The DC Trans Coalition (DCTC) is a volunteer, grassroots, community-based organization dedicated to fighting for human rights, dignity, and liberation for transgender, transsexual, and gender-diverse (hereafter: trans) people in the District of Columbia.
We envision a world where all people – regardless of real or perceived race, socio-economic class, occupation, immigration status, (dis)ability, education level, age, sexual orientation, or any other factor – can self-determine their gender identities and expressions free from criminalization, discrimination, poverty or harassment. We believe all individuals have the right to figure out who they are and what makes them comfortable, and to make autonomous decisions about their own body without interference, fear, judgment or coercion.
Due to transphobic prejudice and institutionalized discrimination, many trans people face significant barriers to employment, housing, education, health care, public accommodations and physical safety – especially if we are also low-income, people of color, women, people with mental or physical disabilities, undocumented, formerly incarcerated, youth and/or sex workers. This means we are more likely to be un(der)employed, homeless, targets of violence, profiled by police and/or trapped in the criminal justice system. Together, these factors create a cycle of poverty that punishes us for living honestly and openly.
Trans people’s ability to live our authentic genders is impossible if our safety is compromised or if we can’t provide for ourselves and each other. To counter this violence and build collective self-determination, we strive to build leadership with those who are most directly affected by oppression. Our goal is to take control of our own lives, hold decision-makers accountable, and make sure that we all have the resources, safety and community support we need in order to be our true selves.
We organize in our local communities to spread awareness, increase trans people’s access to resources and information, and ensure that our experiences are treated with respect and dignity. We work toward changing laws, policies and services to improve our lives and realize gender self-determination for all of D.C.’s trans communities. We also provide workshops and trainings designed to educate trans communities on the law so that we are prepared to defend our rights and live without fear. Finally, we also host community-building social events such as town hall dinners, parties and film screenings.
We work to ensure that all trans people have what they need to self-determine their genders. As determined at our most recent Trans Community Forum, our priorities toward this goal are as follows:
- (1) An end to transphobic discrimination and full, meaningful, and safe employment and housing for all
- (2) An end to violence against trans women (including hate crimes, interpersonal violence, and institutional violence from police and the prison system), and the decriminalization of our survival strategies such as sex work
- (3) Legalization for all un- and under-documented trans communities (including immigrants and asylum-seekers)
- (4) Accessible, sensitive, and trans-inclusive health care and social safety net services
- (5) Supportive communities and schools for young people and an end to the bullying of trans and gender-variant youth.
We believe that our organizing should reflect the kind of world in which we want to live. Thus, we operate under the Guiding Principles of Accessibility, Anti-Oppression, Consensus/Accountability, Empowerment, Harm Reduction, Social and Economic Justice, Solidarity/Mutual Aid, and Voluntary Action.
Join the Struggle for Justice with the DC Trans Coalition!
All the policies that we’ve won are only paper if we don’t have the power of an organization fighting to hold politicians, the police, agencies, companies and employers accountable. Our power comes from the dedication and hard work of people like you. Find out more about how you can get involved and join us as we build community power!