Op-ed: 14 Reasons That Made 2011 Great for Trans People

BY Advocate Contributors

December 28 2011 7:10 PM ET

For eight years, I've been incredibly fortunate to be doing trans social justice work. And as I look back at what has been accomplished, I can say that 2011 is especially marked by victory after victory. Most Americans now know a little bit more about the struggle trans people face. Every day people are becoming stronger trans allies. From the trans actors we are finally seeing on movie and television screens, to local nondiscrimination laws, and to the global call for LGBT rights, there is real change in nearly every facet of our lives.

Of course, discrimination and disrespect against trans people persists. Disparities in employment and healthcare for trans people and especially among trans people of color run high. And our federal policy agenda is brimming with solutions we are pressing the federal government for.

Despite the work ahead, I'm still both humbled and excited by the progress that we are winning.

Recognizing that there is lots of good work being done across the country, here's my take on 14 reasons, in no particular order, that made the year great for trans people.

1. More and More State and Local Laws Pass 

Four states (Hawaii, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Nevada) passed transgender antidiscrimination laws--the most new laws ever in one year. Vermont and California passed new birth certificate laws making it easier for transgender people to update their name and gender. By a vote of 61-81, the Maine legislature killed an anti-trans bill. And 13 local jurisdictions passed laws protecting trans people in the workplace.

Tags: Transgender

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