In an undeniably challenging year of anti-trans legislation, attacks on reproductive justice, the ongoing COVID pandemic, and organizational challenges, GJL is proud to have continued to provide necessary, by-and-for support and services for our trans & gender diverse communities. Our one-on-one advocacy and systems navigation support, direct cash assistance, short-term shelter support, and larger advocacy efforts have had immeasurable ripple effects throughout our communities, allowing us to collectively breathe a little easier during difficult times.
In a year where our organizational budget was cut in half, we still managed to rebound and show up for our community in deep, meaningful ways. Here are some of the things we are most proud of from this year:
SafeHouse & Direct Support
- Gave over $32,000 in cash assistance to trans & gender diverse survivors, with over 75% going to trans & gender diverse BIPOC, through our SafeHouse program.
- Sheltered 107 trans & gender diverse people through SafeHouse, with priority given to trans & gender diverse BIPOC. Notably, over 80% of our SafeHouse clients this year were trans people with disabilities; we are deeply honored to be a beacon of support for local Disabled trans and gender diverse communities.
- Supported 10 incarcerated trans & gender diverse people across WA access basic needs supplies and support navigating legal systems, re-entry, and transitioning while incarcerated.
- Supported the relocation of 5 trans & gender diverse people fleeing anti-trans laws in their home state, helping them access reproductive and gender-affirming care.
Trans Pride Seattle & TDOR
- Hosted our first in-person Trans Pride Seattle since 2019 (pre-COVID) in a new location at Volunteer Park. Although it was a huge lift for our team amidst a leadership transition, shifting organizer capacity, and a last-minute location change, celebrating Trans Pride with 10,000+ attendees made it all worthwhile.
- Co-organized hybrid Trans Day of Remembrance events in Seattle & Tacoma alongside DAPS and other community partners, providing space to grieve and be together immediately following the tragedy in Colorado Springs.
- Collaborated with reproductive justice organizers to support trans people from out-of-state access reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare in a newly post-Roe world.
- Advocated for city funding to support survivors in the City of Seattle budget for culturally-specific service providers serving marginalized gender-based violence survivors, ultimately securing over $1 million from City of Seattle and King County in funding across all GBV organizations.
- Endorsed the Trans Bill of Rights, a first-of-it’s-kind bill stating protections for trans and nonbinary people, introduced by Rep. Jayapal and others.
- Supported the Respect For Marriage Act in legislative briefings.
- Attended the WA State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV) conference, building upon our existing skills and coalitions to continue to support survivors.
In June, after three months of serving as Interim Executive Director, we welcomed Danni Askini into a permanent role as Executive Director. Danni has since worked tirelessly to set up new systems to keep GJL sustainable and ensure smooth delivery of support to trans & gender diverse community members. Within six months as ED, Danni ensured our IRS form 990s were filed for the first time in 3 years; conducted our first fiscal audit to ensure the financial health of the organization moving forward; and set up a new financial tracking system in QuickBooks and new client management system in CaseBook; all while providing strong, unwavering leadership to our team.
In June we also welcomed Ganesha Gold Buffalo to the team as our new SafeHouse Advocate. Ganesha brings 11+ years of healing and organizing experience to her role, and has brought a strong ethic of love, radical care, and integrity to her work with trans survivors of gender-based violence and her presence in various coalitions.
In September, GJL Development Associate, Sharlotte, moved onto other ventures, but we hope to work with her again in the future. Thank you, Sharlotte, for your years of service to GJL and to trans people throughout Washington and beyond.
Throughout the year, we also welcomed four new board members: thank you to Blaire Sebren, Oliver Webb, Sam Mark, & Zane Rapiñan for your commitments to supporting our communities in this capacity.
As we gear up to create an updated strategic plan to guide our work, we are calling on community members to give input about what we should focus on. We’re also looking forward to further expanding our board, and for our advocacy team’s work this legislative session on:
- Supporting an amnesty bill for trans youth & their parents feeling anti-trans laws in Alabama, Florida, and Texas; people seeking abortion and reproductive services; and people fleeing prosecutions related to abortion or reproductive healthcare
- Advocating for the passage of SB 5028, which would allow for legal name changes to become sealed records, protecting an individual’s privacy
- Monitoring an “anti-trafficking” bill and advocating for changes to the bill’s language to be more inclusive of trans & gender diverse people in the sex trades
- Advocating for the passage of a joint $131 million budget request, alongside other crime victim service organizations, that supports trans & gender diverse communities
- Monitoring and opposing any anti-trans legislation that may arise
As GJL moves into our 10th year in existence—and as we continuously respond to a large, coordinated effort of nationwide anti-trans legislation—we want to thank you for your support. Whether you are a monthly sustainer, volunteer, co-organizer, or general supporter: we can’t do this without you. Thank you for being part of the movement to ensure all people can live our lives safely, freely, and truly.
Gender Justice League