyone curious about or looking to educate themselves about transgender issues. 

This information is available to download as a PDF in download our Media Kit.

Definitions

In the Massachusetts statewide Transgender Equal Rights law, formally known as An Act Relative to Gender Identity, gender identity is defined as:

“Gender identity” shall mean a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth. Gender-related identity may be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held, as part of a person’s core identity; provided however, gender-related identity shall not be asserted for any improper purpose.

A person’s Gender Identity is how someone identifies his/her own gender — a person’s inner sense of “being” male or female. Most people, but not all, have a gender identity of “man” or “woman” that is also consistent with their assigned sex at birth. There are some people who feel their assigned sex at birth is not consistent with their own gender identity.

A person’s Gender Expression refers to how a person expresses their gender identity, or the cues people use to identify another person’s gender. This can include clothing, mannerisms, makeup, behavior, speech patterns, and more. There are some in society whose gender expression does not conform to traditional gender stereotypes what men or women should look or act.

Transgender is an umbrella term for people who transition from one gender to another and/or people who defy social expectations of how they should look, act, or identify based on their birth sex. This can include a range of people including: male-to-female (MTF) or female-to-male (FTM) transsexual people and more generally, anyone whose gender identity or expression differs from conventional expectations of masculinity or femininity. Some transgender people experience their gender identity as incongruent with anatomical sex at birth.

It is important to note that there are many variations of gender identity other than male-to-female or female-to-male that also fall under the transgender umbrella. These include being genderqueer, bigender, non-binary, neutrois, and more. Never assume someone’s gender identity. If you don’t know, educate yourself. Never ask someone outright if they are transgender. Often, many people may be living stealth, or simply choose not to disclose their transgender status. If someone feels right informing you of their gender identity, this is an act done in trust and confidence. Support your transgender community members by treating them with respect. 

Gender dysphoria refers to discomfort or distress that is caused by a discrepancy between a person’s gender identity and that person’s sex assigned at birth (and the associated gender role and/or primary and secondary sex characteristics)

(Fisk, 1974; Knudson, De Cuypere, & Bockting, 2010b).

Gender dysphoria can in large part be alleviated through treatment. (Murad et al., 2010) See the 2011 WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) Standards of Care, which is clinical guidance set of standards for health professionals to assist transsexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming people with safe and effective pathways to achieving lasting personal comfort with their gendered selves, in order to maximize their overall health, psychological well-being, and self-fulfillment.

Traditional Gender Stereotypes: Culturally defined code of acceptable behavior for men and women. Men/boys are to exhibit masculine gender presentation, behaviors, and social roles and women/girls are to exhibit feminine gender presentation, behaviors, and social roles.


Frequently Asked Questions


Are transgender people the same as gay/lesbian people?

No. Transgender is about gender identity and gender expression whereas gay, lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual/straight is about sexual orientation, which is emotional and physical attraction to others. While transgender people are sometimes assumed to be gay or lesbian based on stereotypes about gay men and lesbians, the terms are not interchangeable. Transgender people also have a sexual orientation, just as everyone else in society, which can be heterosexual (straight), bisexual, or gay or lesbian.

Can I tell if someone is transgender?

Not always. Many transgender people are seen and accepted as the gender they identify with and live as. There are many transgender people whom no one would know they are transgender or where assigned a different sex at birth, and who choose to keep their personal and medical histories confidential. For some transgender people, they maybe visibly different from what society views as traditional stereotypes for men and/or women and may be easily recognizable as being transgender. There are a number of factors of why a transgender person may be visibly different, such as access to transgender specific medical treatment. Sometimes transgender people are discriminated against or harassed because others suspect them to be transgender or gender non-conforming from their assigned sex at birth. In other situations, transgender people are discriminated against or harassed because someone shares a transgender person’s history inappropriately with others, turning private medical information into gossip. Often, a transgender person’s former gender or name can be made known through their identity documents, work references, credit reports, CORI checks or other background checks as the gender marker or name may not match with their name now or the gender they identity, live, and present as.

Lastly, a transgender person does not have to disclose that they are transgender, just as others have the right to privacy about their identity, their medical status, or other information that is not pertinent in a given situation.

What is gender transition?

Gender transition is a personal process in which a transgender/transsexual person goes through when they begin to live and identify as the gender they see themselves as. This process includes a social transition, which can include a person changing their gender expression, such as clothes and hairstyle; pronoun; and possibly their first name, to be reflective of the gender they are transitioning to. This process may also include support from therapist and a medical transition, which can be hormone replacement therapy and/or sex reassignment surgery.

For some transgender people, they may not access medical transition due to the prohibitive cost, access to providers, physical health issues, lack of health insurance coverage, and/or personal choice. The reality is that many transgender people live, present, and are accepted as the gender they see themselves as without medical transition, hormones, and/or sex re-assignment surgery.

Why do transgender people need legal protections?

Transgender people in Massachusetts and around the world face high levels of discrimination and violence because of widespread prejudice and the assumption that transgender people are “outside” of the law’s protections. This bill amends both non-discrimination laws and hates crime laws in order to comprehensively make clear that transgender individuals have equal protection under the law.

The 2009 National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that:

  • Double the rate of unemployment: Survey respondents experienced unemployment at twice the rate of the general population at the time of the survey, with rates for people of color up to four times the national unemployment rate.
  • Widespread mistreatment at work: Ninety percent (90%) of those surveyed reported experiencing harassment, mistreatment or discrimination on the job or took actions like hiding who they are to avoid it.
  • Forty-seven percent (47%) said they had experienced an adverse job outcome, such as being fi red, not hired or denied a promotion because of being transgender or gender non-conforming.
  • Over one-quarter (26%) reported that they had lost a job due to being transgender or gender non-conforming and 50% were harassed.
  • Respondents reported various forms of direct housing discrimination — 19% reported having been refused a home or apartment and 11% reported being evicted because of their gender identity/expression.
  • One-fifth (19%) reported experiencing homelessness at some point in their lives because they were transgender or gender nonconforming; the majority of those trying to access a homeless shelter were harassed by shelter staff or residents (55%), 29% were turned away altogether, and 22% were sexually assaulted by residents or staff.
  • Fifty-three percent (53%) of respondents reported being verbally harassed or disrespected in a place of public accommodation, including hotels, restaurants, buses, airports and government agencies.
  • Refusal of care: 19% of our sample reported being refused medical care due to their transgender or gender non-conforming status, with even higher numbers among people of color in the survey.

The baseline rates of discrimination against transgender people have been consistently high. A review of six studies conducted between 1996 and 2006, in cities and regions on both coasts and the Midwest, showed the following ranges for experiences of discrimination based on gender identity:

  • 13%-56% of transgender people had been fired
  • 13%-47% had been denied employment
  • 22%-31% had been harassed, either verbally or physically, in the workplace

Style Guides

ASSOCIATED PRESS (2006)
Transgender: Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth. If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.


NEW YORK TIMES (2005)
Transgender (adj.): is an overall term for people whose current identity differs from their sex at birth, whether or not they have changed their biological characteristics. Cite a person’s transgender status only when it is pertinent and its pertinence is clear to the reader. Unless a former name is newsworthy or pertinent, use the name and pronouns (he, his, she, her, hers) preferred by the transgender person. If no preference is known, use the pronouns consistent with the way the subject lives publicly.



1. Badgett, M.V., Lau, Sears, and Ho. Bias in the Workplace: Consistent Evidence of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination. Los Angeles: The Williams Institute. June 2007.