Jon's Vision

LGBTQIA+ Equity, Empowerment, and Inclusivity

A Note on Terminology: 

LGBTQIA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual. It is a commonly used acronym to name the community of people who do not identify as heterosexual (attacted to the opposite sex) and/or cisgender (identifying with the gender assigned at birth). 

BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and is used to name the overall community of non-white people.

LGBTQIA+ rights are fundamentally human rights. The ability to live and love authentically, openly, and proudly should not be limited to only those people who align with traditional standards of gender identity and sexuality. Core to this mission is centering and supporting BIPOC people — within the LGBTQIA+ community, BIPOC-identifying people have often suffered from discrimination and racism even as they, specifically Black trans women, have been at the forefront of change-making, revolutionary movements. 

Jon has been a leader on LGBTQIA+ issues on Beacon Hill, representing a district with one of the largest and most active LGBTQIA+ communities in the country. One of his first votes on Beacon Hill was to prohibit the use of ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’, which prevents state-licensed therapists from attempting to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Jon believes that the LGBTQIA+ community in Boston should be celebrated and welcomed. While there has been immense progress, he believes we need to do more to end discrimination, better serve the LGBTQIA+ community, and center the voices of BIPOC community members. As mayor, Jon will:

  1. Fight transphobia and homophobia. Boston has an incredibly strong, vibrant and active LGBTQIA+ community. However, we must make sure that every voice in this movement feels safe, accepted, and connected with city hall. Honoring and learning from the life experiences and perspectives of LGBTQIA+ Bostonians is absolutely critical to the inclusive and successful future Jon sees for our city. Jon is dedicated to creating a safe, inclusive, and welcoming Boston and will work with LGBTQIA+ BIPOC residents and leaders to identify strategies and tactics to end transphobia and homophobia in our city. As mayor, Jon will:
    • Protect the trans community. Jon is committed to bringing LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC folks into the conversation surrounding public safety, especially when it comes to the protection and safety of the transgender community – specifically Black transgender women. As mayor, Jon will ensure that laws aimed at protecting any and all marginalized groups are enforced.
    • Listen to and learn from the LGBTQIA+ community. As mayor, Jon will create a LGBTQIA+ council to provide recommendations on how city hall and city government can better promote inclusion with emphasis on historically marginalized groups who have often been at the forefront of changemaking movements.
  2. Center BIPOC voices. For too long, BIPOC members of the LGBTQIA+ community have been marginalized, ignored, and neglected. When we work to create an inclusive and accepting city, we need to ensure that the BIPOC community is central to that conversation and is at the table in creating solutions. Jon believes that the voices of BIPOC folks in the LGBTQIA+ community and across the city must be heard. As mayor, Jon will:
    • Create an LGBTQIA+ BIPOC liaison. BIPOC neighbors in the LGBTQIA+ community have historically been marginalized. Jon is committed to centering their voices by creating a specific liaison within the Office of Diversity in city hall. This liaison will work with advocacy groups, neighborhood leaders, and nonprofits to engage BIPOC members of the LGBTQIA+ community and connect them to city resources and support.
    • Champion LGBTQIA+ BIPOC folks in every city sector. Too often, BIPOC face discrimination and barriers in our city—even more so for LGBTQIA+ residents. As mayor, Jon will work to uplift their voices by:
      1. Ensuring we appoint and hire members of the LGBTQIA+ BIPOC community to key positions in city hall.
      2. Creating new protections against discriminatory housing policies, when needed, and ensuring equitable enforcing of existing protections.
      3. Promoting arts and cultural spaces to provide spaces to create freely and build community.
      4. Expanding access to employment opportunities and creating work environments that respect and retain LGBTQIA+ employees.
  3. Invest in resources for the LGBTQIA+ community. Jon is committed to making sure city hall is accessible to our LGBTQIA+ neighbors who have been fighting for equity and justice. He will actively invest in resources to support our LGBTQIA+ community. As mayor, Jon will:
    • Create safe spaces in BPS. Growing up and discovering who you are is hard enough as it is. Yet, it can be even more difficult for our LGBTQIA+ students when they do not feel safe and supported. Jon is committed to increasing supportive and safe spaces for self expression — in conversation with BPS students, parents, and school officials.
    • Address the mental health crisis. LGBTQIA+-identifying people are more likely to experience high levels of anxiety, stress, and depression than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. This has only been exacerbated by COVID-19 — and we must do better. As mayor, Jon will establish specific mental health resources for our LGBTQIA+ youth by working with BPS, nonprofits, and our local higher-education institutions. Jon also believes in training and hiring a mental health workforce made up of LGBTQIA+ providers to advance racial and economic justice goals while providing culturally competent and effective services.
    • Expand affordable housing. Massachusetts has the second largest LGBTQIA+ population in the country, and we must ensure that every resident has access to affordable, accessible, and inclusive housing. As mayor, Jon will work to create new affordable housing opportunities meant specifically for our LGBTQIA+ seniors and youth, working with pre-existing organizations that have been championing this type of work in the city. He will also work to get more LGBTQIA+ BIPOC into safe, inclusive, and affordable housing across the city.
    • End discrimination for our LGBTQIA+ residents. Jon is committed to implementing policies that will eliminate discrimination across these areas and bringing LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC folks to city hall to help craft these policies.
    • Connect LGBTQIA+ folks with healthcare. LGBTQIA+ folks often cannot access or are barred from accessing critical and basic healthcare services alike. In conversations with his own patients, Jon hears the same themes of inaccessibility to reproductive healthcare, mental health services, sexual health services, and physical health care. As mayor, Jon will create programs within the Office of Diversity to connect our LGBTQIA+ neighbors with the culturally-competent services, care, and resources they need to stay healthy and safe.
  4. End violence towards LGBTQIA+ Bostonians. Too many of our neighbors face targeted harassment and violence in our city. Jon is committed to building a safe and inclusive Boston for everyone, especially our LGBTQIA+ residents. In addition to enforcing pre-existing laws and protections, as mayor, Jon will:
    • Support victims of harassment and violence. As mayor, Jon will dedicate resources within the Office of Diversity to connect members of the LGBTQIA+ community to legal resources if they are victims of harassment or violence. This also extends to providing trauma counseling and mental health services.
    • Focus on services for victims of domestic violence. Research shows that LGBTQIA+ members fall victim to domestic violence at equal or even higher rates compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Jon believes in ensuring our victims of domestic violence have the protection they need and that abusers are held accountable for their actions. Jon is committed to expanding the Domestic Violence Unit and Sexual Assault Unit to have a specific LGBTQIA+ engagement officer.
    • End LGBTQIA+ homelessness. LGBTQIA+ youth comprise of 40% of the homeless youth population, leading to higher likelihood of being subjected to violence or incarceration. We must do better. Jon is committed to increasing homelessness services specifically for LGBTQIA+ homeless youth.