Opening the Door to the Inclusion of Transgender People

April 28, 2008

Roberta Sklar, Communications Director
(Office) 646.358.1465
(Cell) 917.704.6358

New publication provides invaluable ‘how-to’ advice to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations seeking to become fully transgender-inclusive

WASHINGTON, April 28 — The National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force today released a joint publication titled Opening the Door to the Inclusion of Transgender People: The Nine Keys to Making Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organizations Fully Transgender-Inclusive, geared toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations.

“Transgender inclusion has been an important issue in the LGBT community, particularly in the past year. Yet, many organizations struggle with how exactly to become fully transgender-inclusive. We are excited to offer this free new resource,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE).

Opening the Door, which is based on years of personal and professional experience within LGBT organizations, makes the case for full inclusion at every level of an organization. It examines the need for genuine, consistent advocacy for inclusion of gender identity and expression in policies, programs, legislative stances and public positions, and explores critical issues such as understanding the transgender experience and the role of an ally, how to address staffing issues, dealing with prejudice and ways to further outreach. The voices of LGBT leaders discussing real-life experiences with transgender inclusion are found throughout the guide.

“Our movement needs this publication right now and we are pleased to have co-produced it and make it available to all. We are proud of the growth the Task Force has made over the years in regards to inclusion and it continues to be a priority. We hope that this guide will illuminate the process of becoming fully trans-inclusive,” said Rea Carey, acting executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

“The Equality Federation was thrilled to contribute to this guide, and I believe it should be required reading for all board members, staff members and any type of leader in an LGBT organization. I am asking everyone I know to read it because I believe it will better prepare our movement’s organizations to do what we set out to do,” said Equality Federation Executive Director Toni Broaddus.

The guide is co-authored by Justin Tanis, program manager of the National Center for Transgender Equality, and Lisa Mottet, an attorney with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Transgender Civil Rights Project. Mottet works on transgender-related legislation and policy and is the co-author of Transitioning Our Shelters: A Guide to Making Homeless Shelters Safe for Transgender People. Tanis, Ph.D., has a 20-plus-year career in LGBT nonprofits and is the author of Transgendered Theology, Ministry and Communities of Faith.

Download Opening the Door from our Web site or at


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.