BOSTON, Mass.—BodyImage4Justice (BI4J) and the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) are proud to announce a new community celebration that expands the annual observance of Transgender Awareness Week to a full month of special events highlighting the history, accomplishments, and future of transgender people and communities. This November will be the first Month of Trans Advocacy, Education, Awareness and Gratitude in Massachusetts. The month’s planned events include talks, films, panel discussions, parties, performances and more. MTPC and BI4J are coordinating and spearheading this month-long series of events, in cooperation with other prominent transgender and LGBTQ organizations in Massachusetts.
BI4J Executive Director Justice Williams explains the inspiration behind this month of transgender community events. “Rita Hester’s murder in 1998 in Allston, MA inspired a movement. In continuing this movement, we are validating and celebrating trans lives throughout the month of November,” said Williams. [pullquote]This November will be the first Month of Trans Advocacy, Education, Awareness and Gratitude in Massachusetts. The month’s planned events include talks, films, panel discussions, parties, performances and more.[/pullquote]
“It is time for us to expand on the work of the elders and pioneers in our community as they have paved the way for us to be more visible, proud, and strong. Now is the time for us to become more aware of our powerful past, and more importantly, to build on that history to create better, healthier lives in our future as a whole community.”
“This month will provide a great opportunity to celebrate the lives of trans people across the Commonwealth, while also honoring those who have gone before us,” said Mason Dunn, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. “We are excited to partner with organizations and groups across Massachusetts to celebrate and raise awareness.” [pullquote]“This month will provide a great opportunity to celebrate the lives of trans people across the Commonwealth, while also honoring those who have gone before us,” said Mason Dunn, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition.[/pullquote]
BI4J, MTPC and other transgender and LGBTQ organizations throughout Massachusetts will use the month of November to present events and creative projects intended to increase public awareness of trans images, issues, and lives. More information and material for the month of transgender-centered events will be posted on both the BI4J and MTPC Web sites in the coming weeks.
Numerous prominent organizations have already joined MTPC and BI4J to support and participate in the month’s activities, including several outside of Massachusetts. Current sponsors and partners include BAGLY, Black Transmen, Inc., Boston Public Health Commission, Community Kinship Life (CKLife), Club Café, Fenway Health, Garden of Peace Project, Boston GLASS, GLSEN, Greater Boston PFLAG, Haymarket People’s Fund, Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC), Heidi Stucker Massage, The Meeting Point, Out Now, Pathways to Wellness, The Rainbow Times, Red Sun Press, The Stonewall Center at UMass-Amherst, and Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC). Additional sponsors, partners, and participating organizations are welcome to join the celebration. For more information about sponsorships and participation opportunities, contact Justice Roe Williams at [email protected].
Formed in the summer of 2013, BodyImage4Justice (BI4J) aims to bring the LGBTQ community together through the common cause and interest of body image, health and wellness. The organization, founded and led by transgender people of color, focuses on empowerment and social justice for the trans community through activities that support the health and well-being of community members. BI4J works to make the connection between body image and health explicit and visible in our communities.
Founded in 2001, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) works to end discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. MTPC educates the public; advocates with state, local, and federal government; engages in activism; and encourages empowerment of community members through collective action. MTPC is a member of the Trans Advocacy Network, the Equality Federation, and the Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights Coalition.
[From a News Release]