Equality Florida Launches TransAction Florida, to Support Transgender Equality

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equality_florida_smTAMPA, Fl.—Seizing on the growing momentum for transgender equality nationwide and across the state, Equality Florida has launched TransAction Florida, a statewide initiative created to increase awareness and to educate and promote complete equality for the transgender community.

This month Florida hit the tipping point, with 50% of the population currently protected from gender identity and expression discrimination via local policies.

The announcement also coincides with the introduction of a statewide bill in Tallahassee that would add gender identity and sexual orientation to the state’s nondiscrimination law. [pullquote]“This is an important moment for the transgender community, one that has been too often the silent T in the LGBT movement,” said Gina Duncan, Equality Florida’s Transgender Inclusion Director.[/pullquote]

“This is an important moment for the transgender community, one that has been too often the silent T in the LGBT movement,” said Gina Duncan, Equality Florida’s Transgender Inclusion Director. “This project reflects Equality Florida’s longstanding commitment to trans inclusion, and it recognizes the need for visible trans leadership at the forefront of this work.”

TransAction Florida’s goals include:

  1. Develop transgender leadership across the state.
  2. Educate lawmakers to help pass gender identity inclusive local and statewide equality legislation.
  3. Provide resources on transgender issues in the workplace and in the classroom.
  4. Increase awareness and understanding of the transgender community through statewide advocacy, events and visibility.
  5. Develop a statewide Transgender Resource Guide.

The program evolved from Equality Florida’s partnership with TransAction Florida, an organization founded in the Tampa Bay area by Michael Keeffe from its predecessor, FORGE.

The group’s board voted to join with Equality Florida, and the project is now guided by the TransAction Florida Advisory Board, comprised of influential transgender leaders from all parts of the state. These individuals are highly respected for their commitment to creating safe and inclusive communities for all transgender residents and are strong voices for social change. TransAction will work to advance the emerging community in the areas of education, advocacy and public policy so that all Floridians are treated fairly.

TransAction Advisory Board – 2014

Ashley Brundage          Tampa
Petra Doan                    Tallahassee
Gina Duncan                Orlando
Michael Keefe              St. Petersburg
Morgan Laisch             Orlando
Aryah Lester                 Miami
Arianna Lint                 Wilton Manors
Bishop S.F. Makalani-Mahee   Fort Lauderdale
Margeaux Mutz            Tallahassee
Tobias Packer               Miami
Tricia Russell               Jacksonville

“Now is the perfect moment in history for Transaction! We have never had a better opportunity to speak to such a large audience vis `a vis equality and the full inclusion of all people no matter how they gender identify. For those like myself who identify as transgender, having a statewide organization that pulls all of our local and state communities together is long overdue!” said Margeaux Mutz.

“I think TransAction is important because we need more effective representation and to create a solid community.  We are not second-class citizens!  TransLatinas face the same or more barriers as all Transgender people just to be ourselves. We have a voice, too,” said Arianna Lint.

“As we continue the work of identifying and breaking down barriers across the state of Florida for our transgender brothers and sisters, the work of TransAction Florida is integral to the effort and our progress.  Collectively, the team that is TransAction Florida is uniquely qualified and laser-focused on the needs of the transgender community and is making a critical difference in every corner of the state,” said Tricia Russell.

“I am honored to be on the TransAction Advisory Council during this significant time for promoting equality for all LGBT people. I work tirelessly to show that transgender individuals can hold any job they put their hearts and minds into.  Since transitioning in 2010 as a male-to-female transgender person and being hired by PNC Bank, I have received an outpouring of support from everyone at the bank and the Tampa Bay community. Times are truly changing!” said Ashley Brundage.

TransAction Florida is an initiative of Equality Florida, the largest civil rights organization in Florida dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. To this end, TransAction Florida will be working to provide information, resources, education, awareness, advocacy and support of inclusive public policy for all Floridians.

Please “like” TransAction Florida on Facebook (http://on.fb.me/13qEta8), and check back for valuable information and resources designed to support all members of the transgender community.

[From a News Release]