Somerville-Public Invited to Learn about Transgender Lives and Issues at “Conversations about Gender Identity” Event

Sept. 25th event hosted by City, the Somerville High GSA, SpeakOUT, and the Human Rights Commission to feature first-hand stories about transgender lives and gender identity

SOMERVILLE – At an upcoming public conversation and learning session, Somerville community members will be offered an opportunity to gain a better understanding of gender identity and transgender lives and issues. Through honest dialogue and first-hand stories, speakers from the nonprofit organization SpeakOUT Boston will share their perspectives and experiences followed by a Q&A with attendees. City staff will also present on current City resources, policies, and developments regarding gender identity.

Hosted by the City’s Health and Human Services Department in collaboration with the Somerville High School Gender and Sexuality Awareness Alliance, SpeakOUT, and the Human Rights Commission, the event will be held 6:30-8 p.m., Tuesday, September 25, at the Argenziano School, 290 Washington St.


“You may see the word transgender and think this event isn’t meant for you, but it’s for everyone, no matter how you identify. The idea is to get an honest, open, and non-judgmental conversation going among any interested community members to build a better understanding of what it means to be transgender, what terminology is respectful, and what current issues there are,” said Jessica Alter, LGBTQ Liaison for the City of Somerville. “All are welcome.”

“I am heartened every day by the inclusiveness and genuine support for diversity I see in our community, but there is still always more that we each can learn about the lives of our neighbors and the issues they face,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “The SpeakOUT motto is ‘Ask Us Anything,’ which is a generous—and important—approach to take. There is real power in being able to hear people’s stories and discuss openly. I hope members of the community will take this important opportunity to learn, clear up misconceptions, or show their support.”

About SpeakOUT

SpeakOUT is a nonprofit community of speakers working to create a world free of homo-bi-transphobia and other forms of prejudice by telling the truths of their lives.

They do so by:

• conducting educational programs about LGBTQIA* lives and issues;

• training individuals and organizations to use public speaking as a means of creating positive cultural change;

• sharing their lives and experiences publicly in order to support those struggling with sexuality and gender identity; and

• educating within the communities they represent about issues that divide them.

For more information on the event, please contact LGBTQ Liaison Jessica Alter at 617-625-6600 x 2404 or For media queries, contact Denise Taylor at 617-625-6600 x2103 or

Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact Nency Salamoun, at 617-625-6600 x2323 or

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