Tag Archives: human rights act

The Sexist Blog Post: “D.C. Mayoral Candidates Support Transgender Rights, But Don’t Take Them Seriously”

Thanks to everyone from all over the Northeast and North America who came to our workshop at the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference, and we can’t wait to see everyone at the many events we have coming up! There’s the screening of TransLatinas this Thursday, Trans Pride on Saturday, the Capital Pride Street Festival on Sunday and the Trans Day of Action in NYC next week. So much to do!

In the meantime, we wanted to share this article about trans rights in the District written on The Sexist blog. Each DC mayoral candidate was asked whether they would appoint a trans person to the human rights board. You can read a transcript or watch video footage of each candidate’s response, but as Amanda Hess, the author of the blog post, sums up:

So, we had one candidate voice his support for a transgender appointee, and then spend the rest of his time talking about achieving gay rights in the District. Then, we had the current mayor voice his support for a transgender appointee, then spend the rest of his time talking about completely unrelated shit, even though he is Mayor right now and apparently has not appointed a transgender person to the commission yet. Then, we had another candidate voice his support for a transgender appointee, and then spend the rest of his time talking about how he thinks gay rights should be subject to a popular vote.

This shows one of the major problems we face as trans organizers in DC: A lot of politicians appear to support our cause, but then clearly demonstrate that they know very little about our communities’ needs, are extremely disconnected from our day-to-day realities and fail to take any actual action on improving the lives of trans people in the District.  It seems like no matter who wins the election, our politicians are going to need to be educated about what a trans person even is, for starters.  But we’re very glad that the question was posed. It’s a beginning!

By the way, you can actually apply for a mayoral appointment to the Commission on Human Rights. Here’s how. And let us know if you do apply!

Our Survey Results

Below, you will find the text of a fact sheet produced by DCTC summarizing the results of our survey on gender-segregated spaces in DC. Below that, you will also find some reflections on what this data means along with expanded statistics from the survey about employment, income, access to health care and so on.  See our page on Reports and Research for more studies and data on the trans community in DC.

**********************

Introduction

In October 2006, regulations to enforce anti-discrimination protections for gender identity or expression went into effect in the District of Columbia. These regulations include specific protections for people to access and use gender-segregated public facilities consistent with their gender identity.  The regulations also included a mandate for the creation of more gender-neutral public restrooms in the District.  While these regulations are an important step forward, they have not yet been fully implemented and have been threatened by District agencies.

In November 2008, DCTC launched a survey to gather information about people’s experiences accessing or using gender-segregated public facilities.  The results reveal that people in our community have experienced significant problems with these facilities.  These problems have impacted people’s education, employment, health, and participation in public life.  The regulations of enforcement for the DC Human Rights Act must be fully implemented to address problems our community faces.

Reported Problems

The survey collected responses from 93 people who self-identify as trans and/or gender non-conforming and asked about experiences they have had with gender-segregated public facilities in DC, such as restrooms, locker rooms, and public housing facilities.  Out of 93 respondents, 65 (70 percent) reported experiencing problems as follows:

  • 63 respondents (68 percent) have been denied access to, verbally harassed in, and/or physically assaulted in public bathrooms.
  • 17 respondents (18 percent) have been denied access to, verbally harassed in, and/or physically assaulted in locker rooms.h
  • 19 respondents (20 percent) have been denied access to and/or verbally harassed in dressing rooms or changing rooms.
  • Out of the 8 respondents who have been housed in a public housing facility in DC (such as a homeless shelter, DC jail, or treatment facility), 6 respondents (75 percent) experienced physical assault, verbal abuse, denial of medical care and/or hormones, harassment, and/or being treated worse than others by staff.

Impact of Reported Problems

This survey assessed the impact of problems with gender-segregated public facilities in four areas: education, employment, health, and participation in public life.

Education:

  • 13 of 31 respondents (42 percent) who attended school in DC reported being denied access and/or verbally harassed in gender-segregated facilities at school.
  • 3 respondents (10 percent) reported these incidents negatively impacted their education in the following ways: caused excessive absences, poor performance, had to change schools, and/or dropped out of school.

Employment:

  • 16 of 60 respondents (27 percent) who have worked in DC reported being denied access and/or verbally harassed in gender-segregated facilities at work.
  • 8 respondents (13 percent) reported these incidents negatively impacted their employment in the following ways: caused excessive tardiness, poor performance, had to change job, and/or had to quit job.

Health:

  • 53 respondents (54 percent) reported having physical problems from trying to avoid using public bathrooms, such as “holding it,” dehydration, urinary tract infection, kidney infection, and other kidney-related problems.
  • 8 respondents (9 percent) have avoided going to a hospital, healthcare facility, or doctor’s office because those facilities have gender-segregated restrooms.

Participation in Public Life:

  • 54 respondents (58 percent) reported that they have avoided going out in public and 28 respondents (30 percent) reported not attending a specific event, both due to a lack of safe public restroom facilities.
  • 37 respondents (38 percent) reported avoiding particular public places due to a lack of safe restroom facilities.  The places respondents most frequently avoided include retail stores, restaurants, gyms, and bars (including gay bars).

Policy Needs

1)    DC must fully implement the enforcement regulations adopted in October 2006 for the “gender identity or expression” provision of the DC Human Rights Act.

2)    The new DC Department of Corrections Operations Memorandum must be fully implemented with regular review and revision to improve effectiveness.

**********************

A total of 69 (74%) of our respondents identified as white; 20 (22%) as black/African American; 4 (4%) Latina/Hispanic; 3 (3%) as Native American; 5 (5%) as Asian/Pacific Islander; and 1 (1%) as Arab/Middle Eastern. Since respondents were able to mark more than one racial identification, 63 (67%) identified themselves as only white.

58 respondents identified as transgender, 26 as transsexual and 36 as genderqueer. (There were more possibilities listed, including but not limited to androgynous, masculine woman, feminine man, third gender, two spirit, crossdresser and drag queen, and respondents were able to check multiple answers.) 16 identified themselves as male-to-female and 36 as female-to-male. 60 respondents were assigned female at birth, and 40 were assigned male at birth. This would seem to indicate that trans women were underrepresented in the data.

34 (37%) were aged 18-24; 30 (32%) were aged 25-34; 15 (16%) aged 35-44; 8 (9%) aged 45-54; 5 (5%) aged 55-64 and 1 (1%) was aged over 65. Thus, our data is also extremely skewed toward young people.

15 (16%) of respondents were unemployed, 46 (49%) were part-time employed, 24 (26%) were full-time and 8 (9%) responded they had another form of income besides full or part time employment.  2 (2%) respondents were homeless, 10 (11%) owned homes, with the rest renting, living rent free or living in a college dorm.

Incomes were as follows:

  • 10 (11%) : no annual income
  • 17 (18%) : under $5,000
  • 8 (9%) : $5,000 – 9,999
  • 7 (8%) : $10,000 -19,999
  • 7 (8%) : $20,000 – 29,999
  • 10 (11%) : $30,000 – 39,999
  • 7 (8%): $40,000 – 49,999
  • 8 (9%) : $50,000 – 59,999
  • 9 (10%) : $60,000 – 69,999
  • 2 (2%) : $70,000 – 79,999
  • 2 (2%) : $80,000 – 89,999
  • 0 (0%) : $90,000 – 99,999
  • 5 (5%) : $100,000 or more

In other words, almost half (46%) of all respondents made less than 20,000 dollars a year. 8 (9%) had no insurance and 10 (11%) were on Medicare/Medicaid. Of the respondents who indicated they wanted some kind of medical procedure to help them transition, 34 of 57 (60%) said they could not afford it.

Removing the people who only identified as white, incomes were as follows:

  • 8 (27%) : no annual income
  • 6 (20%) : under $5,000
  • 1 (3%) : $5,000 – 9,999
  • 1 (3%) : $10,000 -19,999
  • 3 (10%) : $20,000 – 29,999
  • 6 (20%) : $30,000 – 39,999
  • 1 (3%): $40,000 – 49,999
  • 1 (3%) : $50,000 – 59,999
  • 2 (7%) : $60,000 – 69,999
  • 0 (0%) : $70,000 – 79,999
  • 0 (0%) : $80,000 – 89,999
  • 0 (0%) : $90,000 – 99,999
  • 1 (3%) : $100,000 or more

Thus, 53% of people who identified as something other than only white made less than 20,000 a year, compared to 46% of the total sample population including white respondents.

35 respondents (38%) believe they have been discriminated against based on their gender identity or expression in DC since the regulations on gender identity and expression in the Human Rights Act went into effect.  Only 2 respondents have reported the discrimination to the Office of Human Rights. In the “write more” boxes on the survey, people expressed that they seriously doubted whether reporting the incidents would be taken seriously.

The data is also very specific in that it is asking whether the person surveyed had experienced problems in DC since the regulations went into effect. Since many of our respondents did not actually live in the District, they may have experienced discrimination in other places, or before 2006. For example, we cannot even say the percentage of trans people surveyed who have been housed in public accommodations (i.e., jail, shelters etc). Since there is no federal prison in DC, anyone who has been sentenced to a felony or a sentence of over 6-8 months would have served time outside of DC.

Therefore it is possible that more than the 9% we discovered have actually been incarcerated or in homeless shelters outside of DC, or before 2006. Also, given that our data is skewed toward young, white, FTM-spectrum individuals, this number is also likely off.

Our Statement for the 2009 Trans Day of Remembrance

Please distribute this widely! Available online at http://www.dctranscoalition.org.

DC TRANS COALITION

For Immediate Release
November 8, 2009
Contact: Sadie Ryanne Baker
(202) 557-1951

The DC Trans Coalition Commemorates the 2009 Trans Day of Remembrance

Washington, DC – In recent months, a lot of us in DC were deeply affected by the murder of Ty’lia Mack, a trans woman who was stabbed along with a friend only a few blocks from the offices of Transgender Health Empowerment, Inc. Many of us at the DC Trans Coalition are survivors of violence ourselves, or are close to someone who is. We now approach the annual Trans Day of Remembrance, a time of emotional ceremonies when we come together with our friends and allies to remember the hundreds of fallen transsexual, transgender and gender nonconforming people all across the world.

Our communities are faced with violence all of the time – and it is not only the kind that comes from bigots who follow us on the street. It can also come from the threat of homelessness and job loss, disproportional rates of poverty and HIV infection, bullying in schools, or denial of access to health care or public facilities like restrooms.

To help curb this violence, sometimes we rely on police and laws like the Human Rights Act here in DC. Calling the police can be important if we are in the kinds of unsafe situations that are all-too-familiar for many trans/GNC people. However, involving the police is not a viable option for many people in our communities. A lack of consistent identity documents, fear of prejudiced and hateful officers and other factors can create complicated problems when interacting with police. Thankfully, in DC we have fought for policies to reduce these problems. We strongly encourage anyone who lives in, works in or visits DC to become familiar with these rights and what to do if they are violated. But even with these strong protections on paper, police harassment on the street and the threat of being arrested and sent to jail remains a constant problem for many.

As the city cuts the budgets of social service programs like THE that help the most vulnerable, and the police enact “tough on crime” policies like the Prostitution Free Zones that result in massive arrest rates for those of us who live in the most precarious economic situations, we need to look at the institutional problems that create and fuel all this violence against us. Trans/GNC people are not only made targets of violence because of blatantly transphobic prejudice. For example, we must also deal with racism, the criminalization of sex workers and the collapsing economy. We need to address all of the complex reasons why so many people in our communities are poor, on the street or constantly going through the jail in order to understand why so many trans/GNC people end up victims or survivors of violence.

Recently, the Obama Administration signed the trans-inclusive Matthew Shepard/James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law. Within DCTC, we have a diverse range of opinions on hate crimes legislation, but we agree that it is important to acknowledge the limitations and flaws of the criminal justice system as it is. As folks who have worked hard to reduce problems for trans/GNC people with police and in jail, we know jails themselves can be dangerous places for trans/GNC people. They also fuel vast racial and class inequalities. (In DC,for example, only 2% of our jail population is white.) So while it is exciting to see elected officials taking action to address the very real problem of hate violence targeting trans/GNC people, we hope that more people begin to have productive dialogs and think critically about strategies to address and prevent violence within our communities.

Relying on harsher penalties for bias-motivated crimes alone cannot keep us safe. While recognizing that sometimes we need to use them for our safety, we need to think about ways to decrease our societies’ over-reliance on police and jails as the only solution. This over-reliance on incarceration disproportionately harms marginalized communities like trans/GNC people. Even as DCTC works hard to make sure we enforce policies that will keep people as safe as possible on the streets and in jail, we also want to find solutions that keep people from going to jail in the first place. We hope that someday we might live in a world where we are put in unsafe situations less to begin with. That’s why, for example, we also have fought to make sure that trans/GNC folks can obtain legal documents that reflect the way we live, to make sure homeless shelters place trans/GNC people where they want to be, or to keep funding for vital social services.

The week leading up to TDOR has been declared the Trans Week of Awareness by some of our allies in Massachusetts. While we need to commemorate our dead, remembering the fallen is not enough to bring change toward a safer world. We also need to focus on preventing violence by educating those around us, to make them aware that trans/GNC people are their friends, partners, family, co-workers and community members and that we deserve rights and protection just like they do. We at DCTC join with others to mark this Week of Awareness, and ask everyone to spread the word about the need to end transphobia and work toward gender self-determination.

If you are in DC, we invite you to join Transgender Health Empowerment and other groups at 6:30 PM on Friday, November the 20th at the Metropolitan Community Church (474 Ridge St. NW) for the annual Day of Remembrance ceremony. This year, let’s mourn our losses, but also celebrate our victories, our shared commitment to social justice and to building a world in which all forms of violence are things of the past. In the meantime, we would like to commemorate the strong communities we’ve built to support one another through hard times, and we invite all who are interested to join us in organizing for a safer DC, or wherever you find yourselves this Day of Remembrance.

###
The DC Trans Coalition (DCTC) is a grassroots community-based organization dedicated to fighting for the human rights, dignity and equal access for transgender, transsexual and gender non-conforming people in the District of Columbia.

Results From Our Survey Finally Online!

Hey folks, we finally put the summary of our results from the survey on gender segregated spaces on the website. Here’s just a sample:

  • 65 (70 percent) reported experiencing problems accessing public gender-segregated space, such as having been denied access to, verbally harassed in, and/or physically assaulted in public bathrooms.
  • 13 of 31 respondents (42 percent) who attended school in DC reported being denied access and/or verbally harassed in gender-segregated facilities at school.
  • Almost half (46%) of all respondents made less than 20,000 dollars a year. 8 (9%) had no insurance and 10 (11%) were on Medicare/Medicaid.
  • Of the respondents who indicated they wanted some kind of medical procedure to help them transition, 34 of 57 (60%) said they could not afford it.

Read the rest here.

New Know Your Rights Booklets Released

After a lot of work, we finally have finished the latest version of our Know Your Rights pamphlets! These include updates on the latest policies we have won at the DC jails, police, public schools and homeless shelters, as well as a more thorough list of local resources and more details on how to file a complaint.

There are two versions – one with the full text of the human rights regulations, and a shorter one that just has our explanation of the law. Please, print these off and distribute them! You can also obtain copies directly from us.

Click here for the KYR booklet WITH full-text regs

Click here for the KYR booklet WITHOUT full-text regs

We have also been increasing the number of KYR workshops we’ve been giving to various LGB,  trans and gender nonconforming communities. So far, we’ve presented our newest workshops at HIPS, SMYAL and GLSEN. (That’s a lot of acronyms!) Let us know if you’re interested in bringing us to hang out with your group!

Las traducciones de nuestras libros “Personas Transgénero y Transexual: ¡Tiene derechos!” vienen pronto.

8/13/09 Newsletter: Announcing New Campaigns, and Other Updates!

Hi DCTC members, friends and supporters! There’s been a whole lot  going on for us lately, and we’d like to update everyone about what we’re doing. Here’s a quick summary, and you can read on for more. If  any of these sound exciting, we hope to see you at our next organizing meeting.

1. New Know Your Rights Material Released
2. Launching Health Care Survey & Access Campaign
3. Efforts to Improve Bathroom Safety Gaining Momentum
4. Fighting the Effects of the Budget Crisis on DC’s Trans Community
5. Continuing to Combat Police Harassment and Brutality
6. Beginning Efforts to Ease the Process for Amending Sex-Designations on DC Birth Certificates

—————————————————————-

1. New Know Your Rights Material Released

We’re putting the final touches on an updated version of our Know Your Rights booklets. The new version includes new rights in DC homeless shelters, public schools and jails, information on dealing with police and an expanded list of local resources for trans and gender nonconforming people. If you’d like a copy (or several!), send us an e- mail at dctranscoalition@gmail.com or call 202.557.1951. Soon, you will also be able to download a pdf on the website.

We are also finishing up a new presentation to educate trans/GNC people about our rights in the District. We’ll be meeting with a group of gender nonconforming youth next month, and we’d love to do more! If you have friends, support groups or organizations you’d like us to talk to or give a workshop for, let us know and we’ll set something up.

—————————————————————-

2. Launching Health Care Survey & Access Campaign

Thanks to the success of our survey on gender-segregated spaces, we’d like to initiate another survey for our community. This time, we’ll be focusing on the issue of trans and gender nonconforming people’s access to health care. We already know that our community faces huge barriers to appropriate care, but we’d like to know more. Do doctors or nurses mess up your pronouns? Do other clients harass you? Do you have trouble getting on health insurance? Can you find a clinic within reasonable distance that will see you? Does your insurance pay for hormones? These are some of the things we want to know!

We’re going to start working on the surveys soon, and would love to have input. If there are questions you think we should include, let us know! We plan on developing two: one for providers, and one for (trans/GNC) clients. The goal is to educate providers about trans people’s needs so that they can serve us better, and to learn what our community needs most so we can work on increasing our access to public benefits and health care. Keep an eye out for our survey, and expect to hear more from us about health care coverage soon.

—————————————————————-

3. Efforts to Improve Bathroom Safety Gaining Momentum

Our Bathroom Access and Safety Campaign is continuing to grow. We have collected over 180 instances of gender-specific single occupancy restrooms that are not in compliance with the Human Rights Law. Please, keep sending them to [UPDATE] the DC Office of Human Rights! Submit the name and address of the establishment, and whether or not their bathrooms are in compliance using this web form or tweet that info (ideally with a photo) with the hashtag #safebathroomsDC. For more info, check out our website.

The “Pee in Peace” rally on the 25th of last month was a huge success. About forty people showed up, and we dispersed to investigate the local bathroom situation, helping us gather non-compliant establishments and raise awareness about trans/GNC people’s safety in public bathrooms. Several media outlets have covered the campaign, including local news, a cover story in the Washington Blade and national blogs like Pam’s House Blend. Also check out our op-ed in the Blade.

Just today, the Washington City Paper has a slightly more sensational article about gendered bathrooms in DC. Be sure to check out some of DCTC member’s comments about the article on the online version of the story and look for an upcoming letter to the editor, as we’d like to clarify a few things about our campaign for City Paper’s readers.

—————————————————————-

4. Fighting the Effects of the Budget Crisis on DC’s Trans Community

As we recently announced, the City Council is cutting major funds to services for low income people, and the trans/GNC community is being especially hard hit. Check out this article over at the Blade about the effect this funding loss will have on DC’s homeless trans communities.

We’ve been busy writing letters, but sadly it looks like now we need to start working on ways to raise funds for groups that are in danger, especially Transgender Health Empowerment. THE has organized two upcoming fundraisers that we strongly urge everyone to attend! We’ll be letting you know about other opportunities to donate to organizations that work hard to provide crucial services.

Verna Moda True Fashion Show
Sunday, August 23rd, 3:00pm @ Zigfields 1824 Half Street SW
Special Appearance by Frenchie Davis
$20 in advance, $25 at the door.
For more info or to buy a ticket, call 202.636.1646 ex.109.

1st Year Anniversary and Awards Reception for the Wanda Alston House!
September 9th, 2009, 6:30-8:30pm @ True Reformer Bldg 1200 U St NW
Performances by Gordon Chambers. Minimum Donation: $50.
For more info or to buy a ticket, call 202.636.1646 ex.104.

—————————————————————-

5. Continuing to Combat Police Harassment and Brutality

It’s been about two years since DCTC successfully pressured the Metropolitan Police Department to release it’s “handling procedure” for dealing with the trans community, and we’re still worried about how it’s being implemented on the streets. Early next month, we will be meeting with the transgender support group at HIPS to discuss ways to hold the police accountable. Bret Parsons from the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit will be present for part of the meeting and will share MPD’s training material on trans sensitivity for us to review and comment. PLEASE NOTE: this meeting is only open to trans people. If you’d like to attend, e-mail us for the date, directions and more info.

—————————————————————-

6. Beginning Efforts to Ease Process of Amending Sex-Designations on DC Birth Certificates

Finally, we’re also starting a campaign to make it easier for trans people who were born in DC to change the sex listed on their birth certificates to match their actual sex/gender. Right now, the statute requires us to have expensive surgeries that are impractical or not desired by many in our community. Stay tuned for more updates!

Hi DCTC members, friends and supporters! There’s been a whole lot
going on for us lately, and we’d like to update everyone about what
we’re doing. Here’s a quick summary, and you can read on for more. If
any of these sound exciting, we hope to see you at our next organizing
meeting. See our website (dctranscoalition.org) for more info.
1. New Know Your Rights Material Released
2. Launching Health Care Survey & Access Campaign
3. Efforts to Improve Bathroom Safety Gaining Momentum
4. Fighting the Effects of the Budget Crisis on DC’s Trans Community
5. Continuing to Combat Police Harassment and Brutality
6. Beginning Efforts to Ease the Process for Amending Sex-Designations
on DC Birth Certificates—————————————————————-

1. New Know Your Rights Material Released

We’re putting the final touches on an updated version of our Know Your
Rights booklets. The new version includes new rights in DC homeless
shelters, public schools and jails, information on dealing with police
and an expanded list of local resources for trans and gender
nonconforming people. If you’d like a copy (or several!), send us an e-
mail at dctranscoalit@gmail.com or call 202.557.1951. Soon, you
will also be able to download a pdf on the website.

We are also finishing up a new presentation to educate trans/GNC
people about our rights in the District. We’ll be meeting with a group
of gender nonconforming youth next month, and we’d love to do more! If
you have friends, support groups or organizations you’d like us to
talk to or give a workshop for, let us know and we’ll set something
up.

—————————————————————-

2. Launching Health Care Survey & Access Campaign

Thanks to the success of our survey on gender-segregated spaces, we’d
like to initiate another survey for our community. This time, we’ll be
focusing on the issue of trans and gender nonconforming people’s
access to health care. We already know that our community faces huge
barriers to appropriate care, but we’d like to know more. Do doctors
or nurses mess up your pronouns? Do other clients harass you? Do you
have trouble getting on health insurance? Can you find a clinic within
reasonable distance that will see you? Does your insurance pay for
hormones? These are some of the things we want to know!

We’re going to start working on the surveys soon, and would love to
have input. If there are questions you think we should include, let us
know! We plan on developing two: one for providers, and one for (trans/
GNC) clients. The goal is to educate providers about trans people’s
needs so that they can serve us better, and to learn what our
community needs most so we can work on increasing our access to public
benefits and health care. Keep an eye out for our survey, and expect
to hear more from us about health care coverage soon.

—————————————————————-

3. Efforts to Improve Bathroom Safety Gaining Momentum

Our Bathroom Access and Safety Campaign is continuing to grow. We have
collected over 180 instances of gender-specific single occupancy
restrooms that are not in compliance with the Human Rights Law.
Please, keep sending them to us! Remember to e-mail
DCTCBathro@gmail.com with the name and address of the
establishment, the date you were there, and whether or not their
bathrooms are in compliance. For more info, check out our website.

The “Pee in Peace” rally on the 25th of last month was a huge success.
About forty people showed up, and we dispersed to investigate the
local bathroom situation, helping us gather non-compliant
establishments and raise awareness about trans/GNC people’s safety in
public bathrooms. Several media outlets have covered the campaign,
including local news [ http://www.topix.com/city/washington-dc-adams-morgan/2009/07/peeing-i...
], a cover story in the Washington Blade [
http://www.washblade.com/2009/7-24/outindc/cover/14933.cfm?page=1 ]
and national blogs like Pam’s House Blend [ http://www.pamshouseblend.com/tag/bathroom
]. Also check out our op-ed in the Blade [
http://www.washblade.com/2009/7-24/view/columns/14932.cfm ].

Just today, the Washington City Paper has a slightly more sensational
article about gendered bathrooms in DC [
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist/2009/08/12/dc-bathroo...
]. Be sure to check out some of DCTC member’s comments about the
article on the online version of the story and look for an upcoming
letter to the editor, as we’d like to clarify a few things about our
campaign for City Paper’s readers.

—————————————————————-

4. Fighting the Effects of the Budget Crisis on DC’s Trans Community

As we recently announced, the City Council is cutting major funds to
services for low income people, and the trans/GNC community is being
especially hard hit. We’ve been busy writing letters, but sadly it
looks like now we need to start working on ways to raise funds for
groups that are in danger, especially Transgender Health Empowerment.
THE has organized two upcoming fundraisers that we strongly urge
everyone to attend! We’ll be letting you know about other
opportunities to donate to organizations that work hard to provide
crucial services.

Verno Moda True Fashion Show
Sunday, August 23rd, 3:00pm @ Zigfields 1824 Half Street SW
Special Appearance by Frenchie Davis
$20 in advance, $25 at the door.
For more info or to buy a ticket, call 202.636.1646 ex.109.

1st Year Anniversary and Awards Reception for the Wanda Alston House!
September 9th, 2009, 6:30-8:30pm @ True Reformer Bldg 1200 U St NW
Performances by Gordon Chambers. Minimum Donation: $50.
For more info or to buy a ticket, call 202.636.1646 ex.104.

—————————————————————-

5. Continuing to Combat Police Harassment and Brutality

It’s been about two years since DCTC successfully pressured the
Metropolitan Police Department to release it’s “handling procedure”
for dealing with the trans community, and we’re still worried about
how it’s being implemented on the streets. Early next month, we will
be meeting with the transgender support group at HIPS to discuss ways
to hold the police accountable. Bret Parsons from the Gay and Lesbian
Liaison Unit will be present for part of the meeting and will share
MPD’s training material on trans sensitivity for us to review and
comment. PLEASE NOTE: this meeting is only open to trans people. If
you’d like to attend, e-mail us for the date, directions and more
info.

—————————————————————-

6. Beginning Efforts to Ease Process of Amending Sex-Designations on
DC Birth Certificates

Finally, we’re also starting a campaign to make it easier for trans
people who were born in DC to change the sex listed on their birth
certificates to match their actual sex/gender. Right now, the statute
requires us to have expensive surgeries that are impractical or not
desired by many in our community. Stay tuned for more updates!

Transgender Health Empowerment Facing Severe Budget Cuts; DCTC Urges Council to Reconsider

Today we discovered that Transgender Health Empowerment, Inc is facing an imminent funding cut in next year’s budget proposal. DCTC submitted written testimony to the DC Council, urging them to restore this funding. THE provides invaluable health and social services to some of the most marginalized communities in the District, and would be forced to close offices, layoff staff and cut important programs. The impact on DC’s trans and gender nonconforming communities would be a tremendous loss.

[Our written testimony for tomorrow's budget hearing]

Please find enclosed testimony for the record for the Committee of the Whole’s consideration regarding closing the budget gaps for fiscal year 2010.  We urge the committee to continue to support vital service organizations that work for members of the District of Columbia’s transgender, transsexual, and gender non-conforming community.  The Mayor’s proposal before the committee puts such services at risk, and jeopardizes the health and well-being of a key part of the District community.

Representatives of the DC Trans Coalition are available to speak with members of the DC Council and other District officials about this matter, and can be reached via email at dctranscoalition@gmail.com.

[Letter follows cut]

Continue reading