After years of widespread community pressure to end discrimination against transgender people trying to access public benefits in NYC, we are thrilled to announce that the Human Resources Administration (HRA) has adopted new procedures for working with transgender and gender nonconforming clients! To learn more about the procedures, please see our fact sheet.
The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) first became involved in this work well over four years ago, when our founder served on a committee drafting a proposal for changes like these to be made. It was only after strong and sustained pressure from many community members, though, that HRA was finally willing to agree to make changes. Most recently, we have worked closely with TransJustice of the Audre Lorde Project, Queers of Economic Justice, and Housing Works on this campaign, although many others, including the LGBT Community Center and the Transgender Law & Policy Institute, have been involved in this struggle over the years. We particularly want to acknowledge the extraordinary leadership of the Audre Lorde Project and the contributions of so many community members, allies, and supporters in this work, as well as to thank the people at HRA, including Commissioner Robert Doar, Executive Deputy Commissioner Jane Corbett, and Director of Office of Refugee and Immigrant Affairs Kavita Pawria, who helped make this possible.
We are thrilled with this victory and hopeful that more low-income transgender and gender non-conforming people will be able to access the basic necessities of life as a result. As always, though, the fight is far from over. We all must continue to work to hold HRA accountable to the new procedures and to struggle for justice for our communities everywhere.
Please see below for the announcement from the Audre Lorde Project.
Thank you so much to everyone who called and faxed over the last few days – this win only happened after countless community members and supporters, over many years, made our voices heard! We also want to thank HRA Commissioner Robert Doar, HRA Executive Deputy Commissioner Jane Corbett and HRA Director. Office of Refugee and Immigrant Affairs Kavita Pawria for being part of making this happen for our communities.
Look out for information about upcoming events in the New Year to celebrate and share more information about this win. There is still lots to do, to get involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-596-0342.
Since 2005, Trans and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) communities in New York City have been urging the Human Resources Administration (HRA) to address the rampant Transphobia, discrimination, and harassment that Trans and Gender Non-Conforming people in New York City face when seeking to access welfare/public assistance.
In June of 2008, a week before the Fourth Annual Trans Day of Action (annual March organized by TransJustice of the Audre Lorde Project) which was set to protest at HRA headquarters, HRA officials agreed to meet with TransJustice to hear community concerns. After this first meeting with HRA in the Fall of 2008, TransJustice formed a committee of organizations including the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Housing Works, Queers for Economic Justice and others, to develop a HRA procedure to address transphobic discrimination at HRA. In May of 2009 after months of meeting with HRA the draft procedure was finalized and submitted to HRA for approval. Over the last year TransJustice of the Audre Lorde Project, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Housing Works, and Queers for Economic Justice have been organizing for the procedures approval.