Trans & Gender Non-conforming Justice

Our vision in fighting against anti-trans legislation:postcard

LGBTQ Allyship is committed to learning from the lessons of Washington’s 2012 marriage equality campaign by leading with a movement-building campaign approach. We believe the voices of the most impacted must be centered in the fight for transgender and gender non-conforming justice. We believe there are many approaches to winning a campaign and there is power in impacted communities leading their own fights.

We are dedicated to educating our allies, building our base, and developing transgender and gender non-conforming leaders from low-income communities and communities of color.

What is a Movement Building Campaign strategy?

A movement building campaign model leads with an equity and justice lens. When using this model, organizations educate communities on the issues but not at the expense of our allies or the most oppressed in our communities. When using a movement building model, organizations, communities, leaders, and coalitions work together to advance public debate on social justice issues (such as racial justice, inclusive anti-violence advocacy, and workers’ rights). A movement building campaign is built and led by grassroots leaders and grassroots organizations that are most impacted by the issues. In other words, community is leading the movement. A movement building strategy ensures impacted constituents are informed and included in decisions and builds community power and grassroots organizations. It is a long-term strategy intended to be implemented over several years.

To learn more about movement building campaigns, please visit Western States Center.

What is a Traditional Campaign approach?

A traditional campaign approach will do anything to win, e.g., compromise legislation. This approach uses any message to win at all costs, including hiring paid lobbyists and paying for media. A traditional campaign approach is aimed at legislators and/or mainstream communities. For more about this approach, visit Western States Center.

Does Allyship think a more traditional campaign approach can work side-by-side with a movement building campaign strategy?


Allyship believes there must be a multi-pronged approach to winning a campaign. We believe educating and organizing within our community looks different than educating and organizing within the broader social justice community and different than educating and organizing within mainstream America.

Allyship believes we must meet people where they are at as we connect and advance broader social justice issues within our campaigns, including racial justice, workers’ rights, and ending violence against women.

Using a movement building campaign strategy, we develop grassroots and community-based organizations that already exist. By doing this, we strengthen our communities and better equip ourselves to fight for social justice and against attacks targeting our communities.

Why is LGBTQ Allyship using an economic and racial justice message in combating transphobia and HB 1011 the anti-transgender bathroom bill?

Allyship understands that transgender and gender non-conforming people of color and low-income communities are disproportionately impacted by anti-trans legislation. Trans people face multiple barriers to finding and maintaining safe, living wage employment. The National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that 26 percent of respondents had lost a job due to bias and 50 percent had been harassed while on the job. Trans women of color are especially at risk in public spaces. 14 trans people have been killed this year as of June 2016, nearly all of them trans women of color.

We believe it is important to lead with the experience of communities that are most impacted. Leading with a racial and economic justice lens centers the experiences of the most oppressed within the transgender and gender non-conforming communities and builds connection and solidarity with cisgender people who also experience economic and racial injustice.

Allyship believes in using strategic messaging that honors the experiences of the most impacted communities.

Why is Allyship dedicated to building transgender and gender-nonconforming leaders of color and low-income leaders?

Allyship has observed a gap in supported/mentored grassroots trans and gender non-conforming leadership in Seattle. We hope to invest in leaders who are the most impacted by anti-trans legislation. We believe that part of any successful campaign is the emergence of strong leadership from impacted communities.

Engaging in this type of leadership development means we require resources for training leaders on public speaking (including testifying in front of public officials, speaking at rallies, etc.), how to create media and gain earned media,direct action, campaign development, and grassroots community organizing with  an intersectional analysis.

Why is Allyship emphasizing gender non-conforming individuals in their messaging and campaign?

By including gender non-conforming people in our campaign, we are calling attention to the experiences of people who do not fit within the gender binary. The struggles of gender non-conforming people are often ignored by mainstream LGBTQ organizations and society at-large.

What work is LGBTQ Allyship committed to in promoting trans and gender non-conforming equity?

From the beginning, Allyship had transgender and gender non-conforming people as members of our first Steering Committee. We have prioritized the involvement, leadership and voices of transgender and gender non-conforming people in our programming.

Today we strive to center the leadership of trans people of color and low-income trans people within Allyship’s programming, board, and staff.

Currently, we are educating community members about HB 1011 the anti-trans bathroom bill filled in the 2017 legislative session and the anti-trans statewide ballot initiative, I-1547.

Why we organize using a racial equity lens:
Racial equity is a strategy to acknowledge, address, and eliminate racism at all levels. This includes challenging interpersonal, institutional, and societal dynamics that unfairly privilege white people and disadvantage people of color. Racial equity is closely tied to racial justice. Racial justice is the intentional reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes for all people.*

*This definition came from the Racial Equity Team.


Why we organize using a comprehensive gender justice lens:

There is a long history of sexism within LGBTQ movement. Addressing and understanding sexism is essential to combating homophobia and transphobia. Without sexism, transphobia and homophobia would not exist. We recognize that unaddressed sexism in the LGBTQ community has contributed to transmisogyny towards trans women and femmes and misogyny towards cisgender femmes and women.

A comprehensive gender justice lens acknowledges the differences between women from race/ethnicity, gender identity, immigrant status, religion, gendered identity, class, ability, sexual orientation and age. Comprehensive gender justice calls us to use an intersectional lens to challenge interpersonal, institutional and systemic dynamics that unfairly privilege men and masculine beings. Comprehensive gender justice reinforces policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes for all people.*

*Last sentence was borrowed from the Racial Equity Team.


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