We are gratified to announce that Martin J. Walsh, United States Secretary of Labor, former Mayor of Boston and Boston College alumnus has signed onto the petition to support LGBTQ+ students at BC. The petition calls for the creation of an LGBTQ+ resource center and the addition of gender identity to BC’s nondiscrimination policy.
Students at Boston College have been advocating for better protections and greater resources for LGBTQ+ students for decades. A resource center would foster a strong sense of belonging and security among queer and trans students at BC. It would serve as a tangible sign of inclusion and care offered to LGBTQ+ students, who often have a more difficult time finding these vital resources on campus
Transgender and gender non-confirming communities, particularly people of color, are among the most vulnerable in facing discrimination. Including gender identity in BC’s non-discrimination policy is an important step in acknowledging the existence and respecting the dignity of trans and non-binary members of the BC community.
A resource center and the addition of gender identity to the nondiscrimination policy are just some of the changes students at BC are advocating for. Students in GLC, BC’s GLBTQIA+ Leadership Council, are also pushing for the creation of an LGBTQ+ Living and Learning Community, gender neutral bathrooms, and better name and ID policies.
Secretary Walsh has been a long time advocate for LGBTQ+ issues and has worked to make the City of Boston a welcoming place. As Mayor he worked with the City Council to guarantee municipal employees and their dependents access to gender reassignment surgery, hormone therapy, and mental health services. He signed an executive order establishing gender-neutral restrooms in Boston City Hall. As a State Representative he voted for the Transgender Civil Rights Bill that became law in 2012. As a State Representative, he was a strong supporter of marriage equality and in 2015 as Mayor signed the City of Boston onto the Freedom to Marry brief in the case on marriage equality before the Supreme Court.
Having leaders like Secretary Walsh take a public stand in support of students at Boston College sends a powerful message that the university needs to do more to support queer and trans members of its community. We are incredibly grateful for his support.