During the early years of lobbying Congress for Transgender
rights, the question raised by some legislators was: You are here
looking for Federal legislative changes for the trans community when you have
none (or precious little) at the state level. This statement rang very true and
resulted in our working with Jessica Xavier, who was then Executive Director for It's Time
America [ITA] and Penni Ashe Matz the Northeast Regional Director of ITS and
dedicated founder of It's Time Massachusetts to create It's Time, Connecticut
ITCT focused, in conjunction with other state level advocacy groups to
build a grassroots coalition of individuals and organizations focused to
effecting social and legislative change for the trans community in Connecticut.
The early days of ITCT were difficult and much of the advocacy was one on one
advocacy for the numerous trans folks who contacted ITCT for assistance or
advocacy on their behalf.
In 2002, Connecticut held its first Transgender Day
of Remembrance in Hartford and ITCT was the primary organizer behind this
vigil. This vigil was co-sponsored by over twenty statewide LGBT organizations,
attended by nearly 100 trans folks and allies in the small but warm chapel of
the Metropolitan Community Church in Hartford.
Following the overwhelming
success of this event, ITCT was transitioned into the Ct TransAdvocacy
Coalition [CTAC]. Not long after the creation of CTAC some major milestones were recognized in Connecticut: CTAC in conjunction with the Hate Crime
Network formed and subsequently passed a trans inclusive hate crime law in
Connecticut, making Ct the fourth state in the nation to do so.
action was done that resulted in the then Governor Rowland to reverse nearly a
decade long stance of including Transgender (and Bisexual) in his PRIDE Day
proclamation. In fact action resulted in the first truly inclusive
Gubernatorial proclamation that recognized PRIDE day as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
Transgender and Intersex PRIDE day in
Connecticut! CTAC in conjunction with
Betsy Driver and Janet Green of Bodies Like Ours held a highly visible and
effective demonstration regarding an Intersex Surgery that was planned to be
performed at the CT Children's Medical Center in Hartford.
The current CTAC Logo was designed by Reverend George A.
Chien, pastor of the Hartford MCC church. He designed the current logo as part
of the design for Connecticut's second annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Ct TransAdvocacy is now officially a 501c(3) for we received
our determination letter from the IRS on the same day the ordinance was
passed in Hartford! The Transgender Lives Conference has become a significant event for
TransAdvocacy and our communities, the 501c(3) is critical to ensure its
continued growth and success.
Several Key Accomplishments
- We were a member of the coalition that worked to pass the change in the Birth Certificate law to allow the gender marker to be changed without surgery
- Working with federal and state agencies and other non-profit organizations to train homeless shelters administrators and employees on how to make shelters safe for gender non-conforming individuals.
- In conjunction with the Ct Hate Crime Network
passed legislation amending the Ct Hate Crime Statutes to include the protected
categories: Gender Identity or Expression and Disability;
- In conjunction with the ctEquality passed
legislation amending the Ct Anti-Discrimination Statutes to include the
protected categories: Gender Identity or Expression and Disability
- As a member of the Safe School Coalition CTAC helped write the "Guidelines for Schools on Gender Identity and Expression" and worked to insure that the Anti-Bullying legislation law covered gender identity and expression.
- We are on a committee with other non-profits and state agencies working to create a better climate for the aging LGBT population.
- Conducted a study of the transgender population in the Greater Hartford area for AIDS/HIV that was funded by Yale’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) Community Research Partnership Program. The program was managed by CTAC and the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective with help from the Institute for Community Research
- Successful Action Alert assuring a peace
activist access to their T-shots;
- Supported and Helped Organize Intersex
Demonstration with Bodies Like Ours at the Ct Children's Medical Center
- Coalition Action to secure inclusive PRIDE Day
- Established program, through training and
advocacy, to provide housing and services for trans-women within a majority of
Connecticut's DV Shelters;
- Conducted survey's and training with a number of
Ct based homeless shelters;
- Worked with other organizations to pass an ordinance in Hartford for gender identity and expression protection:
- Created, in collaboration with the Hartford Gay
and Lesbian Health Collective, two professionally moderated tran support
- Held, in collaboration with the Hartford Gay and
Lesbian Health Collective, a TransHealth Screening day;
- In conjunction with the Ct G&L film festival
(Alternatives), held CTAC fundraiser for the Ct premiere of TransGeneration,
followed by community talkback;
- In conjunction with several long time Ct
gay/trans activists, produced and created the Documentary: "While Paris
Was Burning, Hartford Sizzled", which premiered at the 2004 Ct LGBT/Queer