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Transgender Equality Campaign Launched

NCTE and HRC Team To Empower Increased Education of Policymakers


For Immediate Release Contact:

November 3, 2005 Phone:

WASHINGTON, DC -- The National Center for Transgender Equality, in collaboration with the Human Rights Campaign, today unveiled the first in a series of ads aimed at educating Congress and the Washington policy community about transgender people and issues that affect our lives.

Todays ad, appearing in Roll Call, is the first in a series to be rolled out over the next few months. The ad can be viewed at www.nctequality.org.

"There is no question that Congress needs to hear more about transgender people and the contributions we make to our communities," said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, "Coupled with the education that many transgender people and our allies have been doing for years, these ads will go a long way toward building the support we need to pass a transgender-inclusive non-discrimination law. This isnt the beginning and it wont be the end, but its a big step toward getting this done."

These ads are part of a broader educational campaign that includes the release of several publications.

The Human Rights Campaign is releasing a new publication, Transgender Americans: A Handbook for Understanding that it will distribute to every member of Congress this week. The handbook addresses many of the challenges facing transgender Americans without legal protections, including employment discrimination, health care issues, identity document obstacles and school issues, and was produced in collaboration with supporting partners NCTE and the Transgender Law & Policy Institute.

"The more Americans know and understand each other, the more united we are as a nation," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Our new education campaign underscores that employees, many of whom provide vital national security positions, are being denied opportunity to do their job purely because of who they are. Most Americans want a federal law to end discrimination. But no law exists. Were working on Capitol Hill and across the country to build support for that law, a law we unequivocally support."

"Im proud to be a part of this critical campaign," said Diane Schroer, a 25-year Army Special Forces Officer who was offered but then denied a counter-terrorism job when she told her prospective employers she was transgender. Dianes story is featured in the Nov. 3 Roll Call ad. "I had the same skills in counter-terrorism the day they denied me the job that I did the day they offered it. When it comes to keeping Americans safe, discrimination cant be a part of the equation."

Another key component of the campaign is to empower transgender people to come forward and tell their own stories. To this end, NCTE today also released a new publication entitled Make Your Voice Heard: A Transgender Guide to Educating Congress. This publication is available at www.NCTEquality.org.

"Nobody can communicate the realities of transgender lives like transgender people," said Keisling. "This handbook should provide people all over the country with the tools they need to educate their elected officials."

The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people. By empowering transgender people and our allies to educate and influence policymakers and others, NCTE facilitates a strong and clear voice for transgender equality in our nations capital and around the country.

Chrystopher Soto
Administrative Manager
National Center for Transgender Equality
1325 Massachusetts Ave, NW Suite 700 Washington, DC 20005
202.903.0112 (v)
202.393.2241 (f)


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