Dean Spade discusses what is called Transpolitics, which can be seen as a way to reform or change the way our system is in order for the transgendered community to have more rights. The fact that we have marriage equality or the fact that we have gay rights does not qualify as good enough change. We have to fully reform the system when it come’s to ideas such as laws, politics and even governmental institutions. That’s where the Transgender Law Center comes in, an organization that is looking to change the way our politics is so that everyone can have political freedom no matter what their sexual orientation may be, according to the Transgender Law Centers mission, vision and values;
Transgender Law Center works to change law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.
We envision a future where gender self-determination and authentic expression are seen as basic rights and matters of common human dignity.
For Transgender Law Center and our clients, authenticity is both a standard for how the organization functions and the ultimate product of its work. For the people we serve, the freedom to live how they want to live, self-defined and self-determined, is the ultimate goal of their engagement with Transgender Law Center and the trans movement.
Too often, people who live outside of the socially-enforced binary boxes of gender pay a physical, emotional, and economic toll. Whether it’s a lack of access to quality and compassionate health care, or an out-of-date legal system that allows blatant discrimination, equality is too often out of reach for trans people. Transgender Law Center is devoted to fulfilling the promise of equality for all people, regardless of their gender expression.
Transgender Law center believes in the power of the law to protect those who need it, and in the power of people to protect one another. Sometimes laws are the problem that needs solving, but as a legal organization we must have faith that our system, though flawed, contains the tools we need to use the law to ensure justice for transgender people. Not only are we a trusted ally for constituents, we also trust that enough people share the belief in common human dignity that we can someday create a world where people are safe and free to express their gender in their own ways. Trust in both the law and people is necessary for Transgender Law Center to continue its work.
The organization does this by trying to get laws passed that will help transgendered people out in the society, some of the laws that have been passed thanks to the work of the Transgender Law center include an EEOC Ruling that protects transgendered people, Gender Discrimination act as well as other laws. The Transgender law center does not only help in regards to changing the system, they also help by providing training for employers, clinics and other institutions, offering a help line for transgendered people who feel as if they are not being treated well as well as many other things they are doing which are trying to help transgendered people live a normal life without the fear of discrimination, hate, violence, et cetera.
One of the campaigns being run by the Transgender Law Center is the, “My Authentic Life” campaign which is a media campaign that allows transgendered people to share their stories in order to help open people’s eyes for justice and open their hearts to love for transgendered people. One of the stories linked below is about Gwen, a transgendered individual living in Seattle who tells us about their “Authentic Life”
The Transgender Law center has their headquarters located in Oakland on Telegraph Avenue as well as has a center located in San Francisco on Market Street. They also host the Transgender Leadership summit which allows members of communities to learn more about how to get transgender equality and justice by providing various workshops on topics such as the law or healthcare, et cetera. The Transgender Leadership summit of 2014 was already held at California State University Northridge April 11th-April14th of this past month and had speakers such as John Perez, Speaker of the Assembly, Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center and Pat Cordova-Goff, a young activist. Although this event has passed, there are many other ways to get involved with the Transgender Law Center, The Transgender Law Center accepts donations through a variety of ways whether through payroll deductions or direct donations, someone can also become a member of the Transgender Justice Council whose members donate $1000 annually to the Transgender Law Center. The Transgender Law Center also allows people to add them to their will or even add them as a beneficiary in their insurance policy. The Transgender Law Center also does offer Careers and Internships in their location, currently they have openings for their Fall 2014 Legal Internship division.
Dean Spade in the short video we viewed yesterday talked about this idea or this notion of Transpolitics which is a way to re-think our political system with rights of Transgender individuals in order for them to gain equality, in order for them to actually feel safe, not discriminated against and in order for them to have rights, the Transgender Law Center is doing what Dean Spade what talking about in relation to the video, they are impacting the lives of the Transgendered community by changing laws and impacting communities.
What I noticed first about what the mission statement was the face that they were not aiming to work with the laws that have been set but they are wanting to CHANGE them all together. Like we had discussed in class, the movement for transgender rights has to be aggressive because the laws and systems in place now simply do not allow for them to have any rights at all. To further their gains, they must “abolish” many of the laws that are holding them back. I think having a law center is fundamental to their fight. Having well educated and like-minded people on the side of the transgender that has been for so long underrepresented and cheated out of many “life-chances” adds strength and a backbone to their arguments. Another aspect of their visions and desires to be accomplished was the wanting and forming of “compassionate” healthcare. There has never been a clinical environment where they are recognized by doctors and state with a compassionate eye and as simply a human being. The hospital is a major tool in a transgender individuals life that can offer many options like sex change, therapy and other clinical procedures that can aid in the quest to truly be ones own “self”. If there was a hospital that was offered to them as they are offered to the gender conforming population, many transponders would be able to lead more healthy, happy and satisfying lives. For many, this is only a pipe dream. With a task at hand so grand and large, many do no proactively participate in the fight for rights because it seems at times so out of reach. Just as Gossett and Spade propose the abolition of the prison systems and law enforcement agencies, there may be no clear path but by making small changes, we will get there. By rethinking when to call the police in a situation and in contradiction of what we have been told but NOT calling and actually dealing with it among yourselves, we are decreasing the amount of dependance we put on police officers. If everyone practiced this realistic change, eventually we would be in a place where our instincts did not automatically tell us to call the police but solve the issue at hand independently among ourselves. I myself find it a very daunting task at hand to really change the attitudes that have been instilled in our society for centuries but with the help of agencies like this and the perseverance of those working within them, i am truly hope gull that a brighter future is ahead.