Our Mission and ValuesAbout Us
Mission and Vision
Transgender Law Center changes law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.
Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their futures. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation.
What we believe
- Transgender and gender nonconforming people hold the resilience, brilliance, and power to transform society at its root.
- No one is disposable.
- The people most impacted by the systems we fight must lead the work.
- Until trans and gender nonconforming migrants and Black trans women are safe and free, none of us are.
- Liberation for everyone is both necessary and possible.
- Self-determination is a right we were all born to realize.
- Our survival is revolutionary.
- Because of those who came before us, we have already won.
Founded in 2002, Transgender Law Center (TLC) has grown into the largest trans-specific, trans-led organization in the United States. Our advocacy and precedent-setting litigation victories—in areas including employment, prison conditions, education, immigration, and healthcare—protect and advance the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming people across the country. Through our organizing and movement-building programs, TLC assists, informs, and empowers thousands of individual community members a year and builds towards a long-term, national, trans-led movement for liberation.
TLC was co-founded by Chris Daley and Dylan Vade as a California-focused, fiscally-sponsored project of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). In 2004, TLC incorporated as its own 501c3 nonprofit organization, focused largely on direct services. Masen Davis became executive director in 2007. During this period, the organization advanced significant impact litigation, hosted an annual Transgender Leadership Summit in California, and expanded to a national scope.
Kris Hayashi, the current executive director, joined TLC in 2013 as deputy director and assumed leadership of the organization in 2015, becoming the first trans person of color to lead an organization of TLC’s size and scope. Over the last six years, TLC has won precedent-setting legal victories through cases like that of Ash Whitaker and Shiloh Quine, as well as incubated groundbreaking programs including Black Trans Circles, Positively Trans, the Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project, TRUTH, and TLC@SONG. During this period, TLC has more than doubled in size and made an explicit commitment and shift towards centering racial justice in trans liberation work.
Recent Press Statements
A Court of Appeals of Indiana has taken the final step in the process and certified a decision that a state name-change law does not require a petitioner to be a U.S. citizen to change their name. The ruling, issued last week, is now the guiding law in the state of...
TLC and Civil Rights Orgs, Harvard CHLPI, and Firm Hogan Lovells File Lawsuit Against Trump Administration’s Rule Removing ACA’s Non-Discrimination Protections
Today Transgender Law Center (TLC), the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), Transgender Law Center (TLC), the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) of Harvard Law School, and law firm Hogan...
The Health Not Prisons Collective Vows to Combat Anti-Black Racism, End Criminalization of Pandemics and Abolish Systems of Imprisonment
The Health Not Prisons Collective is a new, three year national initiative of longtime collaborators led by, and accountable to, communities most affected by HIV criminalization in the United States: Counter Narrative Project, Positive Women’s Network - USA (PWN),...