Thursday, September 20, 2012

Joining the Trans Advocacy Network

Post by Christopher Argyros, Pride Agenda Transgender Rights Organizer
I’m excited to announce that the Pride Agenda has joined the nationwide Trans Advocacy Network (TAN)! This is a recently-formed alliance of organizations that advocate for transgender equality and justice at the state and local level. TAN will create opportunities for member organizations, such as the Pride Agenda, to connect with trans organizations across the country for organizing and sharing resources, best practices and strategies, with the goal of building momentum for trans equality across the country.
I can certainly attest from my own experience as a trans rights organizer that this Network will be enormously helpful for the work I do with the Pride Agenda and as coordinator of the New York State Transgender Rights Coalition. Over the last year, I’ve gotten on the phone regularly with advocates from other states, seeking their insight and advice on strategies and sharing resources. I found that my conversations with organizer-extraordinaire Gunner Scott (Executive Director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition) were so helpful that I invited him to speak with the New York State coalition last month about campaign organizing, media outreach and messaging strategies. While recognizing that each state is different, with a unique set of hurdles and challenges in forging the road to full equality, the knowledge we share about what works (and what doesn’t) is invaluable. Additionally, in these conversations we inspire and support each other in what can sometimes be frustrating and challenging work. 
You can learn more about the Trans Advocacy Network at the new website: Also, check out the Network on Facebook and follow the Network on Twitter.
This new website is one tool that will make TAN’s goals possible as there has been no central hub for this kind of organizing before on the local and state level for trans activists.  On the public side, TAN will provide information about the member organizations and promote our work through the website and via social media.  
Along with the launch of the website, the Trans Advocacy Network will host conference calls and webinars for the member organizations on topics like community building, education and advocacy. These dialogues and training opportunities are crucial. Organizations across the country will now be able to support one another’s local struggles, while coming together in coalition to advance transgender rights across the country.
It’s an exciting time to be a part of this growing national (and international) trans rights movement that has the potential and opportunity to free all of us from restrictive gender stereotypes, and create a world where each of us can live with greater authenticity and freedom. If you would like to learn more about the advocacy happening here in New York, feel free to email me at or call (518) 649-8140.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

New from TRANScribe: Paola

Paola from Albany reflects on combating threats and discrimination in a dangerous living situation, reminding us that everyone deserves a safe place to live.

Here's an excerpt:
This was my worst nightmare turning real. I tried to be honest with my housemates because I was concerned they could have figured out I was transgender, and then how would they have reacted? Maybe in a more aggressive way. I still have fear when searching for apartments. I don't have a job to pay for one of my own, so I need to have roommates to afford living expenses. Read more.
Learn more about our TRANScribe Project or submit your own story.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New from TRANScribe: Patti

Patti from Buffalo describes the rejection she faced from family and coworkers and stresses the importance of securing equal protections for transgender New Yorkers.

Here's an excerpt:
Without legal protections, it is easier to avoid, dismiss, fire or evict us than make the effort to understand. This is why we need to raise awareness for transgender issues and pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA). The transgender students, teachers, police officers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, engineers, office workers, construction workers and farmers deserve the same rights and protections as any other New Yorker. Read more.
Learn more about our TRANScribe Project or submit your own story.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New from TRANScribe: Deborah

Deborah from Hudson Valley writes about her daughter, Jessica, and her fears for her future in a state whose laws put her at a disadvantage.

Here's an excerpt:
In New York State she can be denied the job that she is studying so hard for just because she is transgender. At a time when Jess is just starting out, she is at a disadvantage for jobs, housing, loans--all the things that the rest of us take for granted. Read more.
Learn more about our TRANScribe Project or submit your own story.

Why I’m interning at the Pride Agenda

Emily Cozzi, Center
In my final year as a student at Colgate University, I spent a lot of time thinking about (or perhaps agonizing over is the more appropriate expression) what I wanted to do with myself after I graduated. I also spent a lot of time (I’m talking weekends camped out in the library) doing research and writing papers for various classes about issues relating to gender and sexuality. It wasn’t until about halfway through the year that it occurred to me to transfer this relatively newfound academic interest and passion to my life in the real world. I applied to be an intern for the Empire State Pride Agenda because I decided it was time to take all of that thinking and writing and start actually doing. I wanted to take action and make a positive difference in the lives of LGBT New Yorkers.

When I tell people that I’m working at the Pride Agenda, their initial reaction (if they’re not too busy puzzling over what on earth LGBT stands for) is often: “Why?” I’m straight, so why do I care so much? Why am I here? Frankly, there are too many reasons to list them all right now, but allow me to offer a few highlights: I’m here because of the people I love who don’t enjoy all of the same rights as me, and because I’m a huge fan of Kurt and Blaine on Glee. I’m here because Judith Butler blew my mind and because you can’t write a 25-page research paper about the Lavender Scare without getting emotionally invested in the well-being of the LGBT community. I’m here because I know that self-acceptance is hard enough for teenagers without having to worry about being bullied or judged or rejected by their families. Mostly, I’m here because I think everyone should be free to love who they want and to express themselves in whatever way they choose. I’m so excited to be part of an organization that does such remarkable work towards furthering those freedoms.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Check out this video a volunteer made for us!

See what you missed our relive the memories from Equality & Justice Day 2012...

Friday, June 22, 2012

New from TRANScribe: Drew

Drew from Albany considers herself "fortunate" for her supportive family and coworkers, but notes that others are not always so lucky.

Here's an excerpt:

I usually shy away from telling those dark tales. I would never deny them, and my and other trans people’s dark stories are undoubtedly important testaments to the need for social change and tolerance. But the thing is, sad stories about trans people are so ubiquitous in our community’s ongoing dialogue that, being as fortunate as I am, I’m compelled to share my countless positive experiences and show people that being trans need not be treated like a leprous curse. You can be trans and have a great life. Read more.

Learn more about our TRANScribe Project or submit your own story.