Happy holidays from TLDEF!


Happy holidays!  As we look back on 2012, we want to thank you for helping us to expand and enrich our work for equal rights.

While the number of people seeking our services continued to grow, some things stayed the same.  Access to health care remained a pressing problem for the community, and that was reflected in our caseload.

TLDEF tackled the problem head-on.  At the end of last year, we won a victory for Lina Kok, a transgender woman who had been denied short-term disability leave benefits for reconstructive facial feminization surgery.  We followed that up this year with our successful representation of Beth Scott, a transgender woman in New Jersey who had been denied health insurance coverage for a mammogram.  Soon after, we won a resounding victory for Ida Hammer, a transgender woman who had been denied health insurance coverage for sex reassignment surgery.  Her insurance company ultimately agreed to cover the cost of her surgery, which it recognized as medically necessary.

Hundreds of people sought help from the Name Change Project in New York City.  But perhaps our biggest feat was serving our first Name Change Project clients outside of New York City as part of a careful, steady expansion of our services.  We recognize that community members around the country can benefit from the project’s services, and are committed to expanding it to meet that need.

Through our work, our relationship with the legal profession deepened.  Last year, dozens of our partner law firms donated a remarkable $3.5 million in free legal services to TLDEF’s clients.  Our community relationships deepened, too.  Our 7th Anniversary Benefit welcomed hundreds of guests, and raised over $140,000 in a single night to support our work for equal rights.

There’s one thing that’s clear to us in all of this:  when we work together to marshal the resources we need to achieve equal rights, we all win.  And we want to keep winning.  During this season of giving, please make a tax-deductible donation to support TLDEF’s work in 2013 and beyond.

We are grateful to everyone who helped make 2012 such a successful year for us:  TLDEF’s staff, volunteers, donors, sponsors, board of directors, volunteers and the community members who entrust us to work with them for equal rights.

We wish you the happiest of holidays!

Best wishes,


Michael Silverman
Executive Director

PS  This secure donation page is optimized for mobile devices but will work on any browser.  Paypal has generously waived all credit card processing fees for donations to TLDEF this holiday season, meaning that 100% of every dollar you donate through this link goes right to TLDEF and transgender equal rights.