- November 13, 2013
Post submitted by Noël Gordon, former HRC Senior Program Specialist for HIV Prevention and Health Equity.
Ten years ago, on a drive through Pittsburgh, Mara Keisling began thinking about the need to create an assertive yet authentic voice on issues affecting transgender Americans. Her idea eventually became the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), which celebrated its tenth anniversary last night at the Hamilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. A longtime partner in the fight for LGBT equality, HRC was proud to co-sponsor the event.
Keisling, NCTE’s Executive Director, opened the night with brief remarks about just how far we have come in terms of transgender civil rights. “This is our moment,” said Keisling. “We don’t have to look far into the future. We’re winning stuff [now].” HRC and NCTE have co-led several important efforts over the years, including our most recent push to pass a trans-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act through the Senate.
HRC proudly worked alongside NCTE as part of a diverse, bipartisan coalition of organizations representing the millions of people who support ENDA.
NCTE also awarded several advocates who have built momentum for the transgender community. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) received the Congressional Momentum Award for his long-standing support of the LGBT community. MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry received the Media Momentum Award for her ground-breaking coverage of transgender issues. Although the television host could not be there to accept her award in person, she called it a “mandate to continue to strive to do the work even better.” Dylan Orr, Amanda Simpson, and Chloe Schwenke received the Julie Johnson Founder’s Award, named posthumously for an original member of NCTE’s Board of Directors.
Whether it is working with the Social Security Administration to modernize gender change policies, or releasing a national survey of transgender discrimination, NCTE has undoubtedly made life better for transgender people.
“Thanks to their smarts, commitment and skills, we are not only more equal under the law but we are poised to achieve more victories in the months and years to come,” said Jay Brown, HRC’s Director of Foundation Program Strategies and a longtime NCTE supporter.
Congratulations NCTE on 10 years of progress!