“Colby has as much right to exist in public spaces as his non-transgender brother.”
Kitty & Her Son, Colby

Worries big and small come with the territory of being a parent—so two years ago, when Massachusetts passed nondiscrimination protections fully protecting transgender people like her son Colby, Kitty 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 to repeal the new law at the ballot this November, that worry is creeping back. And it now includes not just Colby, but other transgender children and parents, who she became close to during the legislative efforts in 2016.

“The idea that it could be repealed not only makes me think of something that’s being taken away from my son’s future—it will affect people I know who are incredibly vulnerable, and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“The idea that it could be repealed not only makes me think of something that’s being taken away from my son’s future—it will affect people I know who are incredibly vulnerable, and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

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 non-transgender 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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