Dear Friends of MassEquality,
Since its founding, MassEquality has committed to ensuring that everyone across Massachusetts can thrive without discrimination and oppression based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. We are proud to have achieved numerous policy and electoral victories to this end. From marriage equality to the ban on gay conversion therapy and the expansion and protection of transgender rights, MassEquality has been a leading voice for the LGBTQ community for more than 15 years.
When we look beyond these legislative accomplishments, however, we still see too many Massachusetts leaders who openly criticize the fight for LGBTQ equality. We see communities opposed to providing inclusive sex education or educating their children about gender identity and expression. We see an increase in bullying and hate crimes nationwide. As the national discourse becomes increasingly intolerant, we can see the seeds of hate being planted among our neighbors right here in Massachusetts.
For these reasons, MassEquality’s work is not done. In the coming months, we will launch a new initiative aimed at addressing the needs of communities outside the immediate Boston area. Through a mix of community organizing and local advocacy, we will seek to empower and engage LGBTQ citizens and allies to effect change in their communities. We will continue to advocate and educate for LGBTQ equality, while electing leaders who will protect and expand LGBTQ rights and increase visibility for this community.
In making this decision, we engaged members of the LGBTQ community from across Massachusetts. Their message was resoundingly clear: Even as we’ve made great progress on LGBTQ rights in the Commonwealth, LGBTQ people in cities and towns across the state continue to feel underrepresented. Many shared that the LGBTQ community was not visible enough in their regions, making efforts to live, work and raise families as openly-LGBTQ people a constant struggle.
We have begun the process of hiring new staff to help the Board of Directors successfully realize this transition. While this means our presence at the State House will be reduced, MassEquality and our partners will soon be active in cities and towns in other parts of the Commonwealth. We will be seeking to make the dream of LGBTQ equality a reality not just in Boston, but also in Western Mass, on the South Shore, the Cape and Islands, and every region in between.
We hope to have your support during this next chapter in the fight for LGBTQ equality in the Commonwealth, and encourage you to reach out with your thoughts and ideas. If you are interested in helping us launch this effort, consider applying to join our Board of Directors, or volunteering as a regional leader. For more information and a link to our online Board application, visit https://bit.ly/2L5aOMg. We will keep you up to date with periodic emails on all the latest political developments and ways you can become directly involved. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to be in touch with any comments or questions at [email protected].
President, MassEquality Education Fund