On November 20th, Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition’s executive director Gunner Scott and forty leaders from transgender state, local, national, and international organizations met with Mr. John Berry, Director of the US Office of Personnel Management and the highest ranking openly gay person in Obama’s administration, along with Mr. Gautam Raghavan, Associate Director inOffice of Public Engagement, and otherWhite House staff. This historic meeting was to mark the 14th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance and discuss ways in which the President’s administration, transgender leaders and allies can work together to ensure dignity, equality, and justice for transgender youth, adults, and our families.
The Obama administration has been enacting of positive policy changes for the last three and half years including a sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination employment policy for the president’s administration, appointing four talented, openly transgender people, adding sexual-orientation and gender-identity non-discrimination provisions for federal employees and HUD-funded housing programs, and issuing new rules for passport gender marker changes. In addition, in May of 2011, the Office of Personnel Management issued guidance on transgender employees in the federal workplace.
“I felt very honored to be included in this meeting with Obama administration and with other state, national, and international transgender leaders,” said Gunner Scott, MTPC’s executive director. “We each addressed issues that are concerning to the transgender communities and provided possible solutions. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to speak on the impact homelessness as on our transgender youth, adults, and families and bring that message to the administration.”
The meeting opened with a moment of silence led by Mr. John Berry in remembrance of the transgender women and men who have been victims of violence over the past year. The meeting closed with White House staff reaffirming President Obama’s commitment to preventing violence against all people, including all members of the LGBT community.
For more information about MTPC visit http://www.masstpc.org and for the release from the White House about this meeting see http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/11/20/transgender-day-remembrance