Transgender people’s rights and lives are under threat. Transgender Law Center is fighting back.

Editor’s note: Join CREDO for a live conversation with the Transgender Law Center on Tuesday, Aug. 21 to discuss how transgender people’s rights and lives are constantly under threat and how allies can help. We’ll be broadcasting the discussion on Facebook and YouTube. Click here to learn more and RSVP.


We are in a moment of intense violence and hatred, and there is a lot of fear in transgender and gender nonconforming communities. The number of transgender women of color murdered continues horrifically to rise. We are criminalized and arrested at alarming rates, while Trump and his bigoted Attorney General Jeff Sessions pledge to put transgender people in prison in unsafe and abusive conditions by denying us housing that corresponds to our gender identities.

Transgender women are fleeing deadly violence across the globe and seeking asylum in the United States, only to be held in inhumane detention conditions that can quite literally kill them. Roxsana Hernandez, one such woman who undertook a brutal journey this spring in the hope of finding safety in the United States, died in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody shortly after presenting herself at the border. If Trump succeeds in adding another conservative extremist to the Supreme Court, its radical majority that will likely target the rights and safety of transgender people for decades to come.

But it’s important to remember that when Transgender Law Center was founded 16 years ago, the rights and visibility we have today were not even in sight. Before all of our legal and policy wins, we took care of each other and we fought for our rights and for justice.  As a trans-led organization with a strong legal arm, we know that while the legal system can be used to provide relief for injustice, it was built to maintain unjust systems of power and marginalize our communities.

That’s why Transgender Law Center has long held that we must resist not only through courts and legislatures, but through rallying together, organizing and supporting each other as we have always done. Through programs like the Black LGBTQ Migrant Project, TRUTH, TIDE and Positively Trans, TLC continues to center those of us who are most targeted, including trans folks who are Muslim, Black, living with HIV, young, undocumented, and who have disabilities. And of course we continue to fight fiercely in the courts as we work on the ground to build up a trans-led movement for justice.

Trans and gender nonconforming people are resilient. We know how to fight for ourselves, our families, and our communities, and we know how to keep each other safe. TLC is drawing on that history and that strength as we continue doing what it takes to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation.

Kris Hayashi is the executive director of the Transgender Law Center, an organization committed to keeping transgender people alive, thriving and fighting for liberation. This past June, CREDO members voted to donate over $34,000 to the organization. Join CREDO on Tuesday, Aug. 21 for a live conversation with Kris and his colleague Isa Noyola for an in-depth discussion on the topics covered in this blog post. You can learn more and RSVP here.