On this page:

Joint statement on immigration reform

Thank you for celebrating our 9th Anniversary!

LGBT groups release statement on violence against sex workers

Tea party group targets trans voters

Voting While Trans PSA series

TONI project launches for trans students

Sensationalist trans segment on "Anderson Live"

Voting While Trans resources launched

LGBT groups condemn shooting at Family Research Council

Healthcare discrimination law protects gender identity

Harper Jean Tobin named top lawyer

NCTE releases API trans fact sheet

SCOTUS health care victory

Report on trans older adults

PREA standards released

Obama endorses Safe Schools bill

Mara Keisling featured on Melissa Harris-Perry Show

Victory for trans immigration docs and marriage benefits

Need for Executive Order on federal contractor discrimination

Miss Universe committs to trans inclusion

Housing non-discrimination rule goes into effect

ICE releases standards on immigration detention

New Resource: Preparing for Airport Security

White House, John Berry Observe Transgender Day of Remembrance

9th Circuit rules on Prop 8

NCTE Condemns Violence in Oak Creek, WI and Joplin, MO

NCTE Releases Guide to New Protections Against Prison Rape

Trans Americans Celebrate Health Care Victory at the Court

Community Call: What the U.S. Supreme Court's Ruling on Health Care Means for You

NCTE Release Student's "Know Your Rights" Guide

NCTE Release Trans Job Discrimination Know Your Rights Guide

New Fact Sheet: Sexual and Reproductive Health for Transgender People"

NCTE Releases Trans "Know Your Rights" Health Care Guide, Celebrates LGBT Health Awareness Week

99 Steps Toward Transgender Equality

Trans direct action resource released

LGBT military magazine addresses trans service

New regulations for fair housing access

Open Conference Call:Transgender Federal Policy in 2012

 

 

News 2012

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights groups release joint statement on immigration reform as U.S. senators release set of principles for comprehensive immigration reform

Washington, D.C. - National lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights organizations, including the National Center for Transgender Equality, today released a joint statement reiterating the call for a comprehensive immigration policy that ensures fair treatment of LGBT people and families under immigration law. It comes as a bipartisan group of U.S. senators today released a set of principles for comprehensive immigration reform, and as President Obama prepares to announce his own immigration plans tomorrow.

The full text of the LGBT groups' joint statement is below:

"We are fully committed to and deeply understand the need for this nation to adopt a humane and effective comprehensive immigration policy that ensures fair and just treatment for all those currently impacted by our failed immigration policy.

Any legislation must include the ability of couples in same-sex relationships to sponsor their spouse or permanent-partner in the same way opposite-sex couples have long been able to under current immigration law.

We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those striving for and dreaming of a nation that embraces all who come here seeking a better life. We look forward to working with Congress, the White House and every community harmed by our broken immigration system to finally achieve the comprehensive reforms we all so desperately need."

To learn more or to speak with Mara Keisling, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at vvillano@transequality.org / (o) 202-903-0112, (c) 202-631-9640.


Thank you for celebrating our 9th Anniversary!

Read more about the event here.

View photos from the event here.


Statement of U.S. LGBTQ and Allied Organizations on the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers"

The undersigned lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, Two Spirit and allied organizations mark the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers by calling for support for efforts worldwide to defend the lives and rights of all people involved in the sex trades.

We recognize that systemic homophobia and transphobia, racism, disproportionate poverty and homelessness, widespread discrimination, and an absence of pathways to immigration status, frequently limit the economic and survival options of LGBTQ people, particularly LGBTQ youth and adults of color and transgender people. These conditions not only inform and can contribute to the involvement of LGBTQ people in the sex trades, whether by choice, circumstance, or coercion – they also increase the vulnerability to violence and abuse against LGBTQ people in the sex trades.

We recognize that, of the many LGBTQ people who are victims of hate violence each year, many are -- or are perceived to be -- involved in the sex trades. Many are targeted for violence in part for this reason.

Just one month ago we observed the Transgender Day of Remembrance, when we commemorate the lives of transgender people who have been targeted for violence. Many of the people we remember today -- those lost to violence against sex workers and people in the sex trades -- are the same individuals we remembered on November 20.

We recognize that all too often police and other officials abuse both LGBTQ people and people who are or are perceived to be involved in the sex trades. LGBTQ people involved in the sex trades are among those most at risk of violence, yet often face indifference when reporting violence. We recognize that profiling of LGBTQ youth of color and transgender people for prostitution-related offenses remains pervasive in many communities and harms all LGBTQ people, exposing us to violence at the hands of police, prison officials, and immigration authorities.

We recognize that the voices and visions of LGBTQ people who are or have been sex workers or involved in the sex trades have historically been -- and continue to be -- at the forefront of movements for LGBTQ equality and freedom worldwide, and must play a leadership role in informing our responses to violence against people in the sex trades.

We recognize that policy approaches focused on increasing safety, opportunity, empowerment, and harm reduction, and which focus on meeting basic needs for housing, living wage employment, and health care through voluntary, LGBTQ-affirming and non-judgmental services are essential to ending violence against people involved in the sex trades. We believe that harsh punitive approaches only increase vulnerability to violence among those they seek to protect.

We recognize that violence against sex workers and people in the sex trades is an LGBTQ issue, and we stand committed to ending it.

Signing Organizations

American Civil Liberties Union

National Coalition for LGBT Health

Audre Lorde Project – New York, NY

National Council of Jewish Women

Best Practices Policy Project

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

BreakOUT, New Orleans, LA

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers

Native Youth Sexual Health Network

Community United Against Violence (CUAV) – San Francisco, CA

PFLAG National 

Cream City Foundation

Persist Health Project - New York, NY

DC Trans Coalition – Washington, DC

Rainbow Response Coalition – Washington, DC

Equality Maryland

Red Umbrella Project 

Family Equality Council

Queers for Economic Justice

Fair Wisconsin

Sex Workers Action New York

FIERCE – New York, NY

Sex Workers Outreach Project USA (SWOP-USA)

FORGE

SWOP Chicago 

Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV) – Washington, DC

SWOP NYC

Gender Justice Nevada

SWOP San Francisco Bay Area

GetEQUAL

Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center – New York, NY

GLAAD

Streetwise and Safe – New York, NY

GMHC

Sylvia Rivera Law Project – New York, NY

Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive (HIPS) – Washington, DC

Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition

Human Rights Campaign

Trans Advocacy Network

Immigration Equality

Transgender Education Network of Texas

Lambda Legal

Transgender Health Empowerment (THE) Washington, DC

Louisiana Trans Advocates

Transgender Law Center

Make the Road New York

Trans Youth Equality Foundation

Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition

 The Trevor Project

 National Black Justice Coalition

 VenusPlusX

 National Center for Lesbian Rights

 Women with a Vision – New Orleans, LA

National Center for Transgender Equality

 YWCA

National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs

 


Tea Party Group Targets Trans Voters

A right-wing, Tea Party organization called "True the Vote" is training their volunteer poll watchers to target transgender voters. True the Vote's training manual features a transphobic image that claims transgender people are fraudulent voters and should be denied the right to vote.

NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, "It is disgraceful that True the Vote would try to thug anyone into not voting. True the Vote's true agenda is a shameful attempt to scare trans people away from participating in our democracy."

Until this point, the concerted effort by right-wing, tea party groups to restrict voting rights with new Voter ID laws only inadvertently affected transgender voters. Only days away from Election Day, the discovery of True the Vote's training manual marks a shift by right-wing groups to explicitly target transgender people and deny them a right to vote.

"Trans people are resilient," said Keisling. "For trans people, voting is not just a right and a responsibility, for us it is also an important part of how we are winning our equality. Scare tactics like this won't keep us from that."

NCTE urges all transgender and gender non-conforming voters, regardless of their party affiliation or political beliefs, to ignore True The Vote's shameful and unamerican attacks, and vote this Election Day.

In case you are challenged, be prepared by bringing NCTE's "Voting While Trans Checklist" with you when you vote. The Checklist includes a message from NCTE to poll workers clarifying possible questions they may have about your identification. If a poll worker or poll watcher attempts to deny you a ballot, call the National Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) immediately.

To learn more, please visit www.votingwhiletrans.org. To speak with Mara Keisling, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at vvillano@transequality.org / (o) 202-903-0112, (c) 202-631-9640.


Transgender Americans Speak Out in New "Voting While Trans" PSA Series

New Campaign Highlights Impact of New Discriminatory Voter ID Laws

Watch the PSAs at www.votingwhiletrans.org.

Today, the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) released a series of public service announcements outlining how transgender Americans can keep their right to vote this election day.

The PSAs, part of NCTE's "Voting While Trans" public awareness campaign, aim to educate and prepare transgender people for how to vote in their state and feature NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling, writer and advocate Janet Mock, actress Laverne Cox, performance artist Ignacio Rivera, Charles Meins, and poet Kit Yan.

New voter ID laws have created costly barriers to voting for many trans people. And much worse, the debate about voter ID laws have made even the idea of voting harder so many of us may feel discouraged from even trying to vote on election day," said NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling. "Our message is don't let them scare you into giving up your vote."

This year thousands of transgender Americans face being denied the right to to vote or having their vote discounted because of new strict photo ID law. The Williams Institute at UCLA estimates that more than 25,000 transgender people could lose their right to vote as a result of revised photo ID laws.

Keisling added, "Voter ID laws are dangerous. State legislatures have enacted them attempting to solve a fake problem. And as a result, transgender people--like students, veterans, low-income people of color, and older Americans--risk being denied ballots this year."

Getting accurate identification has been an old challenge for transgender people. Many states have overcome this problem by modernizing their laws on updating drivers licenses, making voting more accessible to transgender people. However, the passage of dozens of new voter ID laws and strict photo ID requirements will now make it much harder for many transgender people to vote.

"Every day, countless transgender Americans face challenges trying to secure IDs that reflect their true identity, and as a result, experience hardships in fundamental freedoms including the right to vote," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "We all deserve to make sure our voice is heard. These new strict-photo ID laws will adversely impact thousands of already disenfranchised Americans, many of whom are transgender people of color, who may also be low income, elderly or have a disability."

NCTE and GLAAD, one of our "Voting While Trans" campaign partners, urge transgender people to verify whether their voter registration information matches the name and address on their identification, and to consult NCTE’s “Voting While Trans” resources to find out how to protect their rights at the polling place. While it is not required in order to vote, transgender people who are able to update their photo ID are encouraged to do so.

To learn more or to speak with Mara Keisling, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at vvillano@transequality.org / (o) 202-903-0112, (c) 202-631-9640.


NCTE Launches the TONI Project, a New Site for Trans College Students

www.TransStudents.org is a first-of-its-kind Online Hub for Student to Share Information and Take Action

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) launched the Transgender On-campus Nondiscrimination Information (TONI) Project, our nation's first online hub for trans students to share trans-affirmative college policies and practices, and exchange ideas for organizing and action.

NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, "With the start of another academic year, the TONI Project is urgently needed. Colleges and universities have always been at the forefront of the progress we've made in trans inclusion. But there are still too many trans college students who have trouble getting to, paying for, and graduating from college." Keisling added, "That's why NCTE and our allies came together to develop this site and hope it'll go a long way to make the challenges of college life just a little bit easier to overcome."

Key features of the site include a searchable database of campus profiles that document a range of campus policies such as housing, records and documentation, healthcare, safety, and curricula. TONI is accessible tocurrent and prospective students in search of trans-affirmative colleges and universities. TONI Project usersalso have access to a community forum where they can share ideas for taking action.

Keisling added, “Study after study from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey to the Campus Climate Index tells us that trans and gender non-conforming college students face real problems on campus. Fifteen percent leave school because they faced severe harassment. We can’t continue to allow trans students to make choices as important as this without having all the information in front of them. And we have to hold colleges accountable for how they treat young people in our community.”

TONI serves as a tool to counteract these challenges, empowering transgender students to advocate for their rights and complete their education. As a platform for transgender students to connect and share valuable information, the TONI Project will spread valuable knowledge and encourage activism on campuses across the nation.

To learn more or to speak with Mara Keisling, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at vvillano@transequality.org / (o) 202-903-0112, (c) 202-631-9640.


NCTE Condemns Sensationalist Trans Segment on "Anderson Live"

Exclusive Anderson Cooper Interview Airing Tomorrow, Sept. 13th, Features Dangerous and Sensational Claims About Trans People

Washington, D.C. – Tomorrow, Anderson Live will feature an exclusive interview with a person who claims an anti-baldness drug made them transgender. In response to the show’s decision to air the segment, National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling said:

All of us here at the National Center for Transgender Equality are surprised, saddened and disappointed that a respected show like Anderson Live would give credence to this type of sensationalism and misinformation. This segment is just another case of sensationalizing an already marginalized population plain and simple.

The segment, as described on the Anderson Live website, says “Mandi, who was born male, speaks out for the first time, claiming that a hair loss treatment caused him to become transgender. Mandi is joined by her ex-wife, Michelle, who opens up about how Mandi’s identity transformation has affected their son.”

Keisling added, “In the past, Anderson Cooper and his team have earned a great deal of respect from trans people for their coverage of our issues. Tomorrow, they’ll throw all of that away. Worst of all, they seem set on misinforming the public about the causality of trans identity.”

Anderson Cooper’s other show, AC360 on CNN, airs a segment called “Keeping Them Honest,” in which he addresses hypocrisy among public figures and elected officials on, among other things, critical lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. NCTE urges transgender advocates and allies to keep Anderson Cooper honest about how this segment does real harm to real trans people.

“Anderson Cooper knows better than this. Anderson’s team is better than this,” said Keisling.

To learn more or to speak with Mara Keisling, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at vvillano@transequality.org / (o) 202-903-0112, (c) 202-631-9640.


NCTE Releases "Voting While Trans" Resources to Mitigate Impact of Voter ID Laws

Over 25,000 Trans Voters Could Expect Problems in the Fall

Download the resources

Washington, DC - The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) released two new resources to help address the impact of new voter ID laws. Conservative estimates from the Williams Institute at UCLA indicate that more than 25,000 transgender people could lose their right to vote.

NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, "Transgender people are already imagined to be committing gender fraud. Now these new voter ID laws could set us up to be accused of voter fraud." Keisling added, "Most transgender people have never had problems voting before but this year is different. When a transgender person shows up to a polling place with a name or appearance that isn't perceived to match their voter registration records or their photo ID, they could be turned away."

Voting While Trans: Preparing for the New Voter ID Laws will explain what identification transgender people need to vote in their state. And the Voting While Trans Checklist is a one-page guide to educate poll workers and election officials on the voting rights of transgender people.

Actress and transgender advocate Laverne Cox said "NCTE's new Voting While Trans resources are essential tools for trans folks to make sure we don't lose our right to vote in a critical election season."

The National Transgender Discrimination Surveya found that a third (33%) of the respondents who have transitioned have not been able to update any of their legal documents due to outdated medical requirements and cost. Keisling said, "Gender discrepancies on ID, suspicion based on appearance and the lack of the required form of ID may lead to, at best, confusion at the polls, and at worst, being denied a vote."

Transgender writer and advocate Janet Mock said "These restrictive voting measures don't only make it difficult for trans people to meet ID requirements, but these patchwork of laws attempts to suppress our voices and strip us of our right to stand behind the issues that matter most to us."

NCTE urges transgender people to use these resources to inform how they prepare to vote in their state. While many of these laws are currently being contested in courts and by the Department of Justice, transgender people are strongly encouraged to update their records assuming that the voter ID laws in their state go into effect on Election Day.

To speak with Laverne Cox, Mara Keisling or Janet Mock, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at vvillano@transequality.org / (o) 202-903-0112 (c) 202-631-9640. 


NCTE Joins 40 National LGBT Organizations in Condemning the Shooting at the Family Research Council

Joint statement regarding shooting at Family Research Council (FRC) from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations

We were saddened to hear news of the shooting this morning at the offices of the Family Research Council. Our hearts go out to the shooting victim, his family, and his co-workers.

The motivations and circumstances behind today's tragedy are still unknown, but regardless of what emerges as the reason for this shooting, we utterly reject and condemn such violence. We wish for a swift and complete recovery for the victim of this terrible incident.

Michael Adams Executive Director, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)

Tico Almeida President, Freedom to Work

Katie Belanger Executive Director, Fair Wisconsin

Wayne Besen Founding Executive Director, Truth Wins Out

A.J. Bockelman Executive Director, PROMO

Sharon Brackett Board Chair, Gender Rights Maryland

Carly Burton Deputy Director, MassEquality

Dr. Eliza Byard Executive Director, Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

Jennifer Chrisler Executive Director, Family Equality Council

Brad Clark Executive Director, One Colorado

R. Clarke Cooper Executive Director, Log Cabin Republicans

Dwayne Crenshaw Executive Director, San Diego LGBT Pride

Heather Cronk Managing Director, GetEQUAL

Jerame Davis Executive Director, National Stonewall Democrats

Ben de Guzman, Co-Director of Programs, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)

Emily Dievendorf Director of Policy, Equality Michigan

James Esseks Director, ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project

Lynn A. Faria Interim Executive Director, Empire State Pride Agenda

Jenna Frazzini Executive Director, Basic Rights Oregon

Joshua A. Friedes Spokesperson, Equal Rights Washington

Herndon Graddick President, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

Chad Griffin President, Human Rights Campaign (HRC)

Jody M. Huckaby Executive Director, PFLAG National (Parents, Families, Friends of Lesbians and Gays)

Mara Keisling Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality

Kate Kendell Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)

Abbe Land Executive Director & CEO, The Trevor Project

Gregory Lewis Executive Director, True Colors Fund

Eileen Ma Executive Director, API Equality-LA

David Mariner Executive Director, The DC Center for the LGBT Community

Ineke Mushovic Executive Director, Movement Advancement Project

National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs

Darlene Nipper Deputy Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Donna Red Wing Executive Director, One Iowa

Marisa Richmond, Ph.D. President, Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC)

Aubrey Sarvis Executive Director, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

Josh Seefried Co-Director, OutServe

Peggy Shorey Executive Director, Pride at Work

Brian Silva Executive Director, Marriage Equality USA

Lee Swislow Executive Director, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders

Rachel B. Tiven, Esq. Executive Director, Immigration Equality

Shane Windmeyer Executive Director, Campus Pride

Chuck Wolfe President & CEO, Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute

Evan Wolfson President, Freedom to Marry


HHS Affirms that Healthcare Discrimination Law Protects Against Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed that it views a 2010 law prohibiting sex discrimination in health care services as protecting from discrimination based on gender identity and gender stereotyping.

NCTE and ally organizations asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for clarification on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. In response, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has affirmed our view that the law banning sex discrimination in federally-funded health services includes discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

The HHS confirmation came in response to a letter to several LGBT organizations, including NCTE, seeking clarification of the law. In recent years, there has been a strong legal trend toward recognizing discrimination on these bases is covered under existing sex discrimination laws. The response noted that the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights will investigate such complaints and treat them as forms of discrimination based on sex, which is prohibited by law if an entity receives federal funds.

NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, "This anti-discrimination law, enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act, creates an important new tool to combat anti-LGBT and especially anti-transgender discrimination in health care.” The National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that one in five transgender people have been denied care by a medical provider. That survey and anecdotal evidence show that transgender people are too often turned away by doctors, mistreated by ambulance crews, and even thrown out of hospital emergency rooms.

"HHS affirms our position that these abuses are now clearly illegal," said Keisling. "But a law explicitly banning health care discrimination based on gender identity is the next step. Our community needs medical providers to know what their obligations are and passing a law is the strongest and clearest way to do that."

Because of this development, LGBT patients facing discrimination at hospitals, clinics, doctor's offices, or other medical providers that accept Medicare or Medicaid (or other forms of federal funding) can file complaints of discrimination with HHS and expect to have those complaints taken seriously. NCTE strongly urges transgender people who are facing harassment or discrimination to use our health care "know your rights" resource to advocate for respectful care.

To speak to Mara Keisling, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at 202-903-0112 / vvillano@transequality.org.


NCTE Policy Counsel Harper Jean Tobin Honored as a Top LGBT Lawyer Under 40

The National LGBT Bar Association has named National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) Policy Counsel Harper Jean Tobin as one of the "Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40." The annual award recognizes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal professionals under the age of 40 who have distinguished themselves in their field and demonstrated a profound commitment to LGBT equality.

In a competitive review process Tobin was recognized by her peers for her work in advancing the rights of transgender people. Her research, writing, legal expertise and leadership have led to significant policy victories including:

  • Release of PREA standards including respectful treatment of transgender prisoners Trained DMV employees from all 50 states and the District of Columbia on our model driver's license policy
  • HUD rule prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity for federally-funded and federally-insured housing programs
  • Removal of gender marker from the Social Security Administration's largest matching service, ending the involuntary outing of trans employees to their employers
  • Several federal agencies include gender identity in their EEO policies
  • Passage of a federal hate crimes law that includes gender identity with sexual orientation

"Harper Jean has quickly become one of the country's leading authorities on transgender law and federal policy," said Mara Keisling, NCTE Executive Director. "Without her, NCTE could not have achieved the tremendous federal policy gains for transgender equality that we have over the last few years. She has led our policy team with determination and commitment to the cause."

Tobin's writing on law, policy and transgender equality has been published in the Harvard Kennedy School's LGBTQ Policy Journal, Notre Dame's Journal of Legislation, the Yale Law Journal Pocket Part, the Columbia Journal of Gender & the Law, the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Clearinghouse Review, the National Law Journal, The Nation, and Roll Call.

Harper Jean also regularly provides commentary to national news publications like the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Advocate Magazine, and the Huffington Post. She received degrees in law and social work from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and is an alumna of Oberlin College.

To speak to Harper Jean Tobin, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at vvillano@transequality.org / 202-903-0112.


New analysis shows startling levels of discrimination against Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander transgender people

Download National Transgender Discrimination Survey: A Look at Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (API) Respondents

Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander (API) transgender and gender non-conforming people face high levels of discrimination according to an analysis released today, National Transgender Discrimination Survey: A Look at Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Respondents.

This analysis by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)is a supplement to the comprehensive national study released last year, the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, which revealed widespread discrimination experienced by transgender and gender non-conforming people across the board.

A key finding of the full report was that, even given the high levels of discrimination against all transgender people in the U.S., people of color experienced heightened levels of discrimination and had worse outcomes than the sample overall. API transgender people faced the combination of anti-transgender bias with structural and interpersonal racism.

"From employment discrimination to education to health care disparities, Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander transgender people are suffering at high rates due to bigotry, racism and transphobia," says Anjali Chaudhry, who serves on the board of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance. "This is unacceptable. NQAPIA is committed to bringing visibility to these inequities and to creating a world where transgender and gender non-conforming people can go about their daily lives without fear of discrimination, harassment or violence."

The new supplemental analysis was released at the 2012 NQAPIA Conference, which kicked off today in Washington, D.C. Among the findings: 

  • API transgender people had a high unemployment rate at 12 percent, nearly twice the rate of the general population at the time the survey was fielded (7 percent).
  • API transgender people often live in extreme poverty, with 18 percent reporting a household income of less than $10,000/year. This is higher than the rate for transgender people of all races (15 percent), six times the general API population rate (3 percent) and over four times the general U.S. population rate (4 percent).
  • API respondents who attended school as transgender people reported alarming rates of harassment (65 percent), physical assault (39 percent) and sexual assault (19 percent) in K-12; harassment was so severe that it led 11 percent to leave school. Six percent were also expelled due to bias.
  • Nearly 5 percent of API transgender people reported being HIV-positive and an additional 10 percent reported that they did not know their status.
  • Forty-four percent (44%) of API transgender and gender non-conforming people have experienced significant family acceptance. Those respondents who were accepted by their families were much less likely to face discrimination.

"The numbers make clear the way that racism, anti-immigrant and anti-transgender bias all work together, often with devastating results in the lives of API transgender people," says Darlene Nipper, deputy executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "This report is a critical call to action. We must ensure that we continue to work toward an LGBT movement that prioritizes immigration, racial and economic justice."

"These findings underscore the importance of recognizing that API transgender people are a significant and too often marginalized part of both API and LGBT communities, and a community that faces substantial and sometimes unique challenges," said Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. "And the broader racial justice analysis has too often excluded APIs. This research contributes to our long-held belief that policy makers must understand and act on the deep disparities that exist within people of color communities."

The National Transgender Discrimination Survey: A Look at Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Respondents is available in English, Chinese (traditional), Hindi, Korean, Tagalog, Tamil and Vietnamese.

To speak with Mara Keisling please contact Vincent Paolo Villano atvvillano@transequality.org / (o) 202-903-0112 (c) 202-631-9640.

Trans Americans Celebrate Health Care Victory at the Court

Decision Affirms Ban on Cancelling Care for Trans People and People Who Are HIV+

The nation's advocating on behalf of transgender people celebrate the ruling and express strong support for implementation of the law's key protections over the next two years.

Today the United States Supreme Court delivered a huge victory to nationwide efforts to establish a health care system that works for everyone, including transgender communities and the 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. By upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), today's decision delivers on the promise of health care for more than 30 million uninsured Americans.

In response to the U.S. Supreme Court's health care decision, NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, "the Supreme Court's decision is a historic ruling affirming a historic law."

Today's ruling upholds critical protections for transgender people and their families. We celebrate this ruling and the benefits it will have in improving access to quality, affordable health care for transgender people without discrimination. There is no doubt that this law will hugely benefit transgender people and all people in the coming years.

This is an important victory for transgender people and their families. The law addresses many of the most pressing problems impacting the health of transgender people and their access to quality care, including financial barriers to insurance coverage and to preventive health care, and discrimination in the insurance market and by health care providers.

Keisling said, "All the time, people tell me that their health care coverage has been denied or cancelled because they are trans or are living with HIV. Others tell me about doctors who refused to see them because they are trans. Fortunately, the Court looked at the health of our country with fairness and upheld the law ending the practice of denying or dropping coverage for pre-existing conditions and allowing other key provisions to take effect."

The preservation of the ACA is the best possible outcome for LGBT communities. According to Secretary Sebelius, LGBT people "face numerous barriers to health--from providers who don't understand their unique health needs to difficulty getting health insurance because they can't get coverage through a partner or spouse. And unfortunately, throughout our country many LGBT individuals still face discrimination and bigotry in the health care system." Fortunately, she notes, "the Affordable Care Act may represent the strongest foundation we have ever created to begin closing LGBT health disparities."

The law for the first time prohibits gender-based discrimination by most health care providers--a ban that extends to discrimination based on gender identity and gender stereotypes, and thus provides critical protection for LGBT people. The law will also prohibit insurers from denying or canceling insurance because a person is transgender or has HIV or another medical condition. It will provide premium credits and expanded Medicaid eligibility to enable many individuals and families to obtain insurance for the first time. The law requires plans to cover a range of key services, and prohibits co-pays for many routine tests and other preventive care. The law includes several provisions that can improve the health and well-being of LGBT older adults, such as strengthening Medicare, expanding Medicaid, improving community long-term services and supports, and providing additional elder abuse and nursing home transparency protections. And the law has tremendous potential to impact the fight against HIV/AIDS, which is still a major transgender health crisis, by expanding access to testing and treatment and supporting community prevention efforts.

The law is a milestone achievement in the long pursuit of LGBT health equity. We applaud the Court's ruling and we will continue working with HHS as the law is fully implemented.

In March of this year, NCTE issued a health care "know your rights" guide outlining laws and policies that offer protection for transgender people in health care. Download the resource here.

To speak to Mara Keisling, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at vvillano@transequality.org / 202-631-9640.


NCTE and SAGE Release Comprehensive New Resource on Transgender Older Adults

Download Improving the Lives of Transgender Older Adults: Recommendations for Policy and Practice | Executive Summary

Today, NCTE and Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) released Improving the Lives of Transgender Older Adults: Recommendations for Policy and Practice, a new resource on the current state of transgender aging. Transgender older adults face unique challenges including overwhelming disparities in health and health care access, employment, housing, and more. The report recognizes the importance of examining these factors as they directly affect the financial security, health, and overall well-being of older transgender individuals.

Transgender individuals face many challenges associated with aging, including declining health, diminished income, and the loss of friends and family. Yet they also face additional challenges such as discrimination and hostility when accessing the services meant to support older adults," said Michael Adams, Executive Director of SAGE. "Now, with this report, policymakers and aging service providers will gain a clear picture of the current state of transgender aging, and a roadmap of what they can do to improve policies and practices to ensure that transgender older adults age successfully."

The report includes a detailed literature review, profiles of personal experiences of transgender elders around the country, and more than 60 concrete recommendations for policymakers and practitioners. The Advisory Committee of the Transgender Aging Advisory Initiative identified four priority areas for policy advocacy to improve the lives of transgender older adults based on their expected impact if accomplished, as well as the expected feasibility of accomplishing them within the next 1-2 years:

  • Achieve inclusion and nondiscrimination in aging services by classifying LGBT older adults as a group with "greatest social need" and reauthorizing protections of older Americans to include LGBT people.
  • Promote best practices in long-term care by developing LGBT competency trainings and providing tools for long-term care facilities while including respect for the gender identity and expression of residents in specific guidelines.
  • Protect privacy in Social Security programs by updating the Social Security Administration (SSA) policies to permit individuals to change their gender designation without intrusive medical information while eliminating gender as a data field in SSA's automated verification programs.
  • Build a foundation of knowledge by including questions about gender identity and sexual orientation in federally-funded population-based surveys.

Harper Jean Tobin, NCTE Policy Counsel said, "Transgender older adults want to live healthy and independent lives and maintain dignity as they age. But this population faces unique challenges that the aging field as well as the LGBT community need to pay attention to."

NCTE and SAGE will continue to advocate for these policy changes to ensure that older transgender adults have access to the necessary services and are treated with respect.

To speak to Harper Jean Tobin or Michael Adams, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at vvillano@transequality.org / 202-631-9640.


VICTORY: Landmark Standards Released Today Aim to End Prison Rape and Abuse

The U.S. Department of Justice today released landmark National Standards to Prevent, Detect and Respond to Prison Rape. Building on the recommendations provided by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and many allied advocates, the Standards include critical provisions for the operation of prisons and the treatment of transgender and gender nonconforming inmates, all aimed at ending sexual abuse.

These standards represent nearly a decade of study and effort to comprehensively address rampant sexual abuse in confinement. The standards address several problems transgender people, as well as those with intersex conditions, face, including:

  • Requiring a case-by-case consideration for housing in a male or female facility that is not based on genital status, meaning more trans women will be housed with other women.
  • Limiting the use of isolating “protective custody” that can amount to torture.
  • Limiting the use of segregated LGBTI units that are often treated as a quick fix and can stigmatize individuals.
  • Requiring staff training for professional communication with and treatment of transgender and gender nonconforming inmates and those with intersex conditions to aid in assessing inmate vulnerabilities to sexual abuse.
  • Banning the search or physical examination of transgender inmates and those with intersex conditions solely for determining their genital status.
  • Minimizing stigma and the threat of abuse from staff by disallowing dedicated LGBTQI units and facilities.
  • Requiring facilities to have multiple channels for reporting abuse without placing a time limit on when inmates can file grievances.

NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, “We have an obligation as civilized people to protect the people we incarcerate. That has always been an American promise, but one we have barely tried to keep. These new standards, if fully implemented, have the potential to help us keep that promise at least in terms of sexual assault."

More than 216,000 youth and adults are sexually abused in prisons, jails and juvenile detention facilities each year. A new report released today by the Department of Justice confirmed that LGBT people face shocking rates of sexual abuse, and our analysis shows that more than one in three transgender former inmates was sexually abused. Studies have shown that trans women are thirteen times more likely than others to be sexually assaulted while incarcerated. Seven percent of respondents in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey reported being locked up at some point in their lives due to their gender identity. These rates skyrocketed for Black (41%) and Latino/a (21%) people.

“These statistics point to a grave failure to protect individuals from abuse,” said NCTE Policy Counsel Harper Jean Tobin. “If the DOJ statistics are true, the problem can only be more pervasive for transgender inmates. And combining the trauma of sexual abuse with inadequate medical and health care may lead to other poor health outcomes like depression, substance abuse, and increased HIV infections that all take a heavy toll on survivors and their families”

Keisling added, “The safety of trans people behind bars is of particular concern because too often trans people are incarcerated only because they are transgender or because of how they’ve been forced to live because of being trans.”

One critical gap in the new standards is their failure to fully and immediately cover facilities dedicated to housing individuals detained for immigration purposes. Without these standards, transgender and other immigrant detainees remain at risk for abuse. Under a memorandum issued by President Obama today, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services are required to develop their own standards to implement PREA over the next eight months. NCTE calls upon DHS and HHS to act swiftly within the 120-day deadline to promulgate rules that are fully equivalent to the new standards.

Congress unanimously passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) in 2003. Since that time, a Congressionally-appointed commission and the Department of Justice have held countless hearings and three separate public comment periods to develop these standards. LGBT survivors and advocates weighed in at every step of the process, and NCTE worked with other LGBT advocates including the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Transgender Law Center, Immigration Equality, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and others to jointly file more than 100 pages of comments regarding the standards over the past two years.

The final standards apply to all prisons, jails, police lock-ups, juvenile detention centers, and community confinement facilities nationwide that accept federal funds. Federal prisons must comply immediately, while all other facilities have one year to comply. Violators could face federal funding penalties.

NCTE and other advocates will continue to work with the Department of Justice and the Administration to ensure swift implementation of these standards, and work to ensure that immigrant detainees are protected from sexual abuse.

To speak to Mara Keisling, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at vvillano@transequality.org / 202-631-9640.


NCTE Welcomes Obama Administration's Endorsement of Safe Schools Bills

Executive Director Mara Keisling: "Congress must act quickly to protect our transgender young people."

In response to President Obama's endorsement of the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) and the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA), NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said:

"These two safe schools bills are just tremendously important to trans youth and President Obama's endorsement is another example of his broad commitment to trans people and trans issues. We are thankful to Senators Al Franken and Bob Casey and Representatives Jared Polis and Linda Sanchez for their leadership on these issues. According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, trans and gender nonconforming young people face startling amounts of harassment, assault and sexual violence at school, with more extreme rates of harassment and violence among trans youth of color. Trans kids are hurting and we have a way to stop that. Congress must act quickly to protect our transgender young people."

To speak to Mara Keisling, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at vvillano@transequality.org / 202-631-9640.


Updated Advisory: NCTE's Mara Keisling to be a Featured Guest on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry Show

Keisling joins a panel of advocates talking about the trans movement, employment nondiscrimination

When Sunday, April 15, 2012, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT
What

For the first time in recent memory, a major television network will dedicate an hour-long panel to discussing transgender social and political issues. NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling will be a featured guest on the show joining other recognized experts on trans issues. The panel will focus broadly on advancing transgender equality and other political issues.

Mara Keisling is the founding Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. Mara is a transgender woman and a parent. As one of the nation’s leading voices for transgender equality, Mara has appeared on news outlets such as CNN and CSPAN, and is regularly quoted in the New York Times, the Washington Post and hundreds of other national and local print and electronic media.

Keisling will be joined by:

  • Kate Bornstein, a writer and performance artist
  • Joy-Ann Reid, MSNBC Contributor and Managing Editor of TheGrio.com
  • Allison Kilkenny, reporter for The Nation
  • Mel Wymore, openly trans candidate to the New York City Council, and
  • Kai Wright, Editorial Director of Colorlines.com

Follow NCTE on Twitter at @TransEquality for updates and reactions. Use the #nerdland and #trans hashtags. Click here for more information.

To speak to Mara Keisling, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at vvillano@transequality.org / 202-631-9640.


Victory for Trans Immigration Documents and Marriage Benefits

NCTE and Immigration Equality Applaud President Obama for Taking Important Action

Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a Policy Memorandum revising the treatment of gender designations for transgender people on their immigration documents. The new guidance also make clear that if a couple has married as a different-sex couple under state law, the federal government will not deny that recognition regardless of a person's prior or subsequent gender transition.

The revisions will be updated in the Adjudicator's Field Manual, a guide binding all USCIS staff overseeing immigration procedures.

NCTE Policy Counsel Harper Jean Tobin said, "Today's announcement is another example of the Obama Administration's long-term commitment to equality. These revisions mean that trans people and their families can obtain accurate identification while maintaining their privacy. It'll also reduces bureaucratic delays, intrusive questions, and wrongful denials of immigration benefits.”

Significantly, the gender designation change is modeled after the U.S. State Department's updated passport policy, which does not require sex reassignment surgery. "This Guidance is an important step forward for transgender immigrants and their families," said Victoria Neilson, legal director for Immigration Equality. "It brings USCIS in line with DOS in its guidance for updating gender markers on identity documents - no longer requiring any specific surgery, but instead allowing a doctor to certify the individual's gender."

NCTE has been working with Immigration Equality to advance these urgently needed policies, part of our comprehensive agenda for the fair treatment of transgender immigrants. Neilson added, "The memo affirms existing law and precedents, and recognizes that if a marriage is considered valid and opposite sex under state law, it is valid for immigration purposes."

"And while these two revisions aid trans immigrants, U.S. Citizens who marry immigrants, they only highlight the need to eliminate the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act," said Tobin.

For specific questions about taking advantage of this guidance, please contact Immigration Equality here.

For more information or to speak with Harper Jean Tobin or Victoria Neilson, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at 202-631-9640 / vvillano@transequality.org or Steve Ralls at 202-347-7007 / sralls@immigrationequality.org


NCTE Statement on Federal Contractors Executive Order: Expansion of Policy Urgently Needed

Washington, D.C. - Today, NCTE responded to news that the White House is not yet ready to issue the executive order banning discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation for employees of federal contractors. NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said:

"NCTE joins national LGBT advocates, countless numbers of businesses, and three-quarters of the public in urging President Obama to expand existing workplace protections to include trans employees of federal contractors. It's a problem we've documented in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey showing that 97 percent of transgender people have been harassed at work. Twenty-six percent said they were fired because they are trans or gender nonconforming."

Over the last several years, NCTE has joined national advocates from the Center for American Progress, the Williams Institute, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Freedom to Work, and the Human Rights Campaign in pressing President Obama to expand Executive Order 11246 to include gender identity and sexual orientation. In response to reports that movement on this executive order would be delayed, Mara Keisling said:

"President Obama right now has the power to stop trans employees of federal contractors from getting fired on the job. Of course, we also need the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, but we can solve a small but important part of the problem now. What we know is that the White House is going to take a more active role in addressing anti-LGBT discrimination in the workplace. But trans people and their loved ones can’t wait. We need to get this done as quickly as we can, and NCTE will continue to work with the White House to make sure that we do."

For more information or to speak with Mara Keisling, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at 202-631-9640 / vvillano@transequality.org.


NCTE Recognizes Miss Universe Organization for Commitment to Transgender Inclusion

In response to news that the Miss Universe Organization will announce a final policy allowing transgender women to participate in its beauty pageants, NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said:

"No one likes it when they're left out of something because of who they are. This is especially true for transgender people—people like Jenna Talackova—who are denied opportunities because they're told that who they are is 'unnatural.' So I get that Jenna probably still doesn't feel good about the situation. But it's a noteworthy thing for a group like the Miss Universe Organization and Donald Trump to switch positions allowing Jenna to participate, and to commit to developing transgender inclusive rules. This is a good thing, and it's a sign of how more and more people get trans issues."

The National Center for Transgender Equality, a social justice policy and advocacy organization, recognizes the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and other groups for quickly engaging senior levels of the organization including its owner, Donald Trump, to update the policy. NCTE has spoken out about Jenna's experience and has provided GLAAD with resources to assist the Miss Universe Organization in developing their final policy.

In a statement issued today, GLAAD clarified their work with the Miss Universe Organization. GLAAD spokesperson Herndon Graddick said, “Jenna and all of the LGBT advocates who have called for this change and spoken out in support of transgender women are to be commended. At a time when transgender people are still routinely denied equal opportunities in housing, employment and medical care, today’s decision is in line with the growing levels of public support for transgender people across the country.”

Keisling added, "We thank Jenna for standing up for herself and for all of us. Her case is just one in hundreds of examples where a person has something taken away—a job, a house, or a loved one—because they're trans. And not every trans person gets access to legal representation to help them. There are too many other stories of trans people who experience unbearable circumstances. The support Jenna has received must also support other trans people. And I believe that progress here can influence change in other places that impact our lives."

NCTE understands the legitimate position that beauty pageants reinforce narrow standards of women's beauty. However, we will always support any trans person who is facing discrimination.

For more information or to speak with Mara Keisling, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at 202-903-0112 / vvillano@transequality.org.


New LGBT Housing Discrimination Rule Now In Effect

NCTE Releases “Know Your Rights” Resource for Transgender People

Yesterday, new Obama Administration housing regulations went into effect strengthening protections for transgender and LGBT people. The regulations, announced by U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, make discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation in federal housing programs illegal.  

NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, “We are pleased that Secretary Donovan heard our concerns, and moved quickly to protect our community.”

The new rule, having completed a mandatory 30-day waiting period, updates current federal housing and housing-related programs prohibiting owners and operators of federally-funded or federally-insured housing, as well as lenders offering federally-insured mortgages from discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation; and clarifying the definition of "family" to ensure that LGBT families are not excluded from HUD programs.

With the rule now in effect, NCTE released a new resource to assist transgender people in understanding their rights. NCTE Policy Counsel Harper Jean Tobin said, “These regulations are a significant advancement in fair housing access for transgender people. The next step is ensuring that transgender people know their rights and can educate housing administrators about them.”

The guide, called “Know Your Rights: Fair Housing and Transgender People,” identifies transgender protections in current law, and outlines the process for reporting discrimination claims. Research from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey show that 19% of transgender and gender non-conforming people had been refused a home or apartment and 11% had been evicted because of their gender identity or expression. The study also showed that 19% of transgender people have been homeless at some point in their lives, and 29% of those had been turned away from homeless shelters and a majority were harassed when they could get in to a shelter.

“It is our hope,” Tobin said, “that this guide helps empower transgender people to assert their rights, and add to the strength of the regulations and the recent guidance on the Fair Housing Act to ensure that no one is denied housing because of who they are.”

For more information or to speak with Mara Keisling or Harper Jean Tobin, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at 202-903-0112 / vvillano@transequality.org.


NCTE Welcomes Transgender Protections in Immigration Detention

PREA rules and other reforms still needed

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) welcomes the release of revised standards for immigration detention from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. These new standards are an important step forward in the treatment of transgender people in detention facilities. However questions remain about how and when the standards will be implemented, and about ICE's commitment to implementing a law to prevent sexual abuse, and moving away from a prison-like detention model.

ICE's new detention standards incorporate for the first time key principles for protecting the health and safety of transgender detainees. These principles include making housing decisions on an individual basis that looks to protect the individuals rather than focusing on their sexual anatomy - a change that should permit transgender women to be more frequently housed in women's facilities. The new standards also require that all transgender people have access to hormone therapy and other necessary medical care.

"These new standards, if fully implemented have the potential to create meaningful improvements in detention conditions," said Harper Jean Tobin, NCTE Policy Counsel. "That can only happen if they are fully implemented and facilities that contract with ICE face real consequences for noncompliance. And, reform cannot stop there. The new standards are still based on a prison model where individuals lack privacy, dignity, and freedom of movement."

NCTE has worked with a broad and diverse coalition of human rights groups to advocate for improvement in the often harsh conditions for detained immigrants, including many who came to the U.S. fleeing persecution because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

These improvements, consistent with the Administration's call to overhaul the immigration detention system, marks significant progress but does not fully address the concerns facing transgender immigrant detainees. The standards are also not an adequate substitute for applying the forthcoming rules to implement the Prison Rape Elimination Act, which comprehensively address the prevention of sexual abuse, to all immigration detention facilities.

NCTE calls on ICE to undertake the following, lifesaving changes:

  • Work swiftly to fully apply the new standards to all facilities and impose strong sanctions for noncompliance;
  • Fully adopt and abide by forthcoming national rules to implement the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003; and,
  • Develop and implement new, binding standards for civil confinement that are not based on a correctional model.

NCTE will continue to advocate with ICE and other relevant government agencies to enforce these new standards, make them even stronger, and making sure the forthcoming Prison Rape Elimination Standards are applied to immigration detention centers.

For more information or to speak to Harper Jean Tobin, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at 202-903-0112 / vvillano@transequality.org.


New Resource: Preparing for Airport Security

While more transgender and gender non-conforming people get through airport security without any incidents, the National Center for Transgender Equality urges travelers to understand their rights before going through airport security and with our new resource Airport Security and Transgender People.

The seasonly Holiday travel uptick can mean things are more hectic and potentially more confusing for travelers and for Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) than usual. Airport security practices do not allow transgender travelers to completely avoid invasive screenings or pat-downs. However, all travelers have a right to safety, privacy, and respect.

Learn more here.

Download the resource here.


White House, John Berry Observe Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20, 2012 marks the 14th observance of Transgender Day of Remembrance, an international day of rememberance of the people lost to anti-transgender fear, discrimination, and violence. National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling said:

    "Today, NCTE is in solemn vigil for the transgender people we've lost to senseless anti-transgender violence. Transgender Day of Remembrance is a chilling reminder that the work we all do too often comes too late for many in our community. So, today, we reflect on the people we've lost. And tomorrow, we renew our commitment to ending the discrimination and violence that keeps many more of us imprisoned with fear."

As part of Transgender Day of Remembrance, NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling and NCTE Director of Policy Harper Jean Tobin, along with two dozen other transgender advocates, joined the White House to discuss policies that make transgender lives safer.

Read more here.


NCTE Statement on the 9th Circuit Court Ruling

Mara Keisling: “This is an important victory for transgender people.”

Washington, D.C. – Today, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Proposition 8, a 2008 California ballot measure banning marriage equality in the state, is unconstitutional. In response, NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said:
“Transgender people, their partners and their families are too often caught in the middle of these kinds of laws. And today, the Ninth Circuit Court joined our community in recognizing Proposition 8 for what it is–a discriminatory attack on decency and common sense, motivated by prejudice and discrimination. Today’s ruling is about ensuring that our laws are clean of prejudice, and truly protects us all. Regardless of the make-up of our relationships, the ruling once again shows that justice and equality are advancing.”

We congratulate the plaintiffs, their counsel, and all Californians on this important victory.

For more information or to speak to Mara Keisling, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at 202-903-0112 / vvillano@transequality.org.


NCTE Condemns Violence in Oak Creek, WI and Joplin, MO

NCTE joins the National Queer Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) and nearly two dozen other national LGBT organizations in condemning the shooting at the Sikh gurdwara (temple) in Oak Creek, WI and the arson at a mosque in Joplin, MO.

Transgender people and particularly transgender people of color often experience similar kinds of violence:

The LGBTQ communities we work with and serve are no strangers to violence in our midst. We know our communities are threatened on a daily basis by the many faces of hate and intolerance- not just because of our sexuality or gender identity, but because of our race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, ability, and too many other facets of our identities. We stand in solidarity against all forms of violence, as well as the hate and intolerance that all too often propagate it.

Read the full statement here.



NCTE Release Guide to New Protections Against Prison Rape

Download the resource here.

More than 200,000 youth and adults are sexually abused in prisons, jails and juvenile detention facilities each year, and a disproportionate number are transgender and gender nonconforming people. NCTE has created a fact sheet regarding the new standards, which were called for by the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA), and which facilities across the country will have to follow in order to maintain federal funding or required accreditations. Transgender Prisoners and the Prison Rape Elimination Act highlights and explains the sections most relevant to transgender people, the broader LGBT community, and those people with intersex conditions.

Read more here.


Trans Americans Celebrate Health Care Victory at the Court

Decision Affirms Ban on Cancelling Care for Trans People and People Who Are HIV+

The nation's advocating on behalf of transgender people celebrate the ruling and express strong support for implementation of the law's key protections over the next two years.

Today the United States Supreme Court delivered a huge victory to nationwide efforts to establish a health care system that works for everyone, including transgender communities and the 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. By upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), today's decision delivers on the promise of health care for more than 30 million uninsured Americans.

In response to the U.S. Supreme Court's health care decision, NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, "the Supreme Court's decision is a historic ruling affirming a historic law."

Read the full statement here.


Community Call: What the U.S. Supreme Court's Ruling on Health Care Means for You

Thursday, June 28, 2012, 8:00 PM EST - 9:00 PM EST.

RSVP Here.

This Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court will issue its decision on the landmark health care reform law, known as the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act has already extended insurance coverage to 6.6. million young Americans, banned lifetime limits on coverage, banned sex and gender identity in health care services, and in 2014, will prohibit insurance companies from denying or cancelling care because someone is transgender or has HIV or another medical condition.

Right now, these new protections are at risk of being taken away by the Supreme Court. Join us for a community call on Thursday evening to learn about what the Court’s opinion means for these health care rights and how it may affect your coverage.

Learn more here.


NCTE Release Student's "Know Your Rights" Guide

Download the guide.

Following the Obama Administration's groundreaking letter to primary and secondary schools clarifying who is protected under Title IX, courts and federal agencies have concluded that discrimination or harassment because a person is transgender or gender nonconforming constitute sex discrimination.

Read more here.


NCTE Release Trans Job Discrimination Know Your Rights Guide

Following the groundbreaking U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruling protecting transgender people under the Title VII sex discrimination law, we now know that the EEOC will take seriously and work to resolve claims of anti-trans discrimination. To help individuals understand and assert their rights in the workplace, the National Center for Transgender Equality is releasing Know Your Rights: Employment Discrimination and Transgender People, a new resource outlining the laws protecting trans people in the workplace and steps for reporting job discrimination.

Read more here .


New Fact Sheet: Sexual and Reproductive Health for Transgender People"

Download the Sexual and Reproductive Health Fact SheetLast week, in honor of National LGBT Health Awareness Week, we released a preview of this resource highlighting nine facts about sexual and reproductive health for transgender people. Too often, transgender people don'™t seek medical care out of fear of discrimination or harassment. Other times, they don't receive adequate care because their providers are unsure about what questions should be asked, or what screenings or treatments are needed.

The resource, Transgender Sexual and Reproductive Health: Unmet Needs and Barriers to Care, provides an overview of what providers can do to improve care.

Read more about the fact sheet here.
Download the resource here.


NCTE Releases Trans "Know Your Rights" Health Care Guide, Celebrates LGBT Health Awareness Week

Keisling on the Affordable Care Act Supreme Court Hearings: "It's a difficult position to be in knowing how much is at risk."

Download Health Care Rights GuideToday, as the National LGBT Health Awareness Week comes to a close, the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) released Health Care Rights and Transgender People. The guide lays out the rights and protections transgender people have in health care, and the process for reporting instances of discrimination.

Read more about the resource here.


99 Steps Toward Transgender Equality

Download our new resource, "A Blueprint for Equality: A Federal Agenda for Transgender People"

Download Blueprint for Equality ResourceThe movement for transgender equality has grown in size and complexity since NCTE began its advocacy efforts. And throughout our success and challenges, we have honed our strategy, and developed a deeper understanding of the work still needed to be done. This agenda, outlined as 99 policy steps in 17 broad policy issues, will help us guide our advocacy efforts.

Read more about the resource here.
Download individual chapters in the "Federal Issues" tab in our resources page.


In Response to Crackdown on Occupy Encampments, NCTE and Allies Issues a Trans Direct Action Resource

Trans People May Face Increased Risk of Mistreatment, Violence, and Arrest

Download the Resource
English | Spanish

Washington, D.C. - Today, two blocks from our office, the National Park Service planned to evict Occupy D.C. protestors in McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza in accordance to a D.C. "no camping" rule. While many protestors have complied with the eviction notices, other demonstrators have ignored the National Park Service and have hunkered down in continued protest.

As reported by Gay City News, transgender people have been central figures from the beginning of the Occupy Movement, adding to a long history transgender people participating in direct actions.

According to Mara Keisling, "Because of this historical participation by transgender people in direct actions, NCTE wants to make sure trans people are well informed as they exercise their free speech and political power."

The removal of Occupy D.C. encampments comes on the heels of Occupations facing increasing tensions from police authorities across the country, with one DC protestor being Tazed by a Park Police officer yesterday and over four hundred arrests in demonstrations in Oakland, CA and New York, NY last week.

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) welcomes the conversations sparked by the Occupy Movement. Transgender people who face twice the rate of unemployment in the United States are among the 99% who will be well served by efforts to correct the imbalance of economic opportunity and political power in this country.

Keisling said, "From here in the nation's capital, even when we've seen solutions to the problems and inequalities, we've seen them ignored. Our economic and political conditions worsen as our country goes in circles about the details of various policies and which powerful interests are in the way. And smart non-violent direct actions can be an equally powerful way to bring attention to policies that can help everyone."

However, NCTE also urges transgender people and their allies participating to consider the consequences. Participating in direct actions may put transgender people at increased risk of mistreatment, violence, and arrest. This resource, which was co-created with our allies at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, is a basic guide to understanding a range of factors including detainment procedures, identity documents, and the associated risks participating in a demonstration as an undocumented trans person, or as a trans person with a disability.

Keisling added, "From the Compton Cafeteria riots to Stonewall, transgender people have been at the forefront of our struggle for transgender equality, and the equality of opportunity for others in our country. That isn't going to change and trans people should be aware of their rights and the risk they take when continuing to advance these rights through direct action."

For more information or to speak to Mara Keisling, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at 202-903-0112 / vvillano@transequality.org.


NCTE Commends LGBT Military Magazine for Addressing Open Transgender Service

NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling Interviewed Extensively Alongside Groundbreaking Profiles of Transgender Service Members and Veterans

Washington, D.C. - In their groundbreaking January edition, OutServe Magazineprofiles six current transgender service members and veterans, some sharing their stories in public for the first time. The article, entitled "The New DADT: Transgender Service," highlights the daily challenges transgender people face serving in silence, and the urgently needed policy changes necessary for ending this ban.

Despite the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," open transgender military service remains banned due to outdated military medical regulations. Mara Keisling spoke with the author of the article, Katherine Miller, about how to change these regulations. Keisling noted the significant progress federal agencies like the Department of Veterans Affairs have made that could be foundational for the Armed Forces to begin making these changes.

Keisling told Miller that there is no reason why the military cannot be objective about using rational criteria to determine if a trans person is fit to serve. Keisling said, "the range of trans people is huge. Some people may have already transitioned entirely by the time they want to serve. Some people may identify as trans but have no desire to physically transition. But they're still not allowed to serve because the disqualification is condition-based, not dependent upon the individual."

Commenting on the article, Keisling added, "Stories of transgender service members are crucial to getting the military to end this ban. NCTE commends Outserve for telling these important stories, and I am hopeful that this will start the conversations that will lead to social and cultural changes making it safe for anyone who wants to serve our country do so proudly."

To view the article in its entirety, please visit www.outservemag.com.

While the ban on open transgender service exists, NCTE urges current transgender service members to read our guidance issued with the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network to understand the consequences of coming out.

For more information or to speak to Mara Keisling, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at 202-903-0112 / vvillano@transequality.org.


NCTE Praises New Federal Regulations Ensuring Fair Access to Housing

New Rule Makes LGBT Housing Discrimination Illegal

Baltimore, MD - Today, the Obama Administration announced historic new federal rules that will strengthen housing discrimination protections for transgender and other LGBT people. The new regulations were announced by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan at the 24th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, and will be officially published this coming week.

Secretary Shaun Donovan said, "Today, I am proud to announce a new Equal Access to Housing Rule that says clearly and unequivocally that LGBT individuals and couples have the right to live where they choose."

The new rule makes several urgently needed changes to current federal housing and housing-related programs including: prohibiting owners and operators of federally-funded or federally-insured housing, as well as lenders offering federally-insured mortgages from discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation; and clarifying the definition of "family" to ensure that LGBT families are not excluded from HUD programs.

Secretary Donovan said, "If you are denying HUD housing to people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, actual or perceived, you're discriminating, you're breaking the law, and you will be held accountable. That's what equal access means, and that's what this rule is going to do."

The Obama Administration has previously clarified that people who face any housing discrimination based on gender identity or gender stereotypes can file complaints under the federal Fair Housing Act.

According to Harper Jean Tobin, NCTE Policy Counsel, "this is a major and urgently needed advancement in basic protections for transgender people. NCTE is calling on other federal departments to follow HUD's common-sense approach and use existing legal authority to prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in the programs they fund and administer. We applaud Secretary Donovan and the Obama Administration for this much needed relief for transgender people."

Mara Keisling added, "We are very pleased that, just as he said at NCTE's Awards Ceremony in November, HUD has clearly listened to our concerns with earlier drafts of the regulations and made them even stronger."

In announcing the draft rules early last year, HUD cited The National Transgender Discrimination Survey conducted by NCTE and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, showing that 19% of transgender and gender non-conforming people had been refused a home or apartment and 11% had been evicted because of their gender identity or expression. The study also showed that 19% of transgender people have been homeless at some point in their lives, and 29% of those had been turned away from homeless shelters and a majority were harassed when they could get in to a shelter.

The new rule will be officially published this coming week and will take effect 30 days later. NCTE will release an analysis of the new rule and what it means for transgender people once the final rules are published.

For more information or to speak to Harper Jean Tobin, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at 202-903-0112 / vvillano@transequality.org.


Open Conference Call: Transgender Federal Policy in 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012, 8:00 PM EST.

Speakers: NCTE Executive Director, Mara Keisling and Policy Counsel, Harper Jean Tobin

After a very successful 2011, NCTE is ready for the new year. In fact several more victories are lined up for the coming months. Join us to learn about what is ahead and build on the successes of last year.

There are a limited number of lines available for this call. You must register here to participate.


 

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