The second edition of Authentic Lives, Transgender Law Center’s interactive magazine, is now available for download! Read through below or, for interactive features, download the magazine here.

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Letter from our Executive Director:

Twenty years ago I was just starting college and learning for the first time that it was possible to live outside the gender binary.  I was just becoming aware that you don’t have to be white to be LGBT – that LGBT people of color have long, rich histories. I was first discovering and becoming my authentic self, after spending my school years being punished by classmates and administrators for “acting” too much like a boy. I was first learning that I could be in the world in the way I saw myself, and first experiencing the many hurdles and barriers to making that a reality.

Though many of these barriers still exist, twenty years ago I could never have imagined the moment we’re in today. We live in a moment where powerhouses like Laverne Cox grace the cover of TIME magazine and Janet Mock’s memoir Redefining Realness debuts on the New York Time’s bestsellers list.  Today, my medical needs are covered by insurance because of advances in CA law, and the right of transgender students to be their authentic selves at school has been repeatedly upheld by the federal government.

And today, I am humbled to lead the largest trans-specific organization in the United States, an organization that is part of the vibrant trans movement that helped make the current moment possible.

There is so much work left to do it can be overwhelming. From violence and discrimination that pose a threat to the daily survival of many of us, particularly transgender women of color, to the devastatingly slow and patchwork nature of the advances we have achieved, progress is not happening quickly or fully enough for all of our communities.

As we celebrate our advances, I refuse to accept visibility alone and rights for some as justice. I am proud to lead Transgender Law Center as we, in partnership with our kindred organizations across various movements for social change, keep working towards the day when all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.

With pride,

Kris Hayashi, Executive Director
Transgender Law Center