Today, Trans United Fund responded to a recent press article that centered on a strategy session among movement leaders and ongoing disagreement between national LGBTQ organizations about whether state-level non-discrimination measure should emphasize public accommodations protections for transgender people.
"First and foremost, Trans United supports the position of organizations like Lambda Legal and the ACLU - state legislative efforts to prevent discrimination should not cut public accommodations protections for trans people in the hope of easier passage. Trans communities need to be a part of these conversations from the beginning - the most fundamental issue here is not which tactic or when, but who defines the overall goals and strategy of movement advocacy," said Alison Gill, Vice Chair of Trans United Fund and a leading attorney and legal strategist.
"We are in the midst of a fundamental public conversation about the nature of gender and identity. We can't afford to back down, and we can't leave people behind. We need to include public accommodations. We need to be broadening—not shrinking—our public education efforts to talk about the full spectrum of gender identity, including non-binary identities," added leadership advisory member Jacob Tobia.
Bamby Salcedo, President of Trans Latin@ Coalition and a member of the leadership advisory committee added, "If we're in the room, we're going to insist not only on a bolder strategy around public accommodations, but on a movement strategy addressing the issues beyond legal equality that most dramatically impact our community - issues like violence, HIV criminalization, and immigration. But the bottom line is that these decisions need to be made in conversation and in relationship with the community that is most impacted at the state and local level."
Angelica Ross, one of the founding members of Trans United Fund added, "First and foremost, I do believe that we need to be uncompromising on the issues of public accommodations. But this is an issue that's about more than including public accommodations tactically, it's about centering the individuals that are most impacted strategically. As a black trans woman and a leader in Trans United Fund, I bring my own lived experience and my connection to a community whose lives are literally on the line. We need our voices to be included - on goals, on strategy, and on tactics."
Jada Cardona, one of the founding members added, "People have become fond of saying the T is not silent but words are not enough. We need funders and advocacy organizations to engage in direct conversation with group like Trans United Fund, which are led not only by trans people but by trans people who look like and are accountable to the community. We need allies to support groups like ours so we can maximize our impact. As an HIV positive, trans Latinx woman living in the South, my community needs to be represented. Finally, to our friends in the media, an article about transgender rights with five quotes and only one of them being from a clearly identified transgender person is unacceptable. We need journalists to report in a manner that reflects the reality that we think and speak for ourselves."
To learn more about Trans United Fund's work, please visit transunitedfund.org or follow us on Twitter @transunitedfund.
Trans United Fund was launched to unite the voices of trans people and our allies to combat the endemic levels of violence and discrimination faced by the trans community and the well funded and coordinated attacks by the conservative movement against trans people. Our Advisory Committee is comprised of a multi-racial, multi-generational team with identities across the gender spectrum. Trans United Fund is the C4 organization affiliated with Trans United and represents the only, national express advocacy political group centering trans lives.