Happy holidays from TLDEF!


Happy holidays!  Thank you for helping us to enrich and expand our work for equal rights in 2011.  This year saw significant advances for transgender rights at the local, state and federal levels, in legislatures and in courthouses around the country. 

At TLDEF, our workload expanded dramatically in 2011.  The year started off with significant improvements to the State Department’s policy guidelines for changing the sex marker on passports.  Before the thrilling passage of marriage equality in New York, we pressed the New York City marriage bureau to take steps to ensure that transgender people had equal access to marriage licenses.

In 2011, we extended our geographic reach farther than ever before.  In Montana, we worked with local allies to turn back an attempt to strip transgender, lesbian, gay and bisexual Montanans of their constitutional rights by taking away their right to pass local nondiscrimination laws.  And then things heated up.

In a first-of-its-kind lawsuit, we sued the City of New York over its practice of requiring transgender people to undergo surgery before it will issue them birth certificates with corrected sex designations.  We followed that up with another first-of-its-kind lawsuit in New Jersey on behalf of El-Jai Devoreau, where we challenged his termination from a job where being male or female is a job qualification.

And down in North Carolina, we were thrilled to successfully resolve a claim on behalf of Lina Kok, a transgender woman who had been denied short-term disability leave benefits for reconstructive facial feminization surgery.

We also found some time to get out into the community and celebrate.  Our 6th anniversary benefit was tremendously successful, featuring community activists and prominent political figures.

We are grateful to everyone who helped make 2011 such a successful year for us:  TLDEF’s Board of Directors, dedicated staff, volunteers, partner law firms, donors and our corporate and government sponsors who support this important work.

We have a full docket planned for 2012 and we need your help to continue building a future filled with justice and equality. As the year comes to a close, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support TLDEF’s work for equal rights.

We wish you the happiest of holidays and a wonderful 2012.

Best wishes,


Michael Silverman
Executive Director