…and a decade of victories for transgender justice! 

SAN FRANCISCO – Transgender Law Center will celebrate its 10th Anniversary with a gala celebration, SPARK!, on Thursday, October 4th at the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center in San Francisco marking a decade of triumphs in gaining equality and justice for transgender and gender non-conforming people.

“My heart is filled with gratitude for the thousands of people who helped make this monumental anniversary possible,” said Masen Davis, Executive Director. “We could never have achieved so much without the leadership and support of the transgender community; our visionary Founders, board and staff; our courageous clients; and our stalwart allies. I am confident our next decade will bring with it a sea-change for equality.”

At SPARK!, four leaders and organizations will be honored for their efforts to advance transgender equality and justice. Vanguard Awards will be presented to The Honorable Vicky Kolakowski, Alameda County Superior Court – the first openly transgender judge elected in the U.S. – and Felicia Alvarado Elizondo, aka Felicia Flames, a long-time transgender community leader involved in the 1966 Compton’s Cafeteria Riot. Predating the infamous Stonewall Riots, police raided the San Francisco eatery sparking outrage from the local transgender and allied communities and prompting a change in local policy. The Community Partner Award will be presented to the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a national legal organization committed to advancing the rights of LGBT people that helped launch Transgender Law Center in 2002. The Ally Award will be presented to Google, which extended groundbreaking health benefits to transgender employees this year.

Throughout the past decade, Transgender Law Center has helped over 10,000 helpline callers reach justice. Amber Yust, who was discriminated against at her local DMV office, is one such person. “I contacted Transgender Law Center because I wanted to feel safe,” she said. “Transgender Law Center helped me get what I wanted most – a commitment from the DMV to include transgender sensitivity material in their ongoing employee trainings.” Transgender Law Center has also won passage of legislation such as the CA Gender Non-Discrimination ACT, and achieved nationwide victories such as the recent EEOC ruling that protects transgender people from workplace discrimination.

An interactive timeline showcasing some of Transgender Law Center’s successes is online at www.transgenderlawcenter.org/timeline.

“If you’re wondering whether the U.S. is still capable of becoming a better, more equitable country, just look at the remarkable progress TLC and the transgender rights movement have made over the last decade,” said Christopher Daley, one of the founders and original Co-Directors of Transgender Law Center. “Thanks to support from community members, allies, and forward thinking funders, TLC has been able to build on the existing victories of a generation or two of transgender activists to open up opportunities for significant and lasting social transformation.”

SPARK! A 10th Anniversary Celebration will be held on Thursday, October 4 at The Green Room of the  SF War Memorial & Performing Arts Center at 401, Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco. A VIP reception will be held at 6:00PM followed by the GALA & Awards Ceremony at 7:00PM. Tickets and more information are available at www.transgenderlawcenter.org/spark or by calling C. Nathan Harris at 415.865.0176 ext. 307.

Transgender Law Center works to change law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. We envision a future where gender self-determination and authentic expression are seen as basic rights and matters of common human dignity.