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I am extremely proud of my trans sister Dee Dee Watters for the change she is making in Houston. It is with her leadership that we will draw attention to our trans sisters who are losing their lives due to gender based violence.

We are losing our African American sisters at alarming rates, we need to fight back we need to stand together and make this stop. Please take a moment to check out her site and the resources she is offering.

She will be hosting a Job Fair 10/24/2014 and a Transgender Day of Resources & Healthy Living on 11/22/2014.

Because we all deserve to live our lives as ourselves regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender or gender orientation.

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From the HRC Blog, written by Lou Weaver…

“Sharing our personal narratives can be a daunting task. We ask ourselves; how much is too much or is this relevant?  When it comes to being an advocate for issues we are passionate about, it can be even more difficult. We get excited, we speak faster and sometimes we talk too much.

In 2013, through the support of HRC, who sponsored the training, I was able to attend a training specifically tailored for leaders in the trans* and gender non-conforming communities. The National Organizing Institute hosted a three-day training covering topics related to sharing our personal narratives. Leaders from across the country met in New York City to perfect the necessary skill of telling our stories effectively.

Throughout last year’s workshops, I was able to tell my story and hear feedback on how to make it better. I was coached on the story of self and the story of we as a community, and how to utilize these stories to engage and motivate others. I returned Houston a better storyteller, and have been using my new skill set to share why I am so passionate about trans* inclusion.

This year, I am honored to be a part of bringing NOI’s important training to the Gulf Coast Region. Join me and other community leaders on May 17 for NOI’s public narrative training in Houston, Texas.

This training is specifically targeted to trans* and gender non – conforming individuals and has a limit of 50 people. Sign up today to secure your spot. The training is free and lunch will be provided.”

Click here to register.

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This post comes from Lou Weaver, Diversity Co-Chair of the HRC Houston Steering Committee

Last week, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office announced two new policies that would positively impact its LGBT employees and the transgender people in their jail system. The sheriff’s office added sexual orientation and gender identity in the non-discrimination clause of its employment policy, and incorporated language in its jail housing policy that respects the gender identity and needs of transgender prisoners.

Harris County is the first county in Texas to enact such important changes, and it is one of the most comprehensive in the country.

I am proud of my role in the collaboration with the sheriff’s office and other members of the county, and for bringing together local and national resources to support these efforts, particularly, on the national level, the Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE).

Sheriff Garcia has long been a proponent for the Houston LGBT community, seeking the endorsement of the GLBT Political Caucus and speaking at local events. So it wasn’t a surprise that Sheriff Garcia responded quickly when contacted about a transgender man facing harassment by jail staff.

The Sheriff assembled a team to create a policy – and they sought feedback from transgender community members including myself. As we went line-by-line through the policy, I was comfortable discussing language and options with them, but when it came to legal wording, I turned to NCTE and HRC, who provided incredible expertise.

The new policy outlines a “no-tolerance” approach regarding discrimination against transgender people by housing them according to their gender identity,and for access to the appropriate medical care.

Now that this new policy is complete, we are creating Standard Operating Procedures to outline implementation and training. I am proud to have been involved in the creation of this policy since its early stages, and of the collaboration with the sheriff’s office, the local community, NCTE, and HRC. I encourage other agencies look to this policy and our collaborative approach for creating safer environments for LGBT people in their care.