At a staff meeting yesterday, I asked everyone, “What is the first word that comes to mind when you think about fundraising?” The responses: “Scared,” “fear,” and “oy.”

Then I asked them, “How do you feel when you give money to a cause you support?” Everybody said, “Great!”

So, I’m not writing to ask you for money. I’m writing to give you the opportunity to support a cause that is important to you, namely ensuring that trans people continue to make strides toward full recognition and equitable treatment in society.
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In our last newsletter, I told you about some of our accomplishments. Now I want to tell you about my amazing co-workers.

In September, I was awarded the Harvard Public Service Venture Fund Seed Grant to start Transcend Legal. The grant covers my salary (up to $45K) and some operating expenses for one year. But the whole point of moving from a solo practice to an organization was to meet the overwhelming demand for services. I needed a team.
Patricia Harrington

Director of Operations

I’ve known Patricia since 2010 when she was volunteering at the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund. She is a Jill-of-all-trades who is maximizing our behind-the-scenes technology and building us a powerful website. She’s super smart, self-motivated, and hardworking. She was about to apply for Social Security retirement benefits (you'd never guess!) when I approached her about helping out with the website. I quickly realized that I needed to have her onboard full-time. It would be a waste for Patti to be collecting Social Security rather than working for trans rights full-time, so I want to do everything possible to keep her onboard.

Charlie Arrowood

Director of Name & Gender Recognition

I was serendipitously introduced to Charlie Arrowood when I was in need of an attorney based in Long Island. Charlie has been with us for a month now, and he has exceeded all of my expectations. I’ve been consistently impressed with his dedication to the work, concern for the clients, and ability to take the initiative. I can relax knowing that he will be able to set up and execute the systems needed to meet our goal of ensuring that every single New Yorker can have their name & gender legally recognized.

Other attorneys have expressed interest in working for Transcend Legal, and in particular, I would love to work with a young trans attorney of color from a top law school whose current job ends at the end of January.

And don’t even get me started about our all-star board members, Ida Hammer and Cecilia Gentili.

Who are you funding?

When you donate to Transcend Legal, you are funding a 100% trans-led, trans-run legal organization.

Our goal is to become self-sustaining by charging modest fees for our services. But we’re not there just yet, particularly due to the post-election spike in demand for pro bono name-change services.

We are asking for your support so that our whole team can continue doing this work next year, when it will be even more necessary. Donating to Transcend Legal will help to ensure that transgender people can access the basics in life, such as correct identity documents and life-saving medical care.

I know that Charlie, Patti, and I are capable of making big changes for trans people. Your donation can help unleash the power of trans people to create change for our communities. Please put Transcend Legal on your list for year-end donations. Thank you for your support!

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