BOSTON, MA – Nationally recognized transgender activist Gunner Scott will be honored with The Theater Offensive’s Out on the Edge award. As Executive Director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, Scott led the battle for passage of the Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights Bill in November. The Transgender Equal Rights Bill, also known as An Act Relative to Gender Identity, makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity in the areas of employment, housing, public education and credit & lending.
“I am proud of the work I have done with MTPC along with GLBT and allied activists from around the state to pass the 2011 Transgender Equal Rights law. Even though it did not include everything that is needed to fully protect transgender youth, adults, and our families it will make a difference in the daily lives of thousands of people across the state who need jobs, a safe place to live and access to education,” said Scott. “I am working with members of MTPC in making sure the new law is implemented and MTPC is committed to getting public accommodations protections for our community.”
The Out on the Edge Award honors community members who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to break boundaries for LGBT arts and activism. Previous awardees include Paula Vogel, Kate Bornstein, Alan Cumming & most recently, Alec Mapa & Sharon Bridgforth.
“Gunner Scott is my hero! His deft political organizing around transgender issues challenges us to step up and come together for our community members who face horrifying bigotry. His incredibly hard-fought victories make us proud to be part of a movement for transgender civil rights,” said The Theater Offensive’s Executive Artistic Director Abe Rybeck. “Gunner is also an accomplished artist and impresario, who has influenced an entire generation of trans and queer activists to pick up the their cameras, strum their guitars, or rock their poetic hearts out or lip sync for their lives!”
A celebratory reception honoring Scott will directly follow the opening performance of The Secret History of Love, a powerful new dance theater show choreographed and performed by Sean Dorsey Dance. Presented by The Theater Offensive and Hibernian Hall, The Secret History of Love includes secret love affairs, the history of outlawing love and the underground ways that transgender and queer people found each other through the decades.
The Theater Offensive is the lead co-commissioner of The Secret History of Love along with the National Performance Network and partners in Chicago and California. Creative development for The Secret History of Love involved interviews with transgender and queer seniors from neighborhoods including Jamaica Plain and the South End. The Theater Offensive organized these interviews as a part of The Theater Offensive’s OUT in Your Neighborhood strategy, which engages local community members in creating art that gives voice to the diversity of LGBT experience where we live, work and play.
Who: Transgender activist Gunner Scott
What: The Theater Offensive honors Scott with Out on the Edge award
When: Thursday, May 17 @ 6:30 p.m.
Where: Hibernian Hall (184 Dudley St, Roxbury, MA)
Open to the Public: Yes (with ticket purchase)
Gunner Scott serves as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. Scott has been involved with the transgender rights movement since 1998 and is a nationally recognized activist, educator, and community organizer on LGBT health issues, LGBT partner abuse, and addressing access issues for the transgender community.
The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is an organization dedicated to ending discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. The MTPC educates the public, lobbies state and local government, and encourages political activism. The MTPC professes to work guided by the following values: “Equal rights and institutional responsibility; working against all forms of oppression; building broad-based participation and community power; developing leaders and building coalitions; drawing strength from diverse experiences and identities; being informed by our history and elders; growing through challenge and critique; being inclusive of those who cannot be fully visible; and accountability to the communities for which we work.”
The Theater Offensive: OUT in Your Neighborhood works in Boston neighborhoods to create original, groundbreaking works by, for and about the LGBT community. Their year-round community-based workshops, intensive engagement with at-risk youth to end bullying, and free street theater performances are focused in Roxbury, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain and the South End. OUT in Your Neighborhood expresses the diversity of the city of Boston, gives voice to underserved LGBT community members, creates avenues for cross-cultural dialogue and breaks down the barriers of homophobia, bigotry and hate.
The Theater Offensive started 1989, led by current Executive Artistic Director Abe Rybeck. Throughout its history The Theater Offensive has furthered its mission “to form and present the diverse realities of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) lives in art so bold it breaks through personal isolation and political orthodoxy to help build a more honest, progressive community.”