About The TransAdvocate

The TransAdvocate is investigative news and nuanced commentary from a boots-on-the-ground trans advocate perspective. What sets the TransAdvocate apart is its commitment to publishing contextual pieces based upon original investigative effort. In other words, we don’t simply repeat the news from other media sources, we report the news as discovered through actual investigative work and fact-checking.

Specifically, the TransAdvocate focuses on watchdogging media tropes and misinformation that gains social currency. We’re willing to do what it takes to expose hate — especially when hate is being peddled as reason, faith or journalism. We here at the TrasnAdvocate generally won’t pull our punches and we are all too happy to drag the truth – kicking and screaming – into the light of day.


TransAdvocate.com was created in 2002 by Marti Abernathey. The TransAdvocate exists to give a voice to trans advocates in a new media environment. Cristan Williams is the TransAdvocate’s managing editor. The editors of the TransAdvocate are:

The TransAdvocate: An Independent Nonprofit

The TransAdvocate editorial board controls content presented on the Transadvocate. TransAdvocate authors are members of the TransAdvocate Writers Collective. Guest posts represent non-Collective work.

  • The TransAdvocate is a project of the Transgender Foundation of America (TFA), a 501c3 nonprofit (EIN: 76-0670632). Donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. The TransAdvocate compensates its writers from reader donations and fundraising activities.
  • The TransAdvocate is a member of the Houston Transgender Unity Committee (HTUC). TransAdvocate archival materials are maintained by the Houston Transgender Archive.
  • The TransAdvocate facilitates The Conversations Project (TCP), a historical project that seeks to bring attention to a decades-old intersectional trans, intersex and genderqueer inclusive radical feminist tradition. TCP publishes a quarterly journal and is serialized at the Feminist Times.

If you are interested in becoming a contributor to the TransAdvocate, please refer to our submissions page. If you have questions and would like to email, call, or write the TransAdvocate, please visit our contact page.

About TFA

Organized in 1998, TFA is a Houston-based grassroots nonprofit organization that obtained its 501c3 nonprofit status in 2001. TFA was brought into existence through the hard work and support its parent organization, the Gulf Coast Transgender Community (GCTC) which traces its roots back to 1965. In addition to TFA, GCTC was instrumental in organizing pioneering organizations like the Texas Association for Transsexual Support (TATS) and historic events such as the International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy. GCTC’s spirit lives on in the TFA mission of improving the quality of life for transgender people.

TFA facilitates numerous trans support groups and community events such as the Unity Banquet, now in its 24th year. Additionally it maintains the Transgender Archive and the Trans Center, provides annual scholarships to trans-supportive academics, represents trans health concerns with health departments across the nation, trains organizations, companies, and schools throughout the nation and pioneered trans homeless, social, and medical services.

A Historical Perspective on Trans Advocacy

On one front we were fighting TERFs as they worked with US Administrations to try to institutionalize a national program of reparative therapy for all trans folk, revoke our access to health care, and to legislate trans people out of existence. On another front, we were fighting powerful gay men who felt that trans folk were dragging the gay rights movement down so that the founder of HRC, Steven Endean, encouraged the movement to “hide the drag queens.” On other fronts, we were facing systemic institutionalized discrimination at every level of society. On yet other fronts, we were fighting to just stay alive. At every level and in every way possible, both our foes and those who were supposed to be our allies made existence harder. The system was rigged to ensure that it produced a disenfranchised, demoralized, and dehumanized trans population with some of the highest rates of murder, rape, assault, unemployment, HIV, homelessness, psychological pressure and, of course, suicide. This is what the trans advocate movement has spent the last 50 years pushing against and now – finally – the trans community is at a tipping point.

1979: trans pioneer and our nation’s first out trans judge, Phyllis Frye fighting to ensure that trans employment protections are not forgotten in the fight for equality. | Courtesy of the Houston Transgender Archive

Now, TERFs are confronted as bigots at every turn. Now, over the past 5 – 10 years, we’ve seen trans social and medical services begin to pop up across the nation even as the last “respectable” reparative therapy clinic was shut down. Now, trans people are protected under Title VII, Title IX, HUD non-discrimination rules, and we are able to acquire correct federal identification (thank you Obama!), regardless of what state legislatures have to say. Even as bigots scramble to assert that after 60+ years of trans people using hygiene facilities that correspond to their gender identity within the United States that:

  • The existence of trans people suddenly poses safety risks
  • After 20+ years of case law behind the legal concept of “gender identity”, we somehow no longer understand what it means
  • Trans-inclusive nondiscrimination policies are bad because these policies aren’t procedure

We have nonetheless made great strides in reclaiming our own trans history, civil rights and place within society. At every level, the trans community is making headway.

Welcome to the second wave of trans activism!

4 Comments

  1. gee gee taves February 25, 2014
  2. Charlie April 2, 2014
  3. Daphne Hanrahan June 20, 2016
    • Cristan July 1, 2016

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