Survival & Self-Determination Project:
The Survival & Self-Determination project is aimed at helping low income transgender people and transgender people of color access critical services & benefits needed for gender self-determination. Addressing needs specific to transgender communities, such as gender-affirming identification and access to sex-segregated programs or benefits, the project aims to help transgender people obtain these benefits and improve quality of living, while also fundamentally changing the institutions that provide them. Because gender self-determination and survival for trans people are so intertwined with medical treatment and medical affirmation, a big part of this project involves examining the intersection of medicalization, disability justice, and trans identity. The project uses multiple strategies to meet these ends: direct services to meet survival needs, impact litigation to change policy, discussion forums and education to build political analysis and shift mindsets, skills and leadership building amongst clients and community members to build community power, building strong alliances with community organizations doing work on similar issues, and training for service providers and allies on transgender basics. Outcomes of the work include:
- Vastly more people with ID that matches their gender, and as a result more people who can get employment, housing, travel safely, or access public and private institutions without facing discrimination
- More government agencies and facilities with gender-affirming polices
- More hospitals and OMH or government-run medical institutions with gender-affirming policies
- More medical providers who are aware of transgender needs and issues, and who would consider themselves allies to trans communities
- More people enrolled in government and private support programs (such as reentry programs) that are welcoming to transgender people, and
- More people receiving benefits that track or incorporate gender and gender identity disorder.