TODAY: #EveryoneWelcome Campaign Launches in Support of Full Transgender Protections 

By Adam Polaski • March 1, 2017 • 2:38 pm
Today LGBT and allied organizations are officially announcing a new initiative called #EveryoneWelcome — a national campaign to showcase support for laws protecting transgender people in all public places, including restaurants, hotels, parks, on public transportation, and in public restrooms. The campaign consists of celebrities, athletes, elected officials, LGBT advocates, and everyday Americans who are recording 30- to 60-second videos about their support for transgender equality. 

Freedom for All Americans is proud to serve as a founding partner alongside our friends at the Ally Coalition, Athlete Ally, GLAAD, Trans [email protected] Coalition, Trans People of Color Coalition, and Trans United Fund.
The #EveryoneWelcome campaign was first spearheaded by Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey as part of the successful drive in 2016 to pass a law securing full protections for transgender people in public places in Massachusetts, including restrooms and same-sex facilities. AG Healey kicked off the campaign to bring #EveryoneWelcome to a national audience with a new video which can be viewed here and alongside others at campaign’s launch videos also include several members of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus:
  • Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the first Cuban-American and Latina elected to Congress, Congress’s longest-serving Republican woman, and the mother of a transgender son 
  • Congressman Joe Kennedy (D-MA), a longtime ally to LGBT people and a strong supporter of transgender protections in his home state of Massachusetts, the most recent state to update its nondiscrimination law to include full protections for transgender people
  • Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), a longtime ally to LGBT people, sister to an openly gay brother, and advocate for Connecticut’s marriage equality law 
  • Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV), a longtime ally to LGBT people and a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and advocate for open military service by transgender people

Additional current videos include:

  • Andrea Jenkins, performance artist, poet, Trans Lives Matter activist, and board member of Trans People of Color Coalition
  • Matt McTighe, executive director of Freedom for All Americans, the national campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people
  • Tiara, a trans leader from Zimbabwe who faced harassment and violence in her home country for being transgender, and who now works on immigration and international work at Trans United
  • Tiommi Luckett, a black transgender woman whose home state of Arkansas is considering a number of anti-LGBT bills
  • Ashley Altadonna, a transgender woman who works as a community organizer and program coordinator for the Wisconsin-based transgender organization FORGE

Kasey Suffredini, chief program officer of Freedom for All Americans, said today:

“It might seem from the actions of the Trump administration and attacks on transgender people in statehouses across the country that America isn’t ready to support protecting transgender people from discrimination – but nothing could be further from the truth. Conservatives and Democrats, business and cultural leaders, people of faith, educators, safety advocates, sports icons, and our friends, neighbors and families in communities rural and urban all across America are speaking out in support of transgender people. With 32 states still in need of statewide explicit transgender nondiscrimination protections and an historic Supreme Court hearing on transgender equality next month, there’s no better time to make this support visible, show Americans who we are, and showcase the urgent need for laws that prohibit discrimination against us with our campaign to make #EveryoneWelcome.”

Nick Adams, director of GLAAD’s Transgender Media Program, added: “Full protections for transgender people will be won when America hears the real voices and stories of who we are. We believe the message of acceptance and inclusion behind the #EveryoneWelcome campaign can help people understand what it means to be transgender today and why non-discrimination protections are so important for students and transgender people everywhere.”

“I am a proud trans Latina immigrant and I’ve worked for close to 20 years to provide direct services to people in need, including transgender people who are overwhelmingly disproportionately affected by violence, poverty, and inequality in our society,” said Bamby Salcedo, national transgender activist, board member of Trans United Fund, and president of the Trans [email protected] Coalition. “We must push forward every opportunity to raise awareness and bring consciousness about who transgender people are and the critical issues we face everyday. Transgender people and our allies must keep doing our best to better understand and support one another and to make a reality our vision of a society that welcomes all.”

“The #EveryoneWelcome campaign is a powerful, creative new campaign that amplifies the broad support for the millions of transgender people around the country who remain vulnerable to discrimination in employment, housing and public places — many of whom are living in deeply conservative states,” said Kylar Broadus, founder of the Trans People of Color Coalition. “With a historic Supreme Court case on transgender rights just weeks away and an administration willing to roll back support for transgender youth, it is more important than ever to push forward a united front and lift the voices of transgender Americans and our allies.”

The social media campaign’s digital hub is Powered by Tumblr, a longtime supporter of transgender equality, the site features videos, information and additional resources about the campaign.

“Tumblr is deeply committed to supporting and protecting the transgender community and LGBTQ+ equality,” said Victoria McCullough, Tumblr’s social impact and public policy lead. “We are dedicated to creating a safe and inclusive environment for people to freely express themselves and find solidarity, and we’re proud to join the ever important #EveryoneWelcome movement.”

Freedom for All Americans invites all supporters of transgender equality to add their voice and video to the growing number of #EveryoneWelcome supporters by taking a stand on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or YouTube today! And be sure to share your video with us here. 

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