1. Reaching the Tipping point on state and local anti-discrimination laws
We start 2007 with nine states and almost one hundred localities having passed anti-discrimination laws that protect people based on gender identity or expression. While it is remarkable that this brings the percentage of people in the United States living in jurisdictions with such laws to 34%, and it is arguably more remarkable that this compares to only 5% at the end of 2001, it is probably most remarkable that we could see our largest single annual gain ever in 2007. We appear to have reached the tipping point where these laws will be passing with more and more rapidity. In fact, there are as many as nine additional states that could possibly pass laws this year. I’m not ready to predict we’ll get all nine this year, and in fact, getting four or five would be spectacular, but things are definitely hopping. We are in touch with even more than that. Stay tuned.
Last month, I went to New Hampshire and met with a group of transpeople and allies (including NCTE’s good friend State Representative Mo Baxley) who are hoping to introduce a gender identity anti-discrimination bill later this year hopefully for passage in 2008.
2. Introduction of Trans-inclusive ENDA
Legislatively, nothing has been more anticipated among transgender people and our allies than the introduction and passage of a trans-inclusive ENDA. We are very optimistic that 2007 will be the year when the bill is introduced and maybe even passed. We have worked very hard on this since even before NCTE was founded and we are hopeful, very hopeful.
NCTE has been intimately involved in the drafting of new ENDA over the past several years, so we’ve seen the proposed language. And we like. Early this year, when our allies in Congress give us the go-ahead, we will post the language on the bill and an explanation of what it means for all LGBT people.
3. Passage of Trans-inclusive hate crime law
Because it has already passed the House of Representatives (Septmeber 2005) in its trans-inclusive form and the Senate several times in a different form, members of Congress are telling us, the media, and each other that the most likely LGBT bill to move this year is the hate crime bill. Who knows if the President would sign it (sometimes I wonder if he likes us), but seeing it pass Congress only three years after we were told it would never happen will be a great testiment to the work of NCTE and our allies.
4. Thousands of new trans people will evolve and come out and help the educational efforts
This is why we are winning. Every year another huge bunch of people come out and join in the effort to educate America about trans people and our lives.
5. Helen Boyd’s new book
Since the publisher sent us an advanced copy, I’m not sure if Helen’s new book She’s Not The Man I Married is out or about to be out (sounds like a lot of us). But I have read it and it is a wonderful sophmore effort from the author of “My Husband Betty. An important disclosure: Betty is on NCTE’s Board of Directors—I am not trying to sell Helen’s books, but I have read it and once again Helen shows her ability to write with fully engaged brain and heart.
There will no doubt be other really great books coming out this year and we will read them and tell you just how great we think they are. I will personally develop a complicated rating system for trans-themed books.
Update: I just went to MyHusbandBetty.com and found that the publishing date for She’s Not the Man I Married is March 2007.
6. Trans 101 101 (Not a typo)
Here is the premise: hundreds or even thousands of trans people and allies conduct Transgender 101 training each year. Of those thousands, most do it fairly competently, some do it spectacularly well. Actually though, even the best can use some tips from others who are doing such training.
To that end, NCTE will soon be releasing our new publication which I have been calling—to the chagrin of colleagues at NCTE—Trans 101 101. I like the name because the publication is not really a Trans 101 document, but rather a 101 on doing a Trans 101
7. Privacy and Documentation Coordinator
NCTE will be hiring one. Increasingly, more and more work at NCTE has been focusing on ID documentation for trans people. You know, passports, birth certificates, driver licenses. Much of the policy work we do now is about that. And the largest share of calls for information and help we get are about these issues. Thus we are working hard to raise money to hire someone speficially to become our privacy and documentation expert. This person will be available to problem solve with individuals who need help, but they will primarily be working to impact policy at the federal and state level to make them more reasonable for trans people. To help support this effort, you can make a donation by clicking here.
8. NCTE Blog
I think my excitement speaks for itself.
9. “52 Things” is no Longer Weekly
Everything else on this list is about things that are going to happen; this one is about something that is not going to happen As noted on a post below, we are no longer doing our weekly “52 Things” campaign. This nifty effort was always planned as a project of one year in duration—thus how we picked 52 as the number. NCTE Program Manager Justin Tanis ably oversaw this project throughout 2006 and, in fact, did almost all of the writing. This is no small feat (even for a guy with no small feet), basically equivalent to writing a weekly column in addition to his many other duties. So thank you much, Justin. We have heard that it has been very useful to a lot of people.
But the 52 Things will live on even as they no longer cross your Internet doorway each week. First, they are and will continue to be available on our website here. Second, we have compiled them already into a really cool poster which is available for download now here. And third, we will soon be compiling the 52 Things columns into a single publication which we hope will be available in the next few months.
10. Religious Summit
In just a few weeks,on January 19-21, NCTE along with the Center for Lesbian and gay Studies in Religion and Ministry will be holding a summit of religious leaders in Berkeley, CA to focus on public and denominational policy issues that affect transgender people.
Invitations have been extended to transgender and non-transgender leaders from various faith traditions. Programming will focus on the following four topics:
* Denominational Policy
* Outreach to the Transgender Communities
* Public Policy
* Transgender leadership
This should be an excellent opportunity to continue discussions about how faith affects our fight for equality and vice versa.
11. NCTE’s Funky New Human Rights Calendar
Throughout 2007, NCTE will be highlighting vital human rights issues and exploring how those issues are important to transgender people. Each month, you’ll be able to download a free calendar that has information about a principle of human rights. Click here for your free January Calendar
12. Seven Is My Lucky Number
I heard that’s why they named this year 2007.