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Historic Win for Transgender Rights
GLSEN Celebrates Historic Night for Transgender Rights with Yes on 3 Vote
Affirmation in Massachusetts accompanied by historic gains in representation by LGBTQ people, people of color, and women in public life
NEW YORK, NY (November 7, 2018) -- GLSEN, the leading education organization working to create safe and inclusive schools for LGBTQ students, today celebrated the historic victory in Massachusetts where voters overwhelmingly chose to uphold protections for transgender people by voting yes on the Question 3 ballot initiative and preserving the state's existing anti-discrimination law. This crucial vote comes after two years of constant attacks on transgender students, and makes history as the first-ever statewide popular vote in favor of transgender rights.
“After two years of dispiriting and horrific attacks on transgender youth, this historic victory sends them a resounding message of love, support, and care,” said Eliza Byard, Executive Director of GLSEN. “The passage of the Question 3 ballot initiative in Massachusetts is a wellspring of hope for transgender youth, and an enormous boost for all of us fighting to safeguard their rights and safety.”
Additionally, a historic night of victories for women, people of color, and LGBTQ people at all levels of public life provide both inspiration and the building blocks for the continuing fight for respect for all in K-12 schools. A new generation of decision-makers now in office at all levels are drawn from the marginalized communities most directly and blatantly targeted by structural racism, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia. These outcomes are a vital step forward, especially as the rhetoric and actions of many during the campaign demonstrate how much remains to be done.
Finally, an increase in youth voter turnout accompanied by high voter turnout generally is a positive sign of a more highly engaged and motivated electorate that was central to last night’s gains.
“GLSEN’s research and experience underscore how much LGBTQ students themselves have to contribute to the on-going work of progress,” Byard continued. “Their advocacy and determination must inspire and motivate us all as we prepare for the work to be done tomorrow.”
GLSEN's 2017 National School Climate Survey (NSCS) revealed the extent to which LGBTQ students are leaders in social and political organizing, including leading GSA clubs in thousands of schools across the country. GLSEN’s research shows 80% of LGBTQ students have advocated for social or political change in the past year, such as participating in GLSEN’s Day of Silence, Ally Week, or No Name-Calling Week, expressing political or social views on social media, or directly participating in a political event or contacting their elected official.
GLSEN works to create safe and inclusive schools for all. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools, via action at the national, state, and local level. Over nearly three decades of work, GLSEN has measurably improved conditions for LGBTQ students across the United States and launched an international movement to address LGBTQ issues in education and promote respect for all in schools. For more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, school-based programs, research, and professional development for educators, please visit www.glsen.org.