Mycroft Masada is a trans and queer faith leader who moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland (Montgomery County near Washington DC) from their lifelong home of Boston in 2014. A TransFaith National Council member, TransEpiscopal Steering Committee member and former Congregation Am Tikva board member, Mycroft is particularly called to pursue LGBTQI+ and fat justice, and is an advocate, organizer, consultant, educator, trainer, writer and artist. They are married to Julia McCrossin, the massculine fatshion blogger, and with her they co-parent a dogter. Their central online home is MasadArts.blogspot.com.

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Monday, June 17, 2019

HEARING TODAY - Massachusetts' Height & Weight Anti-Discrimination Bill

TODAY AT 1:00 (EST) IN BOSTON (my hometown!!), Massachusetts' House Bill 3413, An Act Making Discrimination on the Basis of Height and Weight Unlawful, has a hearing!  The contact person is Caroline Sherrard, Chief of Staff of the Office of Senator Becca Rausch -- Caroline.Sherrard@masenate.gov and 617.722.1555 (internal x1556). I lived in MA until 2014 (when I moved here to Gaithersburg, Maryland), and have been supporting this bill for several years, though it is older than that. #MondayMotivation #MondayMorning #fatjustice#fatliberation #fatacceptance #fatactivism ๐Ÿ’‍♀️๐Ÿ“œ๐Ÿ™‹‍♀️

This is the supportive testimony I submitted:

June 17th, 2019

Senator James B. Eldridge, Senate Chair, Joint Committee on the Judiciary
Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, Senate Vice Chair
Representative Claire D. Cronin, House Chair
Representative Michael S. Day, House Vice Chair

Massachusetts State House
24 Beacon Street -- Rooms 320, 136, and 111
Boston, MA 02133

Via email: James.McCarthy@mahouse.gov
Caroline.Sherrard@mahouse.gov
Gretchen.VanNess@masenate.gov
Tobin.Abraham@mahouse.gov

Dear Senators Eldridge and Chang-Diaz and Representatives Cronin and Day --

My name is Mycroft Masada Holmes, and I lived in greater Boston for more than 37 years, from my birth in 1976 until January of 2014, when I moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland to begin living with my partner. I love and miss Boston and the rest of Massachusetts, though I have visited a few times, and I have always been proud to call them my home.

I write to you today primarily as a faith leader called to advocate for social justice, particularly LGBTQ+ and fat justice. Before my move, I was the Chair of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition’s Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality (ICTE), and a board member at Congregation Am Tikva. I was one of the leaders of the interfaith campaign for both of Massachusetts’ transgender civil rights laws.

Today, I testify in support of House Bill 3413 -- An Act Making Discrimination on the Basis of Height and Weight Unlawful -- as I have done in person and/or in writing for a few legislative sessions. At one hearing, I also read the written testimony of attorney Sondra Solovay. This bill and the second trans rights bill actually shared a hearing a few years ago.

In my personal and professional life, I have experienced and witnessed a great deal of discrimination – especially in employment -- and much of it has been based on physical appearance and information, including height and especially weight. This discrimination is wrong, profoundly damaging, pervasive, and rapidly increasing -- in Massachusetts and the rest of our country -- especially since the November 2016 elections; those who would discriminate in these ways are among those who have been empowered by the current presidential administration. We must do what we can to change this as soon as we can, and HB 3413 can help. This bill is also an critical educational tool – its implementation process will help dispel the widespread and increasing ignorance, misinformation and fear about weight. You will be given expert testimony about these issues today and during the rest of this session – ample evidence of the significant and urgent need for this legislation.

My faiths teach that like the Adam, the first human being, all people are made b’tzelem Elohim – in the image of God -- people of all weights, heights, sizes and shapes. Our infinite diversity of bodies and their changes over our lifetimes are gifts and blessings, meant to be lived and shared with joy and pride. God creates and loves all of us, equally, in body and spirit. And all of us should be equally recognized and protected by the law.

And as much as I speak to you as a person of faith, I also speak as a spouse. My wonderful partner of ten years next month, Julia McCrossin, and I are the same height, and she weighs well over twice what I do; I’ve always been thin, she has always been fat. Julia is a lifelong resident of Maryland and Washington DC, and visited me in Massachusetts several times. After her father passed away, I moved to Maryland to begin living with her, largely so that we could help care for her disabled mother and the family dog.

We are very privileged to live in Maryland, not to mention Montgomery County, for many reasons. Our county, state and neighboring Washington DC have trans-inclusive civil rights laws, and DC’s Human Rights Laws consider height and weight included in “physical appearance”. We are privileged in other ways as well – as much as we and those like us struggle, daily life is far more challenging for those directly facing other intersecting oppressions, such as racism, classism and ableism. At the same time, we worry about moving to and through places where we are legally unprotected, which we often need and want to do. We and so many others need An Act Making Discrimination On The Basis Of Height And Weight Unlawful to pass into law as soon as possible. I pray that this can be another way for my home state to provide social justice leadership to the rest of the country.

My partner and I want to visit Massachusetts together more -- especially to see our family, friends and colleagues there -- and perhaps make a home there one day. And we have much to offer my great state. I want her to have full civil rights wherever she is. I want her to be able to continue to live, work and play better than she has done, contributing even more to our communities than she already has. I want this for all residents of and visitors to Massachusetts. I don’t want anyone to experience discrimination – and yet I know that some will, and I want them to be able to take appropriate action to address it.

I urge you to do everything you can to further this vital and long overdue legislation so that it can be passed into law this legislative session.

Thank you,

Mycroft Holmes
[My home & e-mail addresses]