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..
Our Advocacy Goals
Reduce state harm and violence against Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming people.
- 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.
- Work to remove cost and need to see a judge for legal processing/name change/gender marker change
- Work with other groups and organizations to do direct action organizing and work to end the Prison Industrial Complex
Work to increase sustainable employment for Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming people.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Advocacy Team Testimonials
“I am honored and blessed to be on this team. It was challenging because it was my first time doing this work. [I enjoyed] hearing about the separate projects that advocacy members were passionate about. [Being on the advocacy team] meant a lot to me, I got to express the [values] of GJL and myself. It was a challenge to communicate with people, but I really enjoyed the opportunity to speak on the Equity Act in Senators Pricialla’s town hall. Meeting her, and the letter of appreciation I received from her, was something I did not expect. I took away a lot of tools from the Advocacy Team. Mahkyra supported me with [accessing] tools, and supporting my professional career. This was a huge opportunity which opened the door for my advocacy and musical career.”
“I enjoyed seeing where different people were in their experiences. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and levels of advocacy work, seeing where they are right now and the opportunities they were offered was amazing. Whenever you speak in person in front of a legislative committee, it brings feelings to the room. You get to see people’s comfort levels, and build upon them. I would love to see more [representation of] the transgender community in [the next advocacy team]. It would be good to see more gender diversity.”
I learned about different bills that our LGBTQ representatives must go over, so we all can obtain equal rights in WA State. I also learned that, when talking to the media, to not repeat negative comments, because it gives the opposition power, and if talking to the press, to be quick and to the point.
“I most enjoyed the flexibility to pursue a project I was passionate about instead of just being assigned something.”