Transgender Education and Advocacy
For more than two decades, political, legislative, and media attacks on transgender and gender non-conforming Missourians have been front page news. The need for public education to counter these dangerous attacks has never been more clear, and we know that transgender people and their families are the most effective educators and the best advocates for their issues. In the case of Missouri, since the Missouri Non-Discrimination Act (MONA) was first introduced to the legislature in 1998, it has been stalled by lawmakers. The LGBTQ community has fought back despite the question of legal protections over our bodies and experiences of struggle being continually cast aside.
The ACLU Transgender Education and Advocacy Program (TEAP) was created nationwide to give Trans and Gender Non-Conforming people a powerful place from which to advocate for themselves. The ACLU of Missouri started this program in our state to empower local trans communities and to help cis (or non-transgender) Missourians learn how to be better allies to this targeted group. To combat the backlash against transgender people and continue to make progress towards full equality, we must educate the public, the media, and lawmakers. We need to be telling complete, joyful stories of who transgender and gender non-conforming people are, why anti-transgender policies are harmful, and how we will no longer wait to be included in the communities that are granted legal protections in their home state.
Meet Jay-Marie Hill, the Transgender Education and Advocacy Program Coordinator.
The primary aim of the Transgender Education and Advocacy Program is to make Missouri a more inclusive, welcoming state for all its residents. We do this by working to shift the climate towards survival and thriving for trans and gender non-conforming Missourians. We do this by advocating for transgender Missourians statewide, working to identify and empower local trans activists and advocates, and to promote leaders in the grassroots transgender community. We help find ways the ACLU can support grassroots organizing efforts by hosting community listening sessions, as well as providing training, support, organizational tools, and educational outreach.
If you would like to join the fight or share your story to help further Transgender Rights in Missouri, reach out to Jay-Marie by email, or you can fill out our Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Experiences Survey.