The fight for Transgender Equality, "America's Next Civil Rights Frontier," is alive and well in the state of Florida. Last year, Equality Florida launched our Transgender Inclusion Initiative with three broad objectives: To educate Florida's major employers on effective transgender inclusion protocol, to advocate for the trans community in a broader and more structured way, and to be an integral part of all public policy that involved transgender rights. To achieve these, and even broader goals across the Sunshine State, we formed TransAction Florida, which consists of transgender community leaders from all parts of our state.
As we move into our second year, we have increased the number of Advisory Board Members to increase our scope and influence. As we move into the 2015-2016 administration session, we are so pleased to welcome our newest members:
Kaitlin Legg, TransAction, Jacksonville
Jessica Lam, Jesilam Enterprises, Miami
Debrah Johnson, Gulf Coast Transgender Alliance, Pensacola
Devin Cole, S-TR-IVE, Pensacola
And we are very proud that many of our existing board members have been recognized statewide for their advocacy for transgender rights and protections, and for their leadership in diversity education:
Michael Keefe, St. Petersburg
Tricia Russell, Jacksonville
Tobias Packer, Miami
Morgan Laisch, Orlando
Bishop E.F. Mallaleyi-Mahee, Ft. Lauderdale
Aryah Lester, Miami
Gina Duncan, Orlando
Ashley Brundage, Tampa
Arianna Lint, Wilton Manors
Petra Doan, Tallahassee
Margeaux Mutz, Tallahassee
In the coming year, TransAction Florida will be taking transgender education and inclusion to the next level by engaging and educating more of Florida's major employers. We will be releasing a statewide transgender resource guide, and working to pass a fully inclusive Human Rights Ordinance in Jacksonville. We will be mounting an education and inclusion program for trans veterans, and we will be working to ensure that our school boards are practicing approved federal protocols in supporting our transgender youth. And, we will be working to ensure that no more transgender discrimination "bathroom" bills are an issue in Tallahassee.
But most of all, we ask that our Florida Transgender Community stay engaged, stay visible and stay vocal in demanding Transgender Equality in all aspects of our society.
In the words of Jazz Jennings, "All we ask is that the world see us as we see ourselves!"