Throughout the various post within this forum I've written about empowerment and educational opportunities for the GLBTQ community. I've reported about Queer Conferences, retreats, meetings and guest activist who arrive to offer grassroots training. Furthermore, I've often mused about the shaky internal workings of local organization which have had issues with diversity. Enter this new publication which provides invaluable ‘how-to’ advice to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations seeking to become fully transgender-inclusive.
The National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has released a joint publication titled Opening the Door to the Inclusion of Transgender People: The Nine Keys to Making Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organizations Fully Transgender-Inclusive, geared toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations. This publication comes on the heels of the National Transgender Lobby Day held April 15 in Washington D.C. Over 28 states received visits from transgendered individuals and allies who shared their personal stories juxtaposed informing their Representatives about hate crimes, employment protections and documentation rights. I couldn't find where there was any participant from Arkansas. I personally did a Capitol Hill Lobby day several years ago and was the lone participant from the state but was well greeted by our representatives. This is a great way to put a face with the issue and it's importance. The publication goes to great length to examine the overall impact of inclusion by citing that
“Transgender inclusion has been an important issue in the LGBT community, particularly in the past year. Yet, many organizations struggle with how exactly to become fully transgender-inclusive. We are excited to offer this free new resource,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE).
Opening the Door, which is based on years of personal and professional experience within LGBT organizations, makes the case for full inclusion at every level of an organization. It examines the need for genuine, consistent advocacy for inclusion of gender identity and expression in policies, programs, legislative stances and public positions, and explores critical issues such as understanding the transgender experience and the role of an ally, how to address staffing issues, dealing with prejudice and ways to further outreach. The voices of LGBT leaders discussing real-life experiences with transgender inclusion are found throughout the guide.