Educate. Advocate. Empower.
UCLA estimates that over 31,000 Tennesseans are transgender, putting the state in the top 10 as far as trans people per capita – ahead of states like Colorado and Washington, and in line with states like California, Hawaii and Oregon. However, the Volunteer State has met trans people with hostility and danger, with one of the highest rates of anti-trans legislation being introduced, and a state government that has time and again chosen to prioritize trans oppression.
Despite the attitudes of some elected officials, and the simple lack of familiarity by many Tennesseans with what it means to be transgender, being trans is a tangible human experience.
The TRANScend Tennessee program leverages public education, community outreach and support, and political engagement to help change the overall narrative about trans people in Tennessee from a negative, distanced one to a positive, empathetic one. By sharing the real human experiences of transgender and gender non-conforming Tennesseans, we hope to create greater understanding and empathy on trans topics that people who are on the fence about trans issues can learn from.
The program has three major pillars:
- Community outreach and education for organizations, institutions, businesses, and individuals, particularly in rural and suburban area of Tennessee, that may need support in understanding transness and could be powerful allies.
- Community outreach and engagement with trans organizations/groups/individuals in rural and suburban areas in Tennessee.
- Dismantling of the public narratives that actively harm trans people in Tennessee and replacing them with affirming and positive ones.
These pillars are made to uplift and prioritize trans voices while also meeting people where they are when it comes to knowledge of trans issues. The firm foundation of our program is in empathy and knowledge.
Tennessee is a national leader in fighting anti-trans legislation and rhetoric and, through our proactive approach to this inequity, we’re hoping that the power of people joining together can help to interrupt – and even prevent – these types of sentiments from being embedded in our state’s public policies.
NOTE: The language on this page and in the linked resources should not be considered legal advice.
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Educational initiatives supported by TAWANI Foundation.