June 4, 2013

Largest-Ever Fundraiser for Transgender Equal Rights Raises Over $225,000 for Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund

Organization Announces that Foundations Pledge Additional $125,000 in Extraordinary Night

New York – A cocktail reception on Monday evening raised over $225,000 to support Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund’s (TLDEF) work for transgender equal rights. The group announced an additional $125,000 in foundation funding at the event, including a $100,000 challenge grant from the Calamus Foundation in New York and a $25,000 grant from the David Bohnett Foundation in Los Angeles.

Celebrities, activists, and supporters of the transgender community packed the Art Directors Club Gallery in Chelsea in celebration of TLDEF’s 8th anniversary. With an attendance of over 300, the event was the largest-ever fundraiser for transgender equal rights.

Lance Bass, musical artist, producer, and activist, attended the VIP pre-party and spoke at the benefit about his experiences of discrimination as a gay man. “We will never be truly free as a community until each one of us has equal rights,” Mr. Bass told a cheering crowd. The event also featured Coy Mathis and her family, who TLDEF is representing in a civil rights Complaint alleging school-based anti-transgender discrimination in Colorado. Hosted by writer, producer, and actress Laverne Cox, the evening included cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction of artwork, vacation packages, and one-of-a-kind items.

The event honored BNP Paribas for its commitment to corporate social responsibility and for its critical role in providing legal assistance to the transgender community through TLDEF’s Name Change Project, which helps transgender people secure legal name changes. Author and activist David Mixner was honored for his lifelong advocacy on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Also honored was Dr. Marci L. Bowers for her expertise in transgender healthcare and unflagging commitment to serving members of the transgender community.

“Our supporters are raising the stakes in the movement for transgender equal rights,” said TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman. “We are thrilled to have made history last night at the largest-ever fundraiser for transgender equal rights because we know that the extraordinary support we received will allow us to bring more groundbreaking cases that challenge stereotypes and advance equality.” 

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