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A Big Week for Transgender Rights Across New England

This week saw several substantial steps forward on key matters of concern for transgender people in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine and New Hampshire.

On Monday, June 1, the Connecticut Senate passed by a vote of 32 to 3 a bill that modernizes the process for changing gender on birth certificates. The bill, which removes invasive requirements and will allow transgender people to obtain accurate gender designations on their birth certificates, has already passed the House and moves on to be signed by the governor. GLAD is a member of the coalition working to pass this legislation, and will make a tool kit available at http://www.glad.org once the bill is signed to assist Connecticut residents in the process of requesting a gender marker change.

Also on Monday, Mayor Jorge Elorza of Providence announced that the City of Providence will now provide transition-related health care coverage for transgender employees and retirees. The new health care plan will provide coverage for services including “gender reassignment surgery, hormone therapy, reconstructive surgeries and behavior health services.”

On Thursday, representatives from TransGender New Hampshire, joined by GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi, visited the state house to brief legislators about issues facing the transgender community in their state, and to advocate for needed legal changes.

GLAD's Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi with members of TransGender New Hampshire (TG-NH)
GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi with
members of TransGender New Hampshire (TG-NH)

Finally, we learned this week that as a result of advocacy by GLAD, the University of Maine system is revising its employee health insurance plan as of July 1 to include coverage for gender transition-related care.

Another Step Forward

“We’re experiencing a great moment for the transgender community,” says Levi, “both with the visibility achieved by Caitlyn Jenner this week, and with very important, very practical advances like these that will make a substantial difference in the everyday lives of transgender people.”

GLAD encourages anyone experiencing discrimination because of their gender identity or seeking additional information about any of the above changes to contact our legal information service, GLAD Answers, at www.GLADAnswers.org.