HONORING THE MINNESOTA TRANSGENDER HEALTH COALITION'S 10TH ANNIVERSARY
(Extensions of Remarks - March 29, 2017)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E407]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]





 HONORING THE MINNESOTA TRANSGENDER HEALTH COALITION'S 10TH ANNIVERSARY

                                 ______
                                 

                           HON. KEITH ELLISON

                              of minnesota

                    in the house of representatives

                       Wednesday, March 29, 2017

  Mr. ELLISON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the 10th 
anniversary of the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition, Minnesota's 
largest organization led by and for the trans community.
   In 2002, concerned community members began to organize around the 
difficulties they and other trans people face in finding accessible, 
culturally competent healthcare. Organizers began hosting meetings and 
events as part of the University of Minnesota's GLBTA Programs Office 
and the Schochet Center for GLBT Studies. After years of activity, the 
group incorporated on March 30, 2007 to become a trans-led health 
service and rights organization, founded on their principles of racial, 
social and economic justice.
   MTHC is a unique organization. In addition to organizing for trans-
inclusive public policies, they provide direct medical and 
psychological support for hundreds of people from all over the Midwest. 
Through their Shot Caller program, MTHC ensures that trans folks, 
people with diabetes, and anyone else prescribed shots can get free 
help taking them in a safe, supportive space. They run a successful 
harm reduction program that includes syringe exchange, safe sex 
materials, and more. With a Community Innovation grant from the 
Headwaters Foundation for Justice, MTHC expanded three youth-oriented 
programs called Gender Jam, Little Rainbows and GR8. Since November 
2016, their longest-running support groups have been pushed to 
capacity, reflecting both the success and great need for their 
programs. MTHC's reach also extends far beyond the LGBTQ community; in 
fact, dozens of people that MTHC helps regularly do not identify as 
LGBTQ. In this way, they have become a true center of community health 
in our state.
   Through their advocacy, MTHC has worked with the City of 
Minneapolis, the Minnesota Department of Education, and many other 
public groups. They've advocated for stronger inclusion for and 
protection of trans youth in schools, effective policies to address 
bullying, access to life-saving transition healthcare, and more. Due to 
their tremendous leadership in the Twin Cities and around the Midwest, 
MTHC was named a Community Champion of Pride for the 2016 Twin Cities 
Pride festival.
   During my time in Congress, I have been guided by generosity, 
inclusion, and justice for all. Organizations like the Minnesota 
Transgender Health Coalition represent the best of these values. We 
know that if we don't fight for all aspects of racial, social, and 
economic justice, we won't have any of them. I am honored to represent 
the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition in Congress, and I can't 
wait to see what they accomplish in the next decade of leadership.

                          ____________________