ACLU of Tennessee Launches TRANScend Tennessee Initiative on Transgender Day of Visibility
Statewide Program Aims to Educate the Public and Empower Transgender Tennesseans
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2022
Lindsay Kee, 615-320-7142
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, the ACLU of Tennessee launched TRANScend Tennessee, a statewide community education, engagement and empowerment initiative. The goal of this program is to educate the general public about trans lives in Tennessee, to support and empower transgender Tennesseans, and to change the public narrative about what it means to be transgender in the state.
“This work fills me with deep joy and hope for Tennessee’s future,” said Henry Seaton, ACLU-TN transgender justice advocate. “I’m looking forward to building up and affirming the Tennessee trans community and bringing trans voices to the forefront as we fight for the ability to simply be ourselves in Tennessee. I also hope to engage with a range of community and civic groups, businesses, religious and educational institutions – especially in rural and suburban areas – to share what life is like for trans people in Tennessee and to train people on how to be good allies.
“Conversation by conversation,” Seaton continued, “we can truly teach that being trans isn’t just a distant theory, but a real-life human experience for thousands of people across the state, and that trans people deserve to be treated with respect, dignity and fairness.”
According to UCLA’s Williams Institute, over 31,000 trans people live in the state of Tennessee, ranking the state tenth in terms of trans people per capita. This is higher than states like Colorado and Washington, and on par with Oregon.
This year, state legislators introduced fourteen anti-transgender bills, including a bill that would have made it a crime to provide gender-affirming health care to minors and one that insulates teachers who choose to misgender a trans student from any accountability or adverse action.
The TRANScend Tennessee campaign includes community education for cisgender and transgender audiences, training on trans experiences and how to advocate for trans people, “Know Your Rights” resources, opportunities to network and build relationships, partnerships with local trans organizations, and more. More information about the campaign and available trainings and resources can be found at the TRANScend Tennessee website.
“Transgender Tennesseans are our family members, our friends, our constituents, our students, our co-workers and our neighbors, and they have a right to be themselves,” said Hedy Weinberg, ACLU-TN executive director. “We hope that this initiative will help the wider public understand the obstacles faced by trans Tennesseans in their daily lives, support people on the fence about trans issues in their journey to becoming affirming, and advance trans Tennesseans on their path to becoming fully free to be themselves in this state.”
Today is the 2022 Transgender Day of Visibility.
Educational initiatives supported by TAWANI Foundation.
The TRANScend Tennessee website can be found at: https://www.aclu-tn.org/transcend-tennessee/.
To request a TRANScend Tennessee speaker, please complete our speaker request form at: https://action.aclu.org/webform/tn-guest-speaker-request-form.