“Colby has as much right to exist in public spaces as his cisgender brother.” May 11, 2017

Worries big and small come with the territory of being a parent—so last year, when Massachusetts passed non-discrimination protections fully protecting transgender people like her son Colby, Kitty Flynn breathed a sigh of relief.

It was one less worry, she said, and it was a big one. But now that some groups are mobilizing against the new law, that worry is creeping back. And it now includes not just Colby, but other transgender people, including parents and children, who she became close to during last year’s legislative push.

“The idea that it could be repealed not only makes me think of something that’s being taken away from my son’s future—it will affect people I know who are incredibly vulnerable, and misunderstood, and it won’t help that at all,” she said.

“The idea that it could be repealed not only makes me think of something that’s being taken away from my son’s future—it will affect people I know who are incredibly vulnerable, and misunderstood, and it won’t help that at all.” –Kitty Flynn, Melrose

Kitty first got involved in the movement to pass full non-discrimination protections for transgender Bay Staters in 2015, when her friend, Mimi Lemay, invited her to a lobby day at the state capitol. Mimi’s son, Jacob, is also transgender.

Mimi and Kitty were part of a growing group of parents forming a network across the state to advocate for their children’s right to live authentically, free from the fear that their gender expression will limit their participation in society.

Last January, Colby’s first grade class studied Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, and the students were tasked with finishing the statement “I have a dream that …”

“Colby has as much right to exist in public spaces as his cisgender brother and any of his friends,” she said.

Although Colby, as a seven year old, hasn’t yet been subjected to harassment or discrimination because of his gender identity, Kitty said he already understands what it means to be an equal member of society—and that these nondiscrimination protections protect his right to equal treatment.

Last January, Colby’s first grade class studied Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, and the students were tasked with finishing the statement “I have a dream that …” Colby wrote:

“I have a dream that trans people can do whatever they want, because trans people are just normal people.”

That’s this mother’s dream, too.

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