Washington State Trans Survey: press conference and community meeting

Do you want to be a part of the groundwork for future policy changes in Washington State? Are you committed to housing justice, healthcare justice, and access to education?

Please join Gender Justice LeaguePride Foundation and Ingersoll Gender Center, for an evening delving into the results of the Washington State US Trans Survey, and brainstorm next steps. We will learn more about the latest WA State data, and make space with community members, members of local LGBTQ organizations and local officials that are commited to justice for the trans and LGBQ community.

6:00-6:30PM: Press conference
6:30-8PM: Community gathering and brainstorm

The 2015 US Trans Survey (USTS) is the largest survey examining theexperiences of trans people in the United States, with 27,715 respondents nationwide. The USTS was conducted by the NCTE (National Center for Transgender Equality) during the summer of 2015. At the time of this survey, 1667 respondents were WA State residents.

Check here for more: http://www.ustranssurvey.org/report

Thanks to NCTE for their research and hard work! This event is FREE.

Accessibility information:
There are three parking spots in the lot adjacent to Southside Commons that are designated for those with disability parking permits. There is also a ramp leading up from the lot to both the first and second floors so those who have difficulties moving should have access to the location. For bathroom accessibility, there is a wheelchair accessible stall, but no grab bar.

Transgender Servicemembers, Veterans and Organizations Denounce Trump

Trans Civil Rights Organization Denounces Trump Tweets
Local Transgender Veterans and Active Duty Service Members Respond

Press Release PDF

Seattle, WA - This morning US President Donald Trump sent trans military service members into chaos this morning by tweeting that transgender people can no longer serve in the military. President Trump wrote, “After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

Out of more than 1.3 million service members, transgender individuals number roughly 15,000 per the National Center for Trans Equality.[i] Out of that small number of service members as few as 125 members across all 5 branches would not be deployable, this is compared to 50,000 members in the Army alone who are currently not deployable. The Rand study report, commissioned by the Department of Defense which led to lifting the military-wide ban on openly serving as transgender, refutes the assertions made by the President that transgender service members participation would somehow be “costly.”[ii]


Local Transgender Veterans and Service Members Respond

Erika Laurentz, a military member for 8 years who flew air support as a loadmaster on a C-141 told Gender Justice League, “As a transgender veteran, I was heartbroken at the tweets. I felt like my service meant nothing. I felt heartbroken for the service members I know who are currently serving. I am terrified about what will happen to them. Like many minorities, I served in hopes of someday being an equal. I’ve known I was transgender since I was three, but in the 70s there was there no equality for transgender people. I hoped that my service would help lead to that equality. The tweets today took away that hope and left me feeling like my service has meant nothing.”

Kathryn Mahan, was a military member for 7 years and a tank commander. At Fort Lewis in Washington State she trained service members to defend Europe. “As a transgender veteran two things struck me. The President of the United States just told the nation it’s ok to discriminate against veterans like me based on complete falsehoods. I served this nation, and President Trump didn’t. It is exceptionally wrong that he is making decisions for transgender service members without regard for the thousands of transgender service members who have served with distinction. No one should be told they cannot serve the nation and risk their lives for their country based simply on their gender identity.”

Air Force SSgt Logan Ireland, a transgender active duty service member, told Gender Justice League, "For the President to deny any able-bodied, fully-qualified person the inherent right to raise their right hand and serve their country, potentially giving their own life for our freedoms, is doing this country an injustice. I would love for my President to meet me so I can tell him about the 15,000 transgender military members who are honorably serving, fighting right now for our liberties and our country." 


Gender Justice League Responds:

President Trump’s unexpected tweets today continue the pattern of his administration’s disregard for transgender and gender nonconforming people.

“Currently there are an estimated 15,000 active duty transgender service members and more than 134,000 transgender veterans who have honorably served our country.[iii] To find out from a tweet that their jobs are in jeopardy is reprehensible,” said Danni Askini, Executive Director of Gender Justice League. “For a President who wants to ‘Make America Great Again,’ firing 15,000 hard working employees who have done nothing wrong is a poor start to his administration’s attempts to create new jobs. Today we have heard from dozens active duty service members from around the world who are worried that they may be fired tomorrow.

“We stand with those military members and honor the service of all transgender veterans. Gender Justice League will collaborate with other advocacy groups in fighting this new ban against transgender service members,” said Gender Justice League Board Co-Chair Sophia Lee.

“We denounce this ill-conceived and wrong-minded attempt to divide our communities,” said Danni Askini. “This is intended to distract us all from the scandals and failures that we continue to see from this beleaguered administration. By scapegoating thousands of hard-working service members, his actions against our community continue to be reprehensible.”

[i] http://www.transequality.org/press/releases/trump-administration-continues-assault-on-transgender-people-doj-set-to-reject-lgbtq

[ii] https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1530.html

[iii] http://www.transequality.org/blog/honoring-the-service-of-all-veterans

Opposing Apple Health's Restrictive Rules

June 27th, 2017
Gender Justice League is joining our colleagues in the Coalition for Inclusive Healthcare in opposing rules changes to the Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) Program's coverage for transition-related healthcare (also known as the "Gender Dysphoria program").  In 2015, along with a 30-member coalition of grassroots and national organizations, Gender Justice League successfully petitioned for rule changes to expand coverage under Apple Health to include all medically necessary transition related healthcare.  The program has not been without it's serious challenges such as lack of access to doctors, significant hurdles to getting surgical services approved, and far too few trans and gender diverse people in need of life saving medical care are denied access under the current rules. The Washington Healthcare Authority, the state agency that administer's Washington's medicaid program - Apple Health - has proposed significant new restrictions.

We are urging our members, supporters, and allies to write a brief email to the Healthcare Authority of Washington - or attend a hearing on Tuesday June 27th, 2017 at 10am at the Healthcare Authority of Washington Building to oppose new restrictions imposed by these rules changes.

People can submit comments to [email protected] by 5pm 6/27/2017  -

Subject: Re: WAC 182-531-1675 -- Gender Dysphoria Treatment Program

Dear Healthcare Authority of Washington Apple Health Program,
I am writing to express my serious concerns about proposed rules changes to the Apple Health Gender Dysphoria Program.
My name is [insert name]  and I am a [Apple Health member, therapist, doctor, concerned community member, etc].  I believe
that the proposed rules would make access to live saving medical care for the treatment of gender dysphoria more difficult in
a way that discriminates against transgender people.  The US Trans Survey has found that nearly 40% of Trans and gender diverse people attempt suicide at some point in their life, and numerous studies have shown those numbers are greatly decreased when trans people have access to medically necessary care.  I am urging you to remove all  categorical exclusions to specific medical procedures.

1. I oppose the elimination of flexibility in the Gender Dysphoria Treatment Guidelines which not supported by medical necessity and is contrary to law.
2. I believe you should allow for the flexible application of standards of care based on provider recommendation.
3. I believe you should eliminate the unnecessary  gatekeeping requirements to "Verify the appropriateness of treatment".
4. I believe you should reduce the rigid application of specific gatekeeping requirements.
5. You should remove the "non-covered services list" and consider all services on a case by case basis as recommended by the patients care team.
6. You should also retain language regarding exception to rule process for "non-covered services".
7. I support you removing the "Centers of Excellence" and other unnecessary restrictions that have limited the number of providers offering this type of care under Apple Health.
8. I  support expanding the list of providers who may make or confirm a Gender Dysphoria diagnosis to increase access to care.
9. I support the changes to requirements regarding "Proof of Informed Consent" to allow providers to include a note in a patient's prior authorization letter.
10. I believe that the Healthcare Authority should work with community advocacy organizations to increase its network of providers, and expand the types of covered services to all those deemed medically necessary by a care team.

[Your Name]
[Phone Number]

2017 Pride speaker Jennicet Gutiérrez

Jennicet Gutiérrez is a transgender Latina organizer from México, and she is an organizer of Los Angeles based Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement. Jennicet believes in the importance of uplifting and centering the voices of trans women of color in all racial justice work. Jennicet will continue to organize in order to end the deportation, incarceration and criminalization of immigrants and all people of color.

Gender Justice Awards 2016

The 2016 Gender Justice Awards dinner will highlight and showcase the incredible activism and culture creation of trans and allied activists and artists who have made incredible strides for trans, gender queer, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people in the Pacific Northwest. This is the annual fundraiser for Gender Justice League to support our work throughout Washington to build community and fight for the human rights of trans, gender queer, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people.

To nominate someone for an award: https://goo.gl/forms/igkKiSG8xorZKoYT2

This year's Gender Justice Awards will be hosted by Aleksa Manila with special music guest Rae Spoon.

$60.00 for Regular Tickets
$100.00 for VIP
10% Sliding Scale Tickets Available.

Tickets costs are going to (per person cost):
Price of a catered & served union meal ($35.00/plate)
Space Rental ($7.30)
Decorations ($5.00)
Trans & allied Emcee & performers ($9.00)
Equipment rental ($4.00)

We ask attendees to come prepared to make an additional donation if possible, tickets are priced to be as accessible as possible for our community and are intended to simply cover the cost of producing the event. We recognize not everyone who attends can give, at our ticket prices we expect to only "break even" for the event - we work to ensure that catering staff and performers are equitably paid. Additional Gifts will go directly to support Gender Justice League's efforts including Trans Pride Seattle 2017, The Washington SAFE Alliance & Efforts to defeat anti-trans attacks, and our efforts to provide public education & training throughout the state.

Gender Justice League is committed to economic accessibility - 10% of seats (15 tickets) will be reserved for sliding scale attendance, additional tickets will be made available as they are sponsored. Please email [email protected] if you are in need of a sliding scale ticket. Attendees can also sponsor one of these tickets to increase the pool of sliding scale tickets. We offer these tickets on a first come, first serve basis with an emphasis on providing sliding scale tickets to youth, people experiencing homelessness, folks who are unemployed, elders, people with disabilities, people of color, and those with children.

GJL strives to make our spaces radically accessible. Melrose Market is wheelchair accessible.
THIS EVENT WILL BE ASL INTERPRETED, please email [email protected] to let us know if you will need ASL interpretation.

This is a scent- & smoke-free event; please refrain from using chemical fragrences or products. For more questions check out our event page or email [email protected]

VICTORY! SB 6443 Defeated!

Moments ago, the full Senate debated Sen. Ericksen's (R-Ferndale) harmful SB 6443. This bill would have eliminated the Washington State Human Rights Commission's rules, which made the 2006 Anderson-Murray Anti-Discrimination law's requirements clear for employers, businesses, and other places of public accommodation.  This was one of 6 bills in the Washington State Legislature aimed at repealing rules recently passed by the Washington Human Rights Commission clarifying protections for Transgender Washingtonians.

By a vote of 25 to 24, the bill was defeated by proponents of equality who opposed SB 6443.

To every single one of you who contacted your state legislators, attended and/or testified during the hearings, and shared your stories and this work - THANK YOU!
For those of you that reached out to your own clients, constituents and lists and urged them to contact their legislators - THANK YOU!

Elected officials and their legislative aides told us that your efforts made the difference.

If your state Senator is one of the 25 Senators that stood with our community, please take a moment and send them an email thanking them. Those Senators are: Billig, Carlyle, Chase, Cleveland, Conway, Darneille, Fain, Fraser, Frockt, Habib, Hasegawa, Hill, Hobbs, Jayapal, Keiser, Liias, Litzow, McAuliffe, McCoy, Mullet, Nelson, Pedersen, Ranker, Rolfes, Takko. Click here for SB 6443 info.

We appreciate you standing with us to ensure that all of our lives are protected.

Gender Justice League has taken a key role in educating the public, mobilizing our communities, and traveling the state to train hundreds of Transgender people, their family, friends, and allies to educate legislators and the media about the impact of these bills would have on the everyday impact on Transgender people.

Please consider donating to support our continued work to defeat the additional 5 bills still active in our legislature.

In Solidarity,
Gender Justice League


Response to the YMCA of Pierce & Kitsap counties non-discrimination statement of December 15th, 2015

For Immediate Release
December 15th, 2015

In Washington State, and across the country, there is a growing focus on transgender individuals and their rights to access public restrooms and locker rooms. These are places the rest of us usually take for granted. In October, the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties issued a policy that discriminated against transgender members. Over the past three months, the YMCA has listened to its members and community leaders.

The YMCA has strengthened our communities for years based on policy, practices and programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. By helping children, adults and families from all walks of life reach their goals and contribute to solutions that improve communities, the Y provides people with endless opportunities to achieve more, and we will continue to support them in those efforts.

Through this process, we have been reminded that true equality is not yet a reality for many in our community. Though we might not always realize it, transgender people are part of our families, workplaces, our neighborhoods, and our places of worship—and they need to be able to use the restroom and locker room, just like everyone else.

The YMCA is an institutional leader in our community and is now a model for transgender inclusion. As community leaders, organizations that support the LGBT community, and faith leaders, we applaud the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties for their December 15th, 2015 decision to allow all its members, including transgender individuals, use of the restroom and locker room facilities that are consistent with their gender identities. By adopting inclusive policies, places of public accommodation can ensure that all people are welcomed, included, and supported.

The YMCA's Statement

Rev. Ann Adkinson, First United Methodist Church of Tacoma
Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson
Metro Parks Commissioner Elect Jessie Baines
Rev. Dave Brown, Immanuel Presbyterian
City of Tacoma Councilmember Marty Campbell
WA State Sen. Jeannie Darneille
WA State Rep. Jake Fey
Metro Parks Commissioner Erik Hanberg
U.S. Rep. Denny Heck
City of Tacoma Councilmember Anders Ibsen
WA State Rep. Laurie Jinkins
U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer
Jeff Klein
City of Tacoma Councilmember Ryan Mello
Kurt Miller
Rev. Tad Monroe
Rev. Jenny Rake-Marona
City of Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland
Pierce County Councilmember Rick Talbert
City of Tacoma Councilmember Robert Thoms
Tacoma School Board Director Catherine Ushka
Tacoma School Board Director Karen Vialle
City of Tacoma Councilmember Lauren Walker
Rev. David Wright, University of Puget Sound Director for Spiritual Life and Civic Engagement

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