Meet Our Honorees
Julie Johnson Founders' Award
Each year, NCTE recognizes the hard work of an individual that has demonstrated the perserverance, dedication, and commitment of Julie Johnson. Julie Johnson, a Chicago-based transgender activist, spent her lifetime advocating for transgender equality despite the challenges of her own life.
This year, NCTE is proud to honor Gunner Scott, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, with the Julie Johnson Founders' Award for his deep commitment to transgender rights.
For over a decade, Gunner has been a leader in the fight for transgender equality. Most notably, Gunner was at the helm of the successful five-year campaign to enact the Massachusetts Transgender Equality Rights Bill. Gunner is also a founding member of the Trans Advocacy Network and sits on the Massachusetts Commission for GLBT Youth.
Distinguished Ally Award
The Distinguished Ally Award is presented to an individual that has made significant contributions to the transgender and broader lesbian, gay, and bisexual community. This year's Distinguished Ally is Andrew Barnett, Executive Director of the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL), the only LGBTQ youth serving organization in Washington, D.C.
Andrew first joined the SMYAL staff in 2005 and was named Executive Director four years later. Under his leadership, SMYAL has refocused its programming to empower LGBTQ youth through leadership development and advocacy. In addition to serving on the Mayor’s Bullying Prevention Task Force, he also expands safe spaces for young people throughout the DC community by hosting cultural competency workshops with local teachers, service providers, and institutions which shape the lives of transgender and gender non-conforming youth.
Service Employees International Union
Community Partner Award
The Community Partner Award is presented to an organization that has advanced transgender equality through action and activism. This year, the Service Employees International Union has earned this recognition for their outstanding efforts to expand access to health care for transgender people.
Earlier this year, SEIU's 25th Convention unanimously passed a resolution calling upon local unions to bargain for medically necessary health care for transgender people. The resolution was endorsed by convention delegates who represent the union's more than 2.1 million members.
The resolution built upon the union's decision the year prior to provide trans-inclusive health care for international staff members. For SEIU's unprecedented efforts, NCTE is proud to honor them with the Community Partner Award.