The TPOCC family would like to take a moment to reflect on some of the strides we have made over the past year. In January, we hosted an organizing workshop at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change conference. The workshop focused on inviting national and international voices to take part in dialogue dedicated to eradicating transphobia. We also served as a co-sponsor for The Task Force’s first national lobby day, an event that was attended by over 300 LGBTQ activists and allies. Shortly thereafter, we traveled to San Francisco to continue our series of nation-wide transpeople of color town halls. TPOCC members Cecilia Chung and Willy Wilkinson worked the event in partnership with community partners City of Refuge, the Transgender Law Center and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. These town hall forums allow us to build community locally and nationally while identifying, documenting and prioritizing our concerns. In the spring, we participated in a webinar withCenterlink to educate community centers how to work effectively with transpeople of color. We worked throughout the year with LGBTQ funders to create a resource guide and conduct a training for funders in Oakland on trans people of color. The outcome of that meeting was a resource guide created for queer and trans men of color.
At the Philly Trans-Health Conference, TPOCC hosted a mixer, conducted a legal workshop on transpeople of color legal issues, and presented a faith workshop. The TransFaith Conference in August connected us with faith-justice leaders and activists who are working toward trans-inclusivity in the faith community. TPOCC also conducted a legal rights for transpeople workshop.
Kylar Broadus, executive director of TPOCC, became the first trans person to testify in front of the United States Senate in June. His poignant and historic testimony exemplified the barriers that exist for people who live at the intersections of racial and gender oppression. He also highlighted the need for a trans-inclusive employment non-discrimination act (ENDA), and the personal costs for trans people who live without workplace discrimination protections. In July, TPOCC was invited to the White House for the Pride month celebration where Kylar, TPOCC executive director met with President Barack Obama.
TPOCC also lent its voice to bringing awareness and justice to CeCe McDonald, the 23-year-old transgender woman who was charged with murder after stabbing a white supremacist who lacerated her face with a shard of glass while hurling racist and anti-trans epitaphs at her. TPOCC responded to hate crimes with community partners and GLAAD in several cities including the murders of our sisters Kyra Cordova, Brandy Martell, Paige Clay, and Deoni Jones.
Vice-President Joe Biden called transgender discrimination “the civil rights issue of our time,” and TPOCC is working to ensure Vice-President Biden’s words resound loudly throughout the collective American consciousness. On Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) 2012, 15 trans and/or gender non-conforming people in the United States were memorialized: Brenting Dolliole, Erica Hernandez, Deoni Jones, Crain Conaway, Rosita Hidalgo, Coko Williams, Deja Jones, Kendall Hampton, Tyrell Jackson, Paige Clay, Brandy Martell, Lorena Escalera, Tracey Johnson, Tiffany Gooden, and Kyra Cordova. During this time, TPOCC released a statement calling for national attention and action to prevent future hate crimes against trans people. Kylar Broadus’ “Everyday People” featured in the Huffington Post and by GLAAD highlighted the reality of why TPOCC is necessary, “trans people of color are the most targeted due to race and lack of conformity of our gender identities and presentations to the greater society.” Kylar attended the second White House meeting on trans issues held on November 20, the international Trans Day of Remembrance. This was the first White House meeting to focus on the serial murder of trans people.
TPOCC supported the National Center for Trans Equality (NCTE) for their ninth anniversary in Washington, DC on December 5, 2012. We wish them continued success.
Our website had a facelift and has been redesigned to be a more effective tool for our members.
We have expanded our staff bringing on Parker Hurley, as deputy director and Mykal O’Neal Slack, director of spiritual outreach and organizing. Parker, "I'm excited to use my background in community organizing and advocacy to fight for justice for trans people of color." Likewise, Mykal brings a wealth of passion and experience in faith-justice. “TPOCC has a clearly defined mission of inviting our people to tap into their own power to effect change in a world that is too often ignorant to the ways that big issues like homelessness, unemployment and spiritual violence impact Trans people of color. I have the utmost respect for this mission and because it ties directly into my own theological framework, I was thrilled and honored to join the effort,” says Mykal. As part of his work with TPOCC, Mykal just completed the Rockwood Leadership Training. Renowned blogger and activist, Monica Roberts ofTransGriot has joined us as a contributor to TPOCC's outreach team. "I've been telling y'all over the last few months about TPOCC, the Trans People Of Color Coalition that is organizing and sorely needed in order for us to own our power in the trans movement," says Monica on a TransGriot blog posting. Monica brings over a decade of activism and leadership to TPOCC and we welcome her to the TPOCC family. We are grateful to have these new additions aboard and are always seeking the top talent to do this more important work. You can read more about our new additions and learn how to become a part of the TPOCC staff at www.transpoc.org.
TPOCC, along with numerous other partners have been and will continue to work with the Williams Institute for trans inclusion in federal data collection. If we're not counted, we don't exist. This prevents trans people from accessing many services and opportunities.
There is still much work to be done in our community, but we at TPOCC feel that this past year has produced immense gains in visibility of trans people of color. We are humbled by your stories, support, gifts, and activism, and we look forward to working with and for you in 2013.