Metro Weekly

Trans United Fund: New organization will fight for transgender rights

Organization will engage in educational and political advocacy focusing on inequality and its root causes

The Transgender Pride Flag  (Credit: Monica Helms, uploaded by Dlloyd via Wikimedia Commons).

The Transgender Pride Flag (Credit: Monica Helms, uploaded by Dlloyd via Wikimedia Commons).

After repeated attacks at the state legislative level, a group of transgender and allied individuals are launching a political advocacy organization exclusively focused on advancing the rights of transgender individuals.

Trans United Fund will attempt to affect the political process, forming working relationships with politicians and endorsing candidates who are committed to supporting transgender rights — including tackling issues that disproportionately impact transgender individuals, like HIV/AIDS, immigration, unemployment and healthcare disparities. The organization will take part in efforts to better educate the wider public about the needs of the transgender community.

Trans United Fund has also developed a presidential candidate questionnaire and will be distributing it to the campaigns of all presidential candidates in the 2016 cycle, asking them to complete it. The organization will score legislators on their voting records, and will be looking at key races during the 2016 election cycle to decide where to best spend resources on behalf of supportive candidates.

“The transgender is no stranger to adversity but what we face today is a new challenge, a coordinated, national and vicious attack from the far right at municipal, school district and legislative levels,” said Hayden Mora, a founding member of Trans United Fund. “Trans United Fund will fill a crucial gap in our movement, creating a space for transgender people and our allies. We can not only fight these vicious political attacks that cater to fear and division, we must build a proactive politics to address other issues that impact our community — from HIV to homelessness to immigration and the horrific epidemic of violence.”

Transgender activist Bamby Salcedo, the executive director of the Trans Latin@ Coalition and a member of Trans United Fund’s advisory committee, said the organization will help support the activism, legal, policy and direct service work already being done by transgender and LGBT service organizations at the local level.

“I fight every day to address the consequences of inhuman immigration policies, the disproportionate impact of HIV on our community, violence and disenfranchisement particularly of the most vulnerable in our community — young people, black and brown people — particularly women — and immigrants,” Salcedo said in a statement. ” We save lives every day but we can’t reach everyone with direct services. We need to move from being primarily reactive to more proactive, going to the root of institutionalized transphobia. And that requires a strong political voice.”

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com