How Conservative Lawmakers in Massachusetts Became Supporters of Transgender Dignity

By Hannah Willard • July 10, 2018 • 12:32 pm

Just as we saw with efforts to win marriage equality, everyday Americans from all political backgrounds are moved to support transgender nondiscrimination measures by opportunities to become more familiar with transgender people.

Massachusetts Republican Rep. Sheila Harrington summed this up best when she shared her personal journey from opposing to supporting transgender protections in a speech during the 2016 legislative vote, stating: “I have had the opportunity to listen again and for many hours, to transgender people and their loved ones who have eloquently and courageously shared their stories and experiences. I have been well aware of the arguments made against transgender rights, because I once made them myself. But I also know now that they are wrong.”

This week marks the second year since the transgender protections law has been in effect statewide.

In the current landscape of myths and lies about who transgender people are, our wins can not be taken for granted. And what we have learned from people like Rep. Harrington in states across the country is that logic and reason aren’t always enough to change minds on this issue.

It’s when Americans realize that transgender people are their friends, family members and neighbors, working alongside them and sharing similar dreams to build a good life for themselves and their families, that minds are changed and hearts are won.


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