Fenway Health Statement on Passage of Transgender Anti-Discrimination Bill

Today, the Massachusetts Legislature voted to pass “An Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination,” which will prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity in public places. Fenway Health President and CEO Steve Boswell MD, FACP released the following statement in response:

“We applaud the Massachusetts Legislature for taking this important step forward in extending civil rights protection to all citizens of the Commonwealth. There is a clear connection between civil rights protections for a minority population and their health. Fenway is pleased to have contributed to this important discussion in Massachusetts through Project VOICE, a research project showing the prevalence of public accommodation discrimination experienced by transgender people in Massachusetts. Project VOICE also showed that discrimination in healthcare settings was associated with an increased risk of symptoms of poor health, as well as an increased likelihood to postpone or not seek needed care when sick or injured. We look forward to final approval of this law from Governor Charlie Baker and its implementation, which will increase public health in the Commonwealth, particularly for transgender people.”

Since 1971, Fenway Health has been working to make life healthier for the people in our neighborhood, the LGBT community, people living with HIV/AIDS and the broader population. The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health is an interdisciplinary center for research, training, education and policy development focusing on national and international health issues. Fenway’s Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center cares for youth and young adults ages 12 to 29 who may not feel comfortable going anywhere else, including those who are LGBT or just figuring things out; homeless; struggling with substance use; or living with HIV/AIDS. In 2013, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts joined the Fenway Health family, allowing both organizations to improve delivery of care and services across the state and beyond.

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