One-of-a-kind summit aims to build community and empower activists

SAN FRANCISCO – Transgender Law Center will host its 7th annual Transgender Leadership Summit from November 9-11, at UC Berkeley bringing together transgender community members, activists, leaders, and amazing artists and performers. Julia Serano, author of the award winning book Whipping Girl will be among the featured speakers at the opening plenary session. She’ll be joined by performance artist Annie Danger, poet and comic Danna Morrigan, filmmaker Kai M. Green, and filmmaker Tobi Hill-Myer.

“Transgender people have few opportunities to gather in a supportive environment, learn from each other, and grow together so that we can create a world where we can all live free from discrimination,” said Masen Davis, Executive Director.  “We are especially excited to partner with the Trans Advocacy Network to bring together local and state leaders throughout the United States to build a stronger national movement for trans equality. This could be our best summit yet!”

The Trans Advocacy Network, a national network of transgender advocacy and educational organizations, will be presenting a series of workshops based on lessons learned from advocacy work across the country.

Other workshops planned include Trans Law 101, Advocating to Pass Trans Inclusive Laws, Media Activism and Training, and more. Additionally, the summit will feature award winning films and include Q&A opportunities with the filmmakers: El Fuego Dentro documents the personal and political transformation of a group of extraordinary Peruvian transgender activists in a culture that is hostile to their very existence; Transgender Tuesdays, narrated by Veronica Klaus, chronicles the country’s first Primary Care clinic to open its doors to transgender folks in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco in 1993.

Drian Juarez has been attending the summit since it was launched in 2005. “Going to the trans leadership summit feels like coming home,” she said. “I had worked on the streets for years, struggled financially, and really hit rock bottom. Then, I found resources like the Transgender Law Center, and finally had an outlet for my passion to make things better for trans people.”  Today Juarez is the Program Manager for the Transgender Economic Empowerment Project at the L.A. She will be presenting a workshop at the summit this year entitled “Beyond Outreach – Personal and Professional Development,” which will cover topics like applying for jobs, interviewing, and maintaining employment.

The Transgender Leadership Summit will be held November 9-11 at UC Berkeley. Registration is $50 with assistance available for those who need it. For more information please visit or contact Kortney Ryan Ziegler at or 415.865.0176 ext. 311.

Use twitter hashtag #tls12 to follow the summit.

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.