Transgender Constituents & Allies Gather in Windham to Share Their Experiences with Local Lawmakers October 27, 2017

House parties—a critical components of our strategy to pass #TransBillNH—are ramping up, and drawing incredible crowds excited to make the case for transgender freedom directly to their representatives.

Thursday night’s house party in Windham included more than 20 attendees, predominantly transgender Windham and Derry residents, as well as parents of transgender children. Attendees were able to share their stories with state Reps. Mary Griffin, Walter Kolodziej and Charles McMahon.

Constituents were happy to thank Rep. Charles McMahon, who voted to pass #TransBillNH as a member of the House Health and Human Services Committee who voted on the bill this past spring. McMahon also voted against the tabling of the bill, and has recently signed on as a co-sponsor of #TransBillNH.

Tricia Hughes, a mother of a trans son, hosted the house party. Three other mothers attended, but asked to not be identified to protect their children’s privacy. They have children who are navigating schools that are less than supportive, or their children are accepted as the gender they identify with but are not out as transgender.

One college-aged transgender teen, Lee, spoke about having to keep his transgender identity a secret at a summer job he loved for fear of getting fired. He is hoping to find a more accepting workplace in New Hampshire this summer.

Tygh and Sandra Lawrence-Clark were in attendance with their son, sharing their story of discrimination in hospital settings, among other experiences. Several others shared similar stories, but asked that those stories not be shared publicly out of fears for their own safety.

Some of the representatives in attendance freely admitted that they were unfamiliar with the issue, but that they were eager to learn more—and that they wouldn’t let a lack of understanding get in the way of striving to support their transgender constituents.

We applaud the representatives in attendance and plan to follow up with more Windham and Derry representatives who were unable to attend. If you’re interested in inviting your local lawmakers to a house party—or simply attending one in your town—sign up.