How we saved transgender equality in MA!

November 8, 2018
The Prop 8 Days

I’ve spent the last week on the ground in Western Massachusetts running get out the vote for the Yes on 3 campaign, and Tuesday night (Nov. 6, 2018) I got to celebrate a historic win with the amazing people who’ve made it happen.

Massachusetts voters said yes to fairness and opportunity for transgender people and their families, soundly rejecting an effort to remove trans specific nondiscrimination protections in the state.

We won because transgender people, including many youth and their parents, courageously shared their stories. It took a strong, coordinated, and nimble campaign to lift those stories up and ensure everyone in the state heard them loud and clear.

The campaign’s executive committee included Equality Federation member organizations Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition and MassEquality. The campaign was co-chaired by Kasey Suffredini, former Equality Federation board member, and Mason Dunn, current board member.

Equality Federation invested three years into figuring out how to win at the ballot on trans equality. We knocked on thousands of doors and contacted people through every media form, testing and tweaking messaging. We sharpened our voter engagement tools and developed sophisticated targeting recommendations that campaigns like Yes on 3 have used to craft campaign strategy.

Put together, we’ve figured out how to reach the right people with the right message in order to win. The campaign in Massachusetts marks the first time these critical lessons have been put to work in a statewide ballot campaign, and the results speak for themselves!

It was inspiring to go door to door and hear from people in my home community of Easthampton why they personally supported equality. But nothing was more rewarding than seeing the elation, pride, and relief in the faces of the volunteer leaders of the campaign on election night. So many on the team were trans and non-binary young people, for whom this vote was so personally critical.

I bet you have a story about your own support as well. Please think about the trans and nonbinary people in your life, and chip-in a $3 or $30 donation now so we can continue winning into 2020. The attacks are going to keep coming our way and we need to be ready.

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