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National Center for Transgender Equality - The National Center for Transgender Equality is the nation’s leading social justice advocacy organization winning life-saving change for transgender people.

  • http://www.transequality.org/about About Us | National Center for Transgender Equality - About Us The National Center for Transgender Equality is the nation’s leading social justice advocacy organization winning life-saving change for transgender people. NCTE was founded in 2003 by transgender activists who recognized the urgent need for policy change to advance transgender equality. With a committed board of directors, a volunteer staff of one, and donated office space, we set out to accomplish what no one had yet done: provide a powerful transgender advocacy presence in Washington, D.C.
  • http://www.transequality.org/history History | National Center for Transgender Equality - History NCTE was founded in 2003 by transgender activists who recognized the urgent need for policy change to advance transgender equality. With a committed board of directors, a volunteer staff of one, and donated office space, we set out to accomplish what no one had yet done: provide a powerful transgender advocacy presence in Washington, DC. Today, NCTE is a team of hard-working staff members supported by a nationwide community of transgender people, allies, and advocates with an extensive record of winning life-saving change for transgender people.
  • http://www.transequality.org/annual-reports Annual Reports | National Center for Transgender Equality - Annual Reports NCTE's annual reports share the stories of our achievements toward equality and the depth of our successes in policy, advocacy, and social change. Our board, staff, and volunteers are relentless in this effort and we're proud to share these accomplishments with you. 
  • http://www.transequality.org/contact-us Contact Us | National Center for Transgender Equality - The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) is not a legal or social service agency and cannot provide legal, medical or social services referrals. NCTE’s attorneys and staff work to pass local, state, and federal laws and policies to improve the lives of transgender people, as well as work with the media to create culture change and increase acceptance.
  • http://www.transequality.org/issues/resources/fact-sheet-writing-about-transgender-people-and-issues Tips for Journalists | National Center for Transgender Equality - Writing About Transgender People and Issues  COVERING TRANSGENDER PEOPLE GENERALLY Download GLAAD’s media reference guide for reporters covering transgender issues, which includes information on  respectful and disrespectful language: http://www.glaad.org/reference/transgender. Name and PronounUse the name and pronoun the subject asks you to use. See:
  • http://www.transequality.org/share-your-story Share Your Story | National Center for Transgender Equality - Share Your Story Stories have the power to change the world: a story can move a friend to support transgender rights, sway how a politician will vote, empower others to tell their stories, and more.
  • http://www.transequality.org/issues/aging Aging | National Center for Transgender Equality - Transgender older adults face profound challenges and experience striking disparities in areas such as quality of health and access to health care services, mental health care, employment, housing and other areas of livelihood. Research reveals that many transgender elders routinely encounter both a health care system and a national aging network that are ill-prepared to provide culturally competent care and services and create residential environments that affirm the gender identities and expressions of transgender older people. Learn more about the key challenges and policies affecting transgender older adults, resources for supporting trans older adults, and your rights as an older trans person.
  • http://www.transequality.org/issues/anti-violence Anti-Violence | National Center for Transgender Equality - Transgender people face extraordinary levels of physical and sexual violence, whether on the streets, at school or work, at home, or at the hands of government officials. More than one in four trans people has faced a bias-driven assault, and rates are higher for trans women and trans people of color. NCTE is working with anti-violence groups, women’s rights groups, racial justice groups, and federal and state law enforcement agencies to combat anti-trans violence. This effort cannot be limited to just Transgender Day of Remembrance. Public education, policy change and community efforts are needed to address the complex causes of anti-trans violence and ensure victims can receive support.
  • http://www.transequality.org/issues/employment Employment | National Center for Transgender Equality - More than one in four transgender people have lost a job due to bias, and more than three-fourths have experienced some form of workplace discrimination. Refusal to hire, privacy violations, harassment, and even physical and sexual violence on the job are common occurrences, and are experienced at even higher rates by transgender people of color. Many people report changing jobs to avoid discrimination or the risk of discrimination. Extreme levels of unemployment and poverty lead one in eight to become involved in underground economies—such as sex and drug work—in order to survive. While many states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and over 200 local jurisdictions, and hundreds of employers have adopted clear laws or policies to prohibit this discrimination, just about  half the nation still lives without these clear protections. Trans people can also face discrimination in the jobs programs meant to connect them with job opportunities and/or training. In recent years, courts and federal agencies have increasingly taken the view that job discrimination against transgender people is prohibited by existing laws against sex discrimination. This inclusive understanding of sex discrimination laws, accepted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2012, has the potential to be a powerful tool to combat employment bias. The EEOC has now investigated and settled many cases on behalf of transgender workers and has identified LGBT workers’ rights as an enforcement priority. We strongly urge workers facing discrimination to use these protections and seek legal help. NCTE will continue to press for a federal, state, and local laws to prohibit gender identity discrimination in the most specific terms in order to ensure that employers understand and consistently follow the law.
  • http://www.transequality.org/issues/families Families | National Center for Transgender Equality - Strong families—however they are composed—support the well-being of transgender people throughout their lives. Despite the advance of marriage equality, transgender people and their families still face many challenges. Both transgender parents and supportive parents of trans children can face unfair and harmful challenges to their parental rights and decisions. As with LGBT families in general, trans people’s families continue to face barriers to fostering and adopting in many places, and to recognition of their family relationships in many situations. Trans people seeking support in the face of family rejection or domestic violence still often face barriers as well. Our resources focus on family rights and responding to discrimination related to family relationships.
  • http://www.transequality.org/issues/health-hiv Health & HIV | National Center for Transgender Equality - Transgender people should have access to quality health care and should not be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions, including gender dysphoria. However, transgender people continue to encounter barriers despite recent legal changes including the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Transgender people face significant job loss and job fragility and, therefore, a higher rate of uninsurance. A majority of public and private insurance plans still have discriminatory exclusions for transgender-related care, but some states (see map) and health plans are changing the rules, recognizing that these exclusions should no longer stand and are a barrier to care. Due to the lack of research data about transgender people, there is still little funding for transgender specific health care that often precludes effective public health services. NCTE works with federal, state and local agencies and health advocacy groups to ensure that regulations, policies and laws are passed and implemented, which ensure that transgender people have access to quality health care without exclusions. Suicidality is one of the most serious elevated health risks facing transgender people. While the causes of suicide are complex, growing evidence links high rates of suicidality among transgender youth and adults in part to stigma and discrimination. Suicide prevention efforts should be transgender-competent. Transgender people in the US face high risk for HIV infection. Unfortunately, data is often lacking on how many transgender people are infected with HIV at a national level, but local health departments and researchers studying transgender people and HIV have shown high levels of infection and racial disparities. Areas of challenge include: understudy of transgender men and HIV infection; police interactions with transgender people conflicting with public health initiatives; discrimination and social stigma for transgender HIV people; health care provider insensitivity; co-occurring mental health and substance abuse conditions. NCTE is committed to working with HIV health experts and policymakers to ensure transgender inclusion, sensitivity, access to care, as well as ensuring once a cure is identified that it is accessible to transgender communities, especially those that are low-income or communities of color.  
  • http://www.transequality.org/issues/housing-homelessness Housing & Homelessness | National Center for Transgender Equality - One in five transgender people in the United States has been discriminated when seeking a home, and more than one in ten have been evicted from their homes, because of their gender identity. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued guidance stating that discrimination against transgender renters or homebuyers based on gender identity or gender stereotypes constitutes sex discrimination and is prohibited under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Unfortunately, general lack of awareness has contributed to continued discrimination, eviction and homelessness of transgender people in the United States. Strong, explicit legal protection from gender identity discrimination, including at the state and local levels, is still needed. Homelessness is also a critical issue for transgender people; one in five transgender individuals have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. Family rejection and discrimination and violence have contributed to a large number of transgender and other LGBQ-identified youth who are homeless in the United States – an estimated 20-40% of the more than 1.6 million homeless youth. Unfortunately, social service and homeless shelters that work with this population often fail to culturally and appropriately serve transgender homeless people, including denying them shelter based on their gender identity; inappropriately housing them in a gendered space they do not identify with; and failing to address co-occurring issues facing transgender homeless adults and youth. NCTE works with federal and state agencies to ensure transgender people do not face discrimination in housing and in homeless services. HUD has required grantees including homeless shelters to abide by state and local nondiscrimination rules; the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has created and promoted educational resources on serving LGBT homeless youth; and the Administration for Children and Families issued the largest-ever LGBT focused federal grant to develop a model program to support LGBT foster youth and prevent them from experiencing or returning to homelessness.
  • http://www.transequality.org/issues/identity-documents-privacy Identity Documents & Privacy | National Center for Transgender Equality - Trans people need accurate and consistent IDs to open bank accounts, start new jobs, enroll in school, and travel. However, the name and gender change process is complicated and sometimes prohibitively expensive. Moreover, many state and federal governments have intrusive and burdensome requirements—such as proof of surgery or court orders—that have made it sometimes impossible for trans people to update their IDs. As a result, only one-fifth (21%) of transgender people who have transitioned according to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey have been able to update all of their IDs and records with their new gender and one-third (33%) had updated none of their IDs or records. The survey results also confirmed what most trans people already knew—that gender incongruent identification exposes people to a range of negative outcomes, from denial of employment, housing, and public benefits to harassment and physical violence. NCTE works to remove barriers such as surgery and court order requirements to ensure all trans people have access to accurate IDs. We worked closely with the U.S. State Department and the Social Security Administration to eliminate the surgical requirement for updating passports and social security records. We provide technical assistance for states to update their name change, driver’s license and birth certificate policies. Today, about half of states no longer impose such burdensome requirements for driver’s licenses and state IDs, and growing numbers are streamlining procedures. NCTE launched the Trans Legal Services Network in 2013 to ensure that local organizations are better equipped to assist trans individuals navigating the name and gender change process. If you are interested in working to improve laws and policies related to name changes, driver’s licenses, or birth certificates in your state, contact NCTE—we can help.
  • http://www.transequality.org/issues/immigration Immigration | National Center for Transgender Equality - The United States immigration system touches the lives of millions of families, including transgender immigrants. Transgender immigrants come to the US for many reasons including seeking safety from persecution in their countries of origin, and for a chance at a better life. Some transgender people come to the US through legal processes and possess documents that verify their acceptance into the US as immigrants, refugees or temporary guest workers. However, a significant number of transgender immigrants are unable to obtain legal permission to migrate and arrive in our nation as undocumented immigrants. According to the UCLA Williams Institute, there are approximately 267,000 undocumented LGBT immigrants in the US and we estimate that between 15,000 and 50,000 of these are transgender. The actual number may be higher because many transgender people may be reluctant to identify themselves as transgender for a variety of reasons. Among an already marginalized community, the 2011 National Discrimination Survey showed that undocumented transgender people face higher risks of discrimination and violence in employment, housing, health care, when seeking services, and even in their own home. NCTE’s immigration work focuses on three distinct areas: 1) providing technical assistance to immigration attorneys and legal services regarding transgender matters; 2) working with federal agencies that administer and carry out asylum and refugee determinations as well as the border patrol and immigration detention systems; and 3) supporting the work of grassroots activists and communities of transgender immigrants across the country who seek legal protection and services for their communities.  
  • http://www.transequality.org/issues/international International | National Center for Transgender Equality - Transgender people face extreme discrimination and violence in much of the world. In many countries,  our very identities are criminalized. While the US of course has human rights issues of its own, it also has the potential be a strong force promoting global human rights. Through public and private diplomacy, reporting on human rights abuses, action at  the United Nations, and providing funding and other support to human rights defenders in countries around the world, the US has indeed helped move global LGBT rights forward in recent years. Learn more about the global effort and the US role in combating transphobia and persecution of transgender and gender non-conforming people around the world.
  • http://www.transequality.org/issues/military-veterans Military & Veterans | National Center for Transgender Equality - It’s estimated that over 134,000 American veterans are transgender, and over 15,000 trans people are serving in military today. Support for transgender veterans has improved, but they still face barriers from obtaining updated service records that do not out them as transgender, and from receiving VA coverage of necessary medical procedures. Find out more about advances and challenges for transgender veterans and service members, and how to get support.
  • http://www.transequality.org/issues/non-discrimination-laws Non-Discrimination Laws | National Center for Transgender Equality - Discrimination can be an everyday experience for many transgender people and can affect nearly every area of life. The National Transgender Discrimination Survey showed that 26% of trans people lost a job due to bias, 50% were harassed on the job, 20% were evicted or denied housing, and 78% of trans students were harassed or assaulted. And the transphobia that drives the discrimination is exacerbated when the trans person is a person of color and also faces compounding racism. Trans people of color face higher rates of discrimination.Clear non-discrimination laws covering gender identity and expression are  an important part of the solution because they can help stop the discrimination before it happens. Clear laws often cause businesses to have policies against discrimination and train employees to follow those policies. At this point, much protection can also be found under state and federal sex discrimination law as well. Learn more in our Know Your Rights Center.However, laws on the books don’t always translate into actual fair treatment. Another important step for governments to take is to issue guidance or rules about what the law means, such as by stating that transgender people have the right to use sex-specific facilities that match who they are.If you are working to pass a state or local non-discrimination law or policy, NCTE may be able to help.
  • http://www.transequality.org/issues/police-jails-prisons Police, Jails & Prisons | National Center for Transgender Equality - Police interactions, jails and prisons can be traumatizing and are often dangerous interactions and places, especially for transgender people and anyone who is gender non-conforming. In a country that incarcerates more of its people than any other in the world, transgender people are more likely to be stopped and questioned by police, engage in survival crimes such as sex work, end up behind bars, and more likely to face abuse behind bars. Being transgender or gender non-conforming in an American jail or prison often means daily humiliation, physical and sexual abuse, and fear of reprisals for using the legal remedies to address underlying problems. Many transgender people are placed in solitary confinement for months or years just because of who they are. In recent years, these issues have gained national attention. For example, regulations to implement the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) include specific provisions aimed at protecting transgender prisoners. NCTE and other advocates continue to  press for stronger protections and accountability and create new tools for advocacy focused on transgender and gender non-conforming people’s interactions with the criminal justice system with local, state and federal law enforcement officials and the public at-large.
  • http://www.transequality.org/issues/racial-economic-justice Racial & Economic Justice | National Center for Transgender Equality - Combating racism and poverty and uplifting the voices of marginalized transgender people across the US is key to the work of NCTE. When the results of the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey were analyzed, transgender people of color faced greatly elevated negative outcomes in every area of life. African American and American Indian transgender people reported some of the worst outcomes regarding discrimination in obtaining a job, violence both in the streets and by law enforcement, accessing health care, and homelessness. Transgender people in rural communities also reported significant shortcomings in quality of life. NCTE recognizes that racial and economic justice requires an intersectional approach and sensitivity to race and class, understanding historical and present systems of oppression. NCTE’s policy and advocacy work seeks to address issues critical to transgender people and those who live in poverty including: accessing affordable health care; preventing housing discrimination, evictions and homelessness; ensuring social service providers are transgender competent; addressing the school-to-prison pipeline from a transgender perspective; focusing on sustainable economic development for transgender communities in urban and rural areas; supporting the work of grassroots organizations especially those run by and for transgender people of color; and working on immigration reform policy to ensure a meaningful impact is felt by transgender immigrants. The Racial and Economic Justice Initiative at NCTE, started in 2014, is designed to address these areas and enhance the organization’s commitment and output for transgender people of color and those of low or no income.
  • http://www.transequality.org/issues/research-data-needs Research & Data Needs | National Center for Transgender Equality - Transgender people, and the issues they face, are under-studied because surveys of the general population rarely ask whether a respondent is transgender. However, there are tested survey questions about a person’s gender identity and transgender status that belong on government and other general population surveys, and NCTE continues to press for the inclusion of these questions. In addition, researchers must conduct more transgender-specific surveys so that the issues transgender people face are understood more deeply. Without including questions to determine whether a person is transgender on general population surveys, we lack official information about unemployment rates, income and poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, suicide, and all other data that are regularly measured in the general population. Without a large government or general population surveys to rely upon to get this data, NCTE, with the Task Force, conducted the National Transgender Discrimination Survey in 2011, which was a ground-breaking look into the experiences of discrimination and health disparities that trans people face.
  • http://www.transequality.org/issues/travel Travel | National Center for Transgender Equality - Many Americans have been disturbed by decisions of the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) to implement airport screening procedures that are far more intrusive than anything previously seen in the United States. These techniques—which often include aggressive body searches of passengers—present especially serious concerns for transgender people, who can be outed against their will or face bias and harassment. These screening procedures can be especially traumatic for transgender children. In the National Transgender Discrimination Survey—which includes data collected before these more intrusive techniques were introduced—nearly one in five transgender travelers reported having been harassed or disrespected by airport security screeners or other airport workers. In 2011, the TSA began phasing in new screening technology that replaces electronic viewing of images of passengers’ unclothed bodies with automated detection of potentially hazardous objects. This technology mitigates some privacy concerns but has not changed the frequent use of intrusive pat-downs. NCTE continues to hear troubling stories from transgender travelers about their treatment by TSA, as well as by officials at U.S. border crossings. While NCTE continues to work with TSA to promote better staff training, respond to individual complaints, and educate the trans traveling public, the agency’s lack of transparency and persistent use of invasive and unproven security procedures are a continuing cause for concern.
  • http://www.transequality.org/issues/voting-rights Voting Rights | National Center for Transgender Equality -  Voting is a key part of our participation in society and having our voices heard in the issues that affect us all, and we have the right to vote regardless of gender identity. Having ID that doesn’t match your gender identity or presentation should not affect your right to cast a ballot, in any state. But with increasingly strict voter ID laws, trans people may face barriers—both because of difficulties in obtaining an ID that’s accepted, or because they might run into bias or misunderstandings of the law when it comes to their gender.As the fight against restrictive voter ID and other voter suppression laws continues, knowing your rights can help avoid or solve problems at the polls. We want everyone to get out and vote!View our "Voting While Trans" Checklist to find out what your state’s laws are, what to expect at the polls, and what to do in case your right to vote is challenged. 

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