Pictured on right, HRC Foundation's
Director of Health and Aging Shane Snowdon

California Congresswoman Barbara Lee declared this morning that our community "is not alone in the fight for equality." Congresswoman Lee, a founding member of the LGBT Caucus, introduced legislation to recognize today as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

She went on via teleconference to the audience here in Oakland at the National Transgender Health Summit to speak to the needs of and her commitment to the health and well-being of the transgender community.

She spoke as California's elected leader from the 13th district and as a former social worker, tuned into the need for holistic, comprehensive care and services for the community.

Hundreds of social workers, health practitioners, advocates and community members are here for two days of some of the most cutting edge research on transgender health.

HRC Foundation's Director of Health and Aging and living legend in the transgender health community, Shane Snowdon, kicked off the morning plenary with an electric "whirlwind tour" of where we are as a community.

She outlined all of the structural changes that have been hard-fought and recently established within the Veterans Administration, Health and Human Services as well as the rapid rise of transgender inclusive providers and employers in the HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index and Corporate Equality Index. The audience whooped and clapped.

Next I think we felt our collective hearts stop for a moment when Shane reminded us that we are living in an unprecedented time in which our first African-American person elected to the highest office and most LGBT-supportive sitting president, Barack Obama officially recognized November's Transgender Day of Remembrance. Yet at the same time, we know there will be more names added to the list of those who have lost their lives to anti-transgender violence this upcoming November.

We are indeed feeling the ground beneath our feet shifting to form a more transgender-inclusive nation and world. But there is still so much critical work ahead. And as Congresswoman Lee so strongly declared, we are not alone in this fight.

Our team will be blogging throughout the summit.

Filed under: Health & Aging, Transgender

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