Advocacy

Gender Justice League’s goals are to provide both 1-on-1 peer and community-based advocacy. GJL’s model is to build, grow, train, and mobilize the Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming communities to address the systemic oppression we face (such as discrimination, harassment, exclusion from gender-segregated services, etc.) through leadership development. We held our first leadership training cohort in early Spring 2014. Peer advocates will work 1-on-1 with Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming people, assisting them in navigating complicated community and state resources. Community Advocates will work to build coalitions, position statements, community advocacy training, and mobilization efforts to impact both public and private decisions makers to address the widespread disparities Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming people face. Our policy efforts will be based on a shared and collective decision making process.

Advocacy Programs:

1-on-1 Advocacy

1-on-1 Advocacy will offer Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming community members with peer-based support in accessing resources, services, learning more about legal rights, and strategizing ways to navigate service providers who may be hostile. Peer-based advocacy is not a professional service, it is a way to connect with other Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming people who have had similar experiences, learn about tactics and strategies to access care, and get connected to service providers who have been trained and are deemed “Trans Safe Spaces” by Gender Justice League. Gender Justice League does not seek to duplicate services, but build Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming people’s self-determination and provide options in accessing already existing services.

 

Community Advocacy

At our first strategic planning retreat, Gender Justice League members identified community based advocacy efforts to be one of our key priorities. These efforts include grassroots organizing to make demands for policy change of both private organizations, companies, and educational institutions as well as local, state, and federal government.  Gender Justice League members will work to mobilize the Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming community to make clear demands, call for the enforcement of  so-called “good” laws and policies such as non-discrimination ordinances, and work to encourage culture change within Washington State that facilitates these processes. Often Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming people are unable to seek protections and enforcement of non-discrimination laws, hate crimes laws often target the very communities they propose to protect –our community advocacy efforts will seek grassroots and community-based solutions for Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming and gender non-conforming people to live their lives safely, free from discrimination, reduce violence from police or private people, and free to be themselves.

Our Advocacy Goals:

Goal 1: Reduce state harm and violence against Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming people.

  1. Collaborate with policy makers and allies to reduce state violence against Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming people.
    By state violence we mean: Gender Justice League defines “State Violence” as specific acts of government agencies, law enforcement, or the legislature to criminalize Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming people or that fail to protect the internationally recognized our human rights. This may include work to reduce policing and imprisonment of Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming by advocating for community-based alternatives to the current police and prison reliant policies. We also will seek to reduce the exclusion of Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming people from healthcare and state-funded programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. We will work to make it easier to file and prove claims of discrimination with the Human Rights Commission, City of Seattle Civil Rights Office, and similar agencies and programs offering civil rights protections.
  2. Work to remove cost and need to see a judge for legal processing/name change/gender marker change
  3. Work with other groups and organizations to do direct action organizing and work to end the Prison Industrial Complex

Goal 2: Work to increase sustainable employment for Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming people.

1. Work with Worksource and other job and vocational training programs to increase their capacity to serve Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming people.  This includes broadening “gender restricted” job training programs to be open to people who do not fit their rigid gender definitions.

2. Educate with local business leaders about the alarming rates of poverty and unemployment in the Trans* community. Gender Justice League will increase the amount of community discussion and dialogue about the severe problems of unemployment, homelessness, and poverty affecting all trans* and gender non-conforming people. We will work together with local business leaders to develop solutions to these problems.

3. Work with local organizations to develop or adapt a training handbook for Human Resource Departments on Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming people in the workplace. Having a non-discrimination law is not enough, Gender Justice League will work to provide education and resources to employers, human resource professionals, universities, colleges, and schools to understand how to implement non-discrimination laws fairly and effectively.

Goal 3: Engage in advocacy and education work with service providers to increase access to safe, affirming, and affordable care for Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming people.

    1. Increase access to housing shelter and public accommodation
    2. Advocate with both public and private entities to increase insurance coverage for Trans* healthcare. This including any care deemed medically necessary by Trans* people’s health providers.
    3. Work in collaboration and coalitions to engage in  policy change work that will lead to large and small changes. 
    4. Impact legal and medical interactions by providing education, demanding enforcement of non-discrimination laws, and protesting providers when they discriminate against Trans* and Gender-Non-Conforming people
    5. Educate doctors, hospitals and other healthcare agencies on issues facing Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming people in medical settings, and on how to provide the best possible treatment.
    6. Reach out to doctors, hospitals and other healthcare agencies to support ICATH (Informed Consent for Access to Trans Health).
    7. Create a network of providers who are trained and designated as Trans* Safe Space providers.