Our 1-on-1 advocates offer trans & gender diverse community members peer-based support in accessing resources and services, learning more about legal rights, strategizing ways to navigate service providers, and more.
We have supported community members in accessing and navigating:
- Shelter and housing
- Gender-affirming healthcare and mental healthcare
- Name and gender documentation processes
Our community advocates conduct grassroots organizing to make demands for policy change of private organizations, companies, and educational institutions; as well as local, state, and federal government. We mobilize trans & gender diverse communities 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 WA State that facilitates these processes. We seek community-based solutions to reduce state violence, and for our communities to live safely, free from discrimination, and free to be ourselves.
Reduce State Harm & Violence
We define “state violence” as specific acts of government agencies, law enforcement, or legislature which (a) criminalizes trans and gender diverse people, or (b) fails to protect our human rights. We aim to collaborate with policy makers and allies to reduce state violence against trans and gender diverse people with the following strategies:
- Reduce policing and imprisonment of our communities by advocating for abolitionist and community-based alternatives.
- Reduce our exclusion from healthcare and state-funded programs.
- 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 changes, and gender marker changes.
- Engage in collaborative direct action organizing to end the Prison Industrial Complex.
Increase Sustainable Employment
- Work with job and vocational training programs to increase their capacity to serve trans and gender diverse people. This includes broadening “gender restricted” job training programs to be open to people who do not fit their rigid gender definitions.
- Educate local business leaders about the alarming rates of poverty and unemployment in trans communities. We encourage and facilitate community dialogue about the severe problems of unemployment, homelessness, and poverty affecting all trans and gender diverse people. We will work together with local business leaders to develop solutions to these problems.
- Collaborate with local organizations to develop/adapt a training handbook for Human Resource Departments on trans and gender diverse people in the workplace. Having a non-discrimination law is not enough! We 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.
Increase Access to Safe, Affirming, Affordable Care
- Increase access to housing, shelter, and public accommodations.
- Advocate with public and private entities to increase insurance coverage for trans healthcare—including any care deemed medically necessary by trans people’s health providers.
- Improve legal and medical interactions by providing education, demanding enforcement of non-discrimination laws, and holding providers accountable when they discriminate against trans and gender diverse people.
- Educate doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare agencies on issues facing trans and gender diverse people in medical settings, and how to provide quality care.
- Encourage doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare agencies to support ICATH (Informed Consent for Access to Trans Health).
- Establish a network of providers who are trained and designated as safe providers for trans 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.