Nearly 200 Attendees Make First-Ever TRANSforming NH #TransHealthSummit A Huge Success

The email below was sent today to attendees of the first-ever TRANSforming NH #TransHealthSummit:

Last Saturday marked the first-ever TRANSforming NH #TransHealthSummit. And after months of planning and a marathon day of sessions—we’re proud to say the event could not have been MORE of a success!

With dozens of presenters from the fields of health, law, education and advocacy—and a record 170+ attendees—the #TransHealthSummit was truly a day to remember.

Here at Freedom New Hampshire we’re celebrating a successful summit—and toasting to events to come! Join us and click here to share the below graphic and let your world know you were a part of New Hampshire’s first-ever #TransHealthSummit!

From panels on healthcare access and services for transgender patients; to storytelling and self-advocacy sessions; to discussions about transgender students in schools—the #TransHealthSummit was a jampacked day of one-of-a-kind programming.

But for us the true marker of success wasn’t the number of panels, or the high profile speakers in the room—it was the sheer number of community members who came out in support of transgender-inclusion.

Ultimately, this campaign is about educating people about who transgender people are, and advocating for their fair and equal treatment under the law.

We know that the people of New Hampshire are open-hearted, fair-minded—and are ready to see their transgender family members, friends, and community members explicitly protected under state law.

The #TransHealthSummit was testament to this fact. And we’re so grateful you could be a part of it.

Click here to share a graphic and show your public support for a more transgender-inclusive New Hampshire!

Thanks for being an integral part of this campaign.

JeanMarie Gossard
Campaign Manager

PS. Check out photos from the #TransHealthSummit in our Facebook album—and feel free to tag yourself if you’d like! Just click here.

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Transgender community explores barriers to health care access during summit in Concord

November 19, 2016 by admin

CLICK HERE to read the original article by Concord Monitor.

By ALYSSA DANDREA

A transgender patient’s search for the right primary care doctor, therapist and specialty care physician can be an uphill battle that leaves many feeling defeated – both emotionally and financially.

On occasion, physicians will publicize that they see transgender patients; other times, they’re hesitant to speak out and so patients find them by word of mouth. And in some instances, doctors may indicate a willingness to provide medical care to those in the transgender community, but acknowledge they’re not quite sure how to do so.

“Education holds the answer in many instances. A lot of it is getting past the fear of the unknown. Our medical needs are not known or understood, and there’s a fear of taking us on,” said Gerri Cannon of Freedom New Hampshire, a nonpartisan coalition devoted to securing equal rights for the state’s transgender residents.

Cannon, a 63-year-old Somersworth resident, kept her gender identity a secret for the first 47 years of her life. Years into her transition from male to female, she is still jumping hurdles to get access to the health care she needs. And she’s not alone.

More than 200 people, roughly a third of them transgender, attended the first-ever TRANSforming New Hampshire Heathcare Summit on Saturday to engage in private conversations about how to access services and navigate the complex world of health care. The day-long event was held at University of New Hampshire Law School in Concord and was presented by Freedom New Hampshire, which partnered with other state organizations and the national campaign, Freedom For All Americans.

Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, public education director for the national campaign, said the transgender community faces barriers to health care access throughout the U.S., which can force them to travel long distances for doctors appointments or to relocate entirely.

Heng-Lehtinen, who has lived in three states as a transgender male, said the stories of people being denied care are similar – and equally heartbreaking – from coast to coast.

“I know of people who have sought medical care for a health condition, like a broken ankle, and the doctor fixates on the fact that they’re transgender,” Heng-Lehtinen said. “It shouldn’t matter that they’re transgender. We all have basic human needs.”

Both Heng-Lehtinen and Cannon said people in the transgender community are more often than not having to educate their doctors about their specific health care needs.

“The doctor is supposed to educate you,” Heng-Lehtinen said.

But maybe one day that’ll be more commonplace. Heng-Lehtinen said there are doctors who are eager to learn and who want to do better by those in the transgender community. The conference Saturday was proof of that, he said.

JeanMarie Gossard, a campaign manager for Freedom New Hampshire, echoed that point, saying one of the goals of the conference is to connect “trans-friendly” health care providers with patients.

“There are so many people in the transgender community who feel unsafe in their health care environment and that’s the last place where someone should feel that way,” she said.

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Oyster River voices to be heard at transgender forum

November 18, 2016 by admin
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NH Lawmakers Will Jump-Start 2017 Session By Introducing A Transgender-Inclusive Non-Discrimination Bill

November 18, 2016 by admin

New Hampshire lawmakers are getting an early start on planning their agenda for the 2017 legislative session, and they are making transgender rights a top priority.

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Rep. Ed Butler of Hart’s Location announced on Thursday that he will introduce a bill to update the state’s current nondiscrimination policy to explicitly protect transgender Granite Staters from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations, which includes hospitals, restaurants, stores and other public places.

“No one should be turned away from a public business, kicked out of their home or be fired from a job simply because of who they are.”

Advocates for transgender rights in New Hampshire rejoiced upon hearing the news. Gerri Cannon, a transgender community leader who was fired from her job after her boss and coworkers discovered she was transgender, said such a bill is long overdue and will have an immediate positive impact on the lives of thousands of transgender Granite Staters.

“There are thousands of transgender individuals in New Hampshire whose lives will be positively impacted by this bill. No one should be turned away from a public business, kicked out of their home or be fired from a job simply because of who they are.”

The momentum behind this bill can’t be overstated. When Butler’s bill is introduced in January, it will be first time in eight years New Hampshire lawmakers have seriously considered enacting transgender non-discrimination protections statewide. The previous bill in 2009—also sponsored by Butler—made it narrowly through the New Hampshire House of Representatives after two tries only to be rejected by the Senate.

But Butler and other backers feel the time is ripe to try again. The number of transgender people living openly has doubled in the last decade. There’s also an increased public awareness about who transgender people are and a growing understanding that they just want what everyone wants: To work hard, put a roof of their heads, and participate in public life with the fear of discrimination.

“Everyone should be treated fairly and equally under the law.”

And of course, Butler has seen the negative political and economic blowback in North Carolina for that state’s anti-transgender HB 2—including the Governor’s impending re-election loss. Butler says passing a proactive law now will give New Hampshire’s reputation a boost.

“Everyone should be treated fairly and equally under the law. By updating our civil rights laws to protect transgender individuals from discrimination, we will be saying that New Hampshire is an open and welcoming place for everyone.”

This move is already receiving positive attention from community leaders, including Dover Police Department Chief Anthony Colarusso. He says that as a 31-year-veteran of local law enforcement, he knows as well as anyone that communities are safer when everyone is treated fairly and equally under the law.

“This group is actually disproportionately targeted for harassment and assault. However, in places where legal protections are in place, rates of violence against transgender individuals go down with no uptick in public safety incidents. Transgender equality and equal treatment for all is ultimately about building stronger communities for everyone.”

“Transgender equality and equal treatment for all is ultimately about building stronger communities for everyone.”

If the measure becomes law, New Hampshire will become the 19th state in the nation to provide fully inclusive nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. JeanMarie Gossard, Freedom New Hampshire’s campaign manager, says Freedom New Hampshire will be doing everything it can to support this critical bill.

“We are united in our belief that fairness and equality are important to all of us. Freedom New Hampshire is thrilled to be working with a broad coalition of business, faith and civic leaders, and people across the political spectrum, to support this important measure.”

Freedom New Hampshire stands with lawmakers, law enforcement, public safety experts, businesses, faith leaders, and thousands of Granite Staters who support explicit protections for transgender people under the law. Show your support and click here to send a message to your lawmakers now, urging them to support this legislation.

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Transgender nondiscrimination protections bill introduced in New Hampshire

November 18, 2016 by admin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 18, 2016
Owen Loftus | [email protected] | 719-406-6564
www.FreedomNewHampshire.org

CONCORD, N.H. — State Rep. Ed Butler announced that he will file legislation to protect transgender Granite Staters from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations, which includes hospitals, restaurants, stores and other public places.

“Everyone should be treated fairly and equally under the law,” state Rep. Ed Butler, D-Harts Location, said. “By updating our civil rights laws to protect transgender individuals from discrimination, we will be saying that New Hampshire is an open and welcoming place for everyone.”

New Hampshire statutory law currently outlaws discrimination based on certain classifications, including race, religion, sexual orientation and more. Butler’s bill will update these laws to expressly include protections for people based on gender identity & expression.

“There are thousands of transgender individuals in New Hampshire whose lives will be positively impacted by this bill,” said Gerri Cannon, a transgender community leader and Granite Stater. “No one should be turned away from a public business, kicked out of their home or be fired from a job simply because of who they are.”

If the measure is signed into law, New Hampshire will become the 19th state in the nation to provide fully inclusive nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. Law enforcement and public safety officials agree that protecting transgender individuals from discrimination is critical to ensuring everyone can live their lives safely.

“As Chief of the Dover Police Department and a member of law enforcement for over 31 years, I know our communities are safer when everyone is treated fairly and equally under the law and that includes transgender people,” said Chief Anthony Colarusso. “This group is actually disproportionately targeted for harassment and assault. However, in places where legal protections are in place, rates of violence against transgender individuals go down with no uptick in public safety incidents. Transgender equality and equal treatment for all is ultimately about building stronger communities for everyone.”

Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public safety for The New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, added:

“The New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence is committed to creating safer communities, and we believe that no one should face discrimination because of who they are. Transgender people face staggering levels of discrimination and violence, and it is critically important that New Hampshire’s civil rights laws be updated to include all Granite Staters. No one deserves to be a victim, and we all deserve to be treated fairly and equally under New Hampshire law.”

The measure will be considered during the next legislative cycle, which begins on January 6.

“We are united in our belief that fairness and equality are important to all of us,” JeanMarie Gossard, Freedom New Hampshire’s campaign manager, added. “Freedom New Hampshire is thrilled to be working with a broad coalition of business, faith and civic leaders, and people across the political spectrum, to support this important measure.”

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N.H. lawmaker to file legislation prohibiting discrimination against transgender people

November 17, 2016 by admin

CLICK HERE to read the original article by the Concord Monitor.

By ELLA NILSEN

One by one, a group of people slowly formed a circle outside the state capitol building Thursday night. Holding candles and huddling against the cold, they went around the circle and read aloud the names of transgender individuals killed in the United States.

Thursday marked the third year the Equality Health Center has organized a vigil on the Transgender Day of Remembrance. The day is meant to honor the lives of trans people killed across America and the world; 21 were killed in the United States in 2015 alone.

Concord Monitor series Living Transgender.

While some held aloft signs that said, “Love more, hate less,” and “Trans lives matter too,” many marchers sported a simple safety pin on their jackets as a sign of solidarity.

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, safety pins have become a symbol for people to show they are allies who do not condone hateful rhetoric or violence against minorities, immigrants, women and L.G.B.T. individuals.

Fionn Shea, a 20-year-old trans man from Warner, said he has seen plenty of people wearing safety pins in coffee shops and on the street in the weeks since the election. Each one makes him feel safer and more accepted, he said.

Many have come a long way in their awareness and acceptance of trans individuals, but Shea said there’s more work to be done.

“It’s so important to make clear; allies, we need you and welcome you,” he said.

One New Hampshire lawmaker is trying to get the state to take concrete action against transgender discrimination during this upcoming legislative session.

Democratic state Rep. Ed Butler of Harts Location plans to file legislation that would update the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights to make it so state residents cannot be fired from their work or excluded from housing for their gender identity and gender expression.

While New Hampshire citizens cannot be discriminated against for their age, sexual orientation or place of origin, no such protection exists for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.

“There continues to be discrimination in a variety of different ways that trans people experience,” Butler said. “Moving this bill forward and hopefully succeeding will help to provide protections that this quite vulnerable population needs.”

Butler brought a similar bill in front of the legislature in 2009, which narrowly made it through the state House of Representatives but was defeated in the state Senate.

With increased awareness about transgender rights since then, Butler and New Hampshire activists say they are hopeful the legislation will pass in 2017, even with a Republican controlled legislative and governor.

“I think there is a distinct possibility it would succeed,” Butler said. “I wouldn’t be doing this unless the trans community was saying we should proceed.”

Butler’s bill is the only policy priority this year for newly formed transgender advocacy organization Freedom New Hampshire.

“We’re definitely hopeful,” said Freedom New Hampshire campaign manager JeanMarie Gossard. “This is a nonpartisan issue and we think that the current climate makes passing these protections more urgent.”

Even with increased awareness around transgender issues, Gossard said trans individuals in New Hampshire still face discrimination.

“We hear lots of different stories,” Gossard said. “We hear stories of beautiful triumphs, and then we hear lots of stories of folks who come out and are so much happier and thriving and lose their jobs.”

Gossard and Butler said they think the issue of protecting transgender rights should resonate with politicians on both sides of the aisle.

“It’s going to take a lot of community conversations, a lot of trans folks being willing to share their stories,” Gossard said. “We know that fairness and equality is not a partisan issue.”

Thursday night’s vigil and reading out the names of those lost to trans violence was a sobering reminder of the work that still needs to be done, Shea said.

“Hearing all the names, it’s heart-wrenching,” Shea said. “There are so many. We have a long way to go.”

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This weekend Freedom New Hampshire Holds First-Ever Healthcare Summit Focusing on Transgender Issues

November 15, 2016 by admin

When it comes to healthcare, transgender people face unique and specific barriers. From navigating insurance plans, to finding compassionate, experienced providers, to coping with transition-related health issues—transgender patients must hurdle a range of obstacles that other people often don’t have to think about.

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That’s why this weekend, Freedom New Hampshire is partnering with leaders in health, legal experts, school administrators, and community advocates to host TRANSforming NH Healthcare Summit—a one-of-a-kind 5-session event dedicated to discussing transgender specific health issues and ensuring health professionals, schools administrators have the tools they need to provide compassionate care.

The #TransHealthSummit the Granite State’s first-ever statewide healthcare gathering dedicated solely to the issues and challenges facing New Hampshire’s transgender community. With over 200 attendees confirmed, registration to the event is now closed.

This premier convening of transgender Granite States and leaders in the fields of health, law, advocacy and education is designed to provide attendees with a safer space to ask questions, and get answers; and to share information about improving access, transparency and cooperation around the healthcare practice and policies affecting transgender people.

JeanMarie Gossard, campaign manager for Freedom New Hampshire, said the events like these are critical for helping transgender people navigate the healthcare system.

“Our goal is to connect people to resources and broaden the understanding that offering inclusive healthcare practices and policies is not optional, whether at a hospital, school, or anywhere within our nation’s complex healthcare system. This summit is a safer space to talk about healthcare experiences from the perspectives of transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, their friends, families and allies.”

The day-long event will be broken down into sessions that include: Assessing Trans-Friendly Healthcare; Building Respectful NH Schools; a “Know Your Rights” workshop sponsored by GLAD; Navigating Coverage, focusing on health insurance; and storysharing workshops for sharing transgender and gender-nonconforming healthcare experiences.

The keynote speaker is Mara Keisling, founding executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equity (NCTE), a national social justice advocacy organization that has won life-saving change for transgender people. Since founding the NCTE in 2003, Keisling has helped including the inclusion of gender identity in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the scheduling of the first-ever Congressional hearing on transgender issues.

The #TransHealthSummit will take place this Saturday, November 19, from 8:30 to 4:30. After high response rates, registration to the event has now been closed.

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TRANSforming New Hampshire Healthcare Summit

November 15, 2016 by admin
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North Carolina Voters Show Dire Consequences of Anti-Transgender Discrimination

November 10, 2016 by admin

Tuesday’s election results present a complicated path forward for the national movement for LGBT equality. But the results in North Carolina sent a clear signal: Anti-transgender discrimination is not a winning platform.

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Though he hasn’t yet conceded, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is on the brink of defeat after gaining notoriety as the most openly discriminatory elected official in state legislatures nationwide..

Earlier this year, McCrory signed the infamous HB 2 into law—the first of its kind to allow for explicit discrimination against transgender people by forbidding them from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity. Despite astronomical business backlash, McCrory went on launched a full-throttled defense of HB 2 in his reelection campaign.

In contrast, his opponent, Attorney General Roy Cooper, made opposition to the law a cornerstone of his campaign and has vowed to make repealing it a top priority when he takes office on January 7, 2017.

The people of the Tar Heel state turned out in record numbers to defeat McCrory and send a strong signal in opposition to the anti-transgender legislation he’s supported from day one. Aside from costing him the election, HB 2 has cost the Tar Heel state $600 million in revenue and tens of thousands of jobs, since McCrory signed it into law in March. The NBA, NCAA and ACC all pulled championship games out of the state, while businesses including PayPal, Deutsche Bank and CoStar scrapped expansions and instead took their business to more tolerant and welcoming states.

This economic exodus has set a precedent for the dire consequences states—including New Hampshire—can face if they target transgender people for discrimination or fail to make progress in ensuring transgender equality. And with McCrory’s defeat, these consequences now include electoral ones for lawmakers who stand in the way.

Freedom New Hampshire hopes that as lawmakers look toward the 2017 legislative session, they heed the lesson voters delivered this week in North Carolina.

Granite Staters have always stood for values like fairness and equal treatment for everyone. And now, they’re looking to elected leaders to work together to make our state a more inclusive and welcoming place to live, work, and do businesses for all people—including transgender Granite Staters.

If you want to join the diverse coalition seeking to build a better understanding of who transgender people are and make the case for their fair and equal treatment, click here to sign the pledge.

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Nov. 19 TRANSforming New Hampshire Healthcare Summit to Focus on Transgender Issues

November 10, 2016 by admin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 10, 2016
Owen Loftus | [email protected] | 719-406-6564
www.FreedomNewHampshire.org

Concord, New Hampshire – On Saturday, November 19, equality and civil liberties-focused groups will bring together transgender Granite Staters, healthcare providers, teachers and school administrators, advocates, and supporters of New Hampshire’s transgender community to explore a day-long program about barriers transgender people face when accessing healthcare. Organized by Freedom New Hampshire, the TRANSforming NH Healthcare Summit will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, 2 White Street in Concord.

There is no fee to attend, and breakfast and lunch will be provided. A social hour will follow the event, and run from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

“As organizations across the state grapple with addressing and implementing legal protections and non-discrimination policies for transgender people, the need for an inclusive, understanding and informed citizenry has never been more pronounced,” said JeanMarie Gossard, campaign manager of Freedom New Hampshire.

The five-session, day-long event is headlined by featured speaker Mara Keisling, founding executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equity (NCTE), a national social justice advocacy organization winning life-saving change for transgender people.

Since founding NCTE in 2003, Keisling has led organizational and coalition efforts that have won significant advances in transgender equality, including the inclusion of gender identity in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the first-ever Congressional hearing on transgender issues, and countless federal administrative and state-level wins. As one of the nation’s leading voices for transgender equality, she is regularly quoted in national and local media.

The event will also convene healthcare providers, community organizations, government agencies and health and legal programs to discuss, educate and share information about improving access, transparency and cooperation around the healthcare practice and policies affecting transgender people in New Hampshire. Appropriate for adults and children of all ages, attendees will leave the summit with customized knowledge to help them understand legal rights and advocate for fair treatment.

“Our goal is to connect people to resources and broaden the understanding that offering inclusive healthcare practices and policies is not optional, whether at a hospital, school, or anywhere within our nation’s complex healthcare system,” Gossard said. “This summit is a safer space to talk about healthcare experiences from the perspectives of transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, their friends, families and allies.”

Specific workshops, which follow a offer a moderated conversation format include: Trans/Gender Nonconforming Only Safer Space: Sharing Healthcare Experiences; Assessing Trans-Friendly Healthcare, Building Respectful NH Schools, a “Know Your Rights” workshop sponsored by GLAD, and Navigating Coverage, among others.

To register, visit http://FreedomNH.org/TransHealthSummit

The event is hosted by Freedom New Hampshire and supported by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Endowment for Health, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders for the LGBTQ Community (GLAD), Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and the University of New Hampshire Health Law and Policy Institute for Health Policy and Practice. The event is sponsored by the NH Endowment for Health and Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare in collaboration with Freedom New Hampshire.

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NH Legal Perspective: Dialogue, good faith to guide restroom transgender issues

November 5, 2016 by admin
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How the Oyster River School District Led the Way in Creating the State’s First District-Wide Policy for Transgender Students

November 1, 2016 by admin

Like many school districts in New Hampshire and across the country, Durham’s Oyster River School district didn’t have a transgender-inclusive non-discrimination policy until confronted with the reality that a transgender student would be enrolling.

Unlike in many other school districts, however, staff and administrators at Oyster River looked at the situation and decided that, instead of creating an ad-hoc policy for one transgender student, they would take the opportunity to go all the way, and craft a comprehensive, district-wide policy for all transgender students, current and future.

2023phJason Baker is a school counselor at Oyster River High School. It was the winter of 2014-2015 when a student told Jason he would be transitioning. From there, Jason knew the school district had no choice but to take action. But Jason didn’t think the school district’s response should be purely reactionary. Instead, he wanted the district to think long-term.

With the number of openly transgender people double what it was 10 years ago, and on the rise, Jason knew this specific student was just the first of many transgender students to come through the Oyster River school system. So he took the lead on crafting an official policy aimed at ensuring transgender students are fully integrated into the school, and have the opportunity to fairly and equally participate in all school related activities.

“Really the writing was on the wall after talking to that student,” Jason said. “I knew we would be faced with this again at some point, and I needed to know: What is our official stance on restrooms, locker rooms, using pronouns, things like that? I told my superintendent and my principal: ‘We need to have an official policy on this.”

The superintendent at Oyster River, James Morse, was more than receptive to the idea—he was already familiar with the issue, and wanted to get out ahead of it.

Before becoming the superintendent at Oyster River, Morse spent 25 years as a superintendent in Maine—3 of those in the Portland School District. While he was there, Portland schools welcomed a transgender student who had problems finding acceptance in another school district.

“That case in Maine really made me aware of it,” said James. “Being in a situation in Portland to open doors to a child who was struggling made me aware of it.”

“I’m looking at what I would want for my son or daughter, or my grandchildren. I would want them to have an education that is incredible. All these other issues should not be obstacles.” — Oyster River Superintendent, James Morse

For James, there was never a question as to whether or not to accept this new transgender student and work to create a positive and inclusive learning environment where they could thrive.

“I’m looking at what I would want for my son or daughter, or my grandchildren. I would want them to have an education that is incredible. All these other issues should not be obstacles.”

So James and Jason pulled together the right people, including principals and the district’s lead counselor, and together they put together a draft policy—the first district-wide policy in New Hampshire regarding transgender students.

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“This is a civil rights issue, and we dealt with it like any other case,” Jason said. “You can’t deny one person their civil liberties because something else might happen. That’s hard for some to wrap their heads around, but we went full steam ahead.”

He took the lead on community outreach, and shepherded the policy as it evolved through many, many conversations with parents, students, and other members of the Oyster River community. In the end, James and Jason said it received no serious pushback.

“We’re in a unique community. We’re a pocket that is pretty forward-thinking and open-minded,” Jason said.

When James and Jason eventually presented the policy to the school board, it passed unanimously on the initial vote. James said he didn’t get a single negative email, letter or phone call after that. On the second read, it again passed unanimously and became district policy.

At that point, Jason and James started receiving messages from other school districts, expressing interest in Oyster River’s transgender-inclusive policies and seeking advice on how to pass those policies in other communities, including ones that might be less receptive.

“I know there are pockets that have faced backlash on whether to have a policy or not. But fortunately that hasn’t been an issue here. People ask me, ‘How did you deal with parents? How did you deal with the community?’ and I don’t know what to say, because our community just embraced this.” — Oyster River School Counselor, Jason Baker

For Jason’s part, he’s happy to be a part of a community that shared in his belief that transgender students deserve to be treated fairly and equally, and should have access to the same quality education as all other students.

“I know there are pockets that have faced backlash on whether to have a policy or not. But fortunately that hasn’t been an issue here. People ask me, ‘How did you deal with parents? How did you deal with the community?’ and I don’t know what to say, because our community just embraced this.”

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