At its July membership meeting, the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition set goals for itself both in Tennessee, and also as part of a growing national coalition.
While the group will continue to focus on policy changes and other advocacy at the local level, it also will be paying more attention to the national stage as far as legislation goes, said Dr. Marisa Richmond, president.
“We have the smallest budget of any statewide advocacy group but we still are able to do a lot,” Richmond said. “Now we’re working on moving tot he next level with grants and other ways to make that happen.”
The group is in the process of changing its federal tax designation so that it can seek additional sources of income, and also is setting up a schedule of fund-raising events that includes its annual dinner, which will be held at the Nashville Universalist Unitarian Church on Oct. 23.
At the state level, TTPC will continue to advocate for diversity in education, pay equity in employment, and the passage of legislation on a slate that ranges from birth certificate and voter identification amendment to advancing civil unions and strengthening hate-crime laws.
Many of these issues are of national concern as well, which is why Richmond and the TTPC have joined with the newly formed Trans Advocacy Network, which held its inaugural meeting in Memphis during June. The new group is a coalition of statewide organizations, and should help them speak with a single voice at both the state and federal levels, Richmond said.
“There are specific concerns that trans people have that are not being addressed elsewhere,” she said. “All the work that we do focuses on what needs to be done so that people can not be discrimination against, and we’re going to keep working toward that.”