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.
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.
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.
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.