FRAMINGHAM – Local nonprofit organization OUT MetroWest hosted its first LGBTQ+ family event of 2019.
The 40-person gathering, made possible by a grant from Avidia Bank, took place at Playtown Express in Southborough on Sunday, January 13.
The free event specifically welcomed families with transgender parents, transgender children, or any family member who was gender non-conforming. Families attended the event from all over the state, some traveling from as far as Springfield.
Children spent the morning playing on the indoor playground while adults socialized with one another.
“This was a great way to connect with other families in a relaxed and fun atmosphere where my gender and the gender of my child were complete non-issues,” said Kevin, a parent from Hopkinton.
Alex, a parent from Framingham, shared, “This type of event is important to our family because my children don’t know any other families with a trans parent.”
“A major goal of this event was to connect transgender children and their families with healthy, happy trans adults,” said Sawyer Bethel, executive director of OUT MetroWest. “This event was also a chance for us to celebrate the passage of ballot question 3, without which we couldn’t hold events like this safely. We look forward to hosting similar events in the
Ballot question 3 was a 2018 referendum on a Massachusetts law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in places of public accommodation, resort, or amusement. Massachusetts residents voted to preserve the anti- discrimination law by a 2-1 ratio this past November.
Brigitte Manseau, OUT MetroWest’s program and outreach associate, also reflected on the importance of hosting an inclusive event. “Playtown Express allowed us to convert their restrooms into gender-inclusive spaces for the duration of the event. Gender-inclusive bathrooms are helpful to all parents of young children, and they are vital for those who are
gender non-conforming or transgender.”
In addition to family events, OUT MetroWest runs four programs for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) middle and high school youth, totaling more than a dozen meetings each month.
Meetings are offered at no cost to participants and are held in Framingham, Newton, and Wellesley. The organization also provides workshops in the community to enhance understanding of gender identity and sexual orientation. For more information about OUT MetroWest, see www.outmetrowest.org or call 508-875-2122.