Trans United is a 501(c)3 organization that partners with visionary transgender leaders and organizations to build the collective capacity of the trans community and to improve the lives of transgender people, our families, and our allies.
Trans United combines strategic planning, organizational development, and technical assistance to support these efforts at the local, state, and national level. We have three primary areas of programmatic work:
Annual Cohort Partnerships
Individual Leadership Support
Annual Cohort Partnership
On an annual basis, Trans United develops intensive partnerships with six local, state, and/or national transgender-focused organizations working in direct service and nonprofit advocacy.
Trans United works closely with each partner to develop a strategic plan, increase financial strength, build outside partnerships, and provide direct support and additional capacity. We also build and deepen community and understanding across leaders of our partners, through sharing goals, lessons, and challenges.
Trans United is committed to sharing lessons learned and best practices. While we only have the resources to partner intensively with six trans-led organizations, we will develop tools based on our insights for the broader community.
Individual Leadership Support
There are few communities more hyper-marginalized than the trans community. Many trans people live at the intersection of multiple oppressions: racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, negative health disparities, poverty and more. Some of the most active and effective leaders are themselves quite literally living on the edge.
Trans United works to build trans-led organizations that meet the needs of our community by taking this reality to heart. We must build structures that enable us as leaders, not just to more effectively serve others but also to take care of, and show up for, one another. Over time, we aim to create networks and infrastructure to support the broader needs of our leadership community.
Trans United Partners Include:
TransTech Social Enterprises
TransTech is a co-working and co-learning community for LGBTQ Talent with a focus on economically empowering the T, transgender people, in our community. TransTech members learn and work together to develop personally and professionally, and build value within marginalized LGBTQ communities.
TransLatin@ Coalition advocates for the specific needs of the Trans Latinx community that resides in the U.S., and to plan strategies that improve our quality of life. TransLatin@ Coalition works to amplify education and resources to promote the empowerment of trans leaders.
Arianna’s Center engages, empowers and lifts up the trans community of South Florida, with a special emphasis on the most marginalized—including the Trans Latinx community, undocumented immigrants, people living with HIV and AIDS, and those who have experienced incarceration.
Transitions Louisiana is building the first trans-led community center in Louisiana for the LGBTQ community. Transitions will empower individuals to thrive and live healthy, honored, and dignified lives, and help community members navigate their transitions with comprehensive services, programs, and partnerships.
LaGender provides education, intervention and outreach services to the transgender community in the Metro Atlanta area, and offers expertise on gender identity, transition and health, HIV and AIDS, substance abuse prevention, mental health, and transformative social justice issues.
Arianna's Center, TransLatin@ Coalition
Dee Dee Ngozi Chamblee
Jada Mercedes Cardona
Western States Center
SEIU, TransAction Florida
The Parallax Group, LLC
Hayden J. Mora
The Parallax Group, LLC
Tretter Collection at the University of Minnesota
Andrea Jenkins is a poet, writer and multimedia visual and performance artist. She has been a part of the local poetry community for several years, earning awards, fellowships and commissions during that time. She is a Senior Policy Aide to the 8th Ward City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden and serves on the boards of OutFront Minnesota, Forecast Public Art, and SMARTS. She has one beautiful daughter, Nia, and an equally beautiful granddaughter, Aniyah. Andrea co-curates Intermedia Arts’ Queer Voices Reading Series with John Medeiros. In 2010, Andrea was selected to be a Naked Stages Fellow, supported by the Jerome Foundation, to produce a one-woman show loosely based on her manuscript Black Pearl. She was also a 2010 Intermedia Arts VERVE grant recipient for spoken word poetry.
Arianna's Center, TransLatin@ CoalitionArianna Lint is a transgender woman originally from Peru, where she graduated from law school. She has been working for the Florida Health Department in the field of HIV/AIDS since 2006. As a transgender woman, she has seen firsthand how her own community has been ravished by this life altering disease. Since then, she has dedicated her time to educating, mentoring and advocating for people in her community. Arianna has experience in public speaking, facilitating classes about transgender issues, HIV in transgender communities, diversity, workshops and she also provides pre/post counseling, testing and event planning in the field of HIV prevention, doing outreach for those at risk of contracting HIV. Arianna has had the opportunity to work with ADAP & CHEERS for Peers, and the Work Group for Transgender people in the Florida State, for the Florida Health Dept. Later on in an immunology clinic she was on the front lines with people that have been infected and affected by HIV as a Family Support Worker and later on as a Human Services Counselor II. Arianna is East Chair for TransLatin@ Coalition, which advocates for the specific needs of the trans-Latina immigrant community in the United States and plans advocacy strategies that would improve their quality of life. Arianna works with a passion to help educate and advocate for others, and is currently seeking her Masters in Social Work at UCF.
Sparta, Co-Chair - Trans United Families For Equality
Brynn Tannehill is originally from Phoenix, Ariz. She graduated from the Naval Academy with a B.S. in computer science in 1997. She earned her Naval Aviator wings in 1999 and flew SH-60B helicopters and P-3C maritime patrol aircraft during three deployments between 2000 and 2004. She served as a campaign analyst while deployed overseas to 5th Fleet Headquarters in Bahrain from 2005 to 2006. In 2008 Brynn earned a M.S. in Operations Research from the Air Force Institute of Technology and transferred from active duty to the Naval Reserves.
In 2008 Brynn began working as a senior defense research scientist in private industry. She left the drilling reserves and began transition in 2010. Since then she has written for the Huffington Post, OutServe magazine and Queer Mental Health as a blogger and featured columnist, and been a speaker and panelist for PFLAG, Netroots Nation, National Organization for Gay and Lesbian Scientific and Technical Professionals, and other venues. Brynn and her partner Janis currently live in Xenia, Ohio, with their three children. Brynn is the Co-Chair of Trans United Families For Equality.
Catalina Velasquez is the President and founder of Consult Catalina, a premier strategic policy, communications and diversity firm. Fluent in English, Spanish, and Italian, Catalina is an alumnus of Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, where she majored in International Politics: International Law, Norms, & Institutions with a Certificate in Women and Gender Studies. Her thesis was titled "Immigrant Women: the Documented, the Undocumented, and the Invisible; The Female Face of Immigration." Catalina has extended consulting and speaking engagement services for over a decade. She created a policy shop and public affairs department for People for the American Way leading their youth arm: Young People For (YP4), and restructured their training curriculum to meet the most cutting edge needs of an interconnected world and global economy.
Among many of the organizations that Catalina has worked and consulted on strategic messaging and policy are the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, D.C. Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs, the AFL-CIO, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. Catalina is a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Award from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation and was awarded the title of Ambassador for Peace by the Universal Peace Federation and the Inter-religious and International Federation for World Peace.
Catalina is the first transgender immigrant Latina appointed as a Commissioner for the D.C. Office of Latino Affairs since 2013 and was hand picked by the 2016 Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign to join the Vermont U.S. Senator's LGBT Policy team. After the campaign, Catalina joined the legacy organization Our Revolution as Board Vice-Chair. Recently, Catalina was named one of Rolling Stone’s “16 Young Americans Shaping the 2016 Election” and one of Mitu’s “Young Latinos that are Leaving a Footprint in Politics.”
Catalina also serves on the Board of Directors of Megaphone Strategies, a strategic communication national nonprofit, GetEqual, a national LGBTQ grassroots organization, and Inclusv, a diversity employment initiative to diversify the political and policy fields. Catalina is also on the Advisory Board of United We DREAM's Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project at the largest run and led immigrant youth organization in the United States.
Dee Dee Ngozi Chamblee
Dee Dee Chamblee is an executive and a seasoned advocate within and for the Transgender community. Dee Dee brings over 20 years of solid community-based organizing experience to bear on issues that include transgender Health, HIV and AIDS, research, substance abuse prevention, mental health issues and intimate partner violence, and spiritual counseling. Currently, she provides gender identity/diversity trainings as Senior/Consultant of TransWorld Consulting Agency. She is Executive Director and founder of LaGender, Inc.
Jada Mercedes Cardona
Transitions LouisianaJada is the founder of Transitions Louisiana, a community center in development to serve the Louisiana area LGBTQ community, cultivating new leaders and empowering people to thrive and live healthy, honored and dignified lives. Jada is the first Latinx transgender spokesperson for the Center for Disease Control's HIV Treatment Works campaign. She is the White House Consultant for the Office of National AIDS Policy, and the first openly transgender person hired full time by the State of Louisiana in the Health Department.
Western States CenterOwen serves the Western States Center as Capacity Building Manager, working across programs to support trainings and leadership development. Western States Center works to connect and build the power of community organizations to challenge and transform individuals, organizations and systems to achieve racial, gender and economic justice. Owen is formally the Program Director at Equality Utah, where they worked on LGBTQ nondiscrimination policy. Prior to moving west, Owen worked for Equality Maryland, focusing on both the DREAM Act and marriage equality. Owen has facilitated many trans-inclusive trainings, and has worked to build leadership programs for transgender organizers with support from Gender Justice LA. Owen believes strongly in community empowerment and engagement. They are a founding member of Baltimore's Team Trans Collective, a group focused on trans-inclusive trainings, and the Charm City Boys, a gender performance theatrical troupe.
Ruby was born in San Salvador, El Salvador. She fled a civil war when she was 16 years old. Now 43 years old, she has lived in Washington, D.C. for the past 27 years where she has devoted the last 20 years as an advocate for the inclusion of transgender, genderqueer and gender non-conforming gay, lesbian, and bisexual people in mainstream society. She is a self-made tireless advocate and leader for social justice. Her hard work has help gain legal protections in Washington, DC. She has fought for LGBT human rights, transgender liberation, immigration equality, access to healthcare, ending hate crimes and violence, and many other disparities and issues facing the communities that she represents.
Ruby's awards include: The Capital Pride Heroes 2005 by Metro Weekly, Trans America 2006, Latino LGBT History Project Heroes Exhibit 2007, 25 Most Influential Latino LGBT activists by Latino Voice 2009, Stein Democrats Heil-Balin Community Service Award 2011, Capital Pride Engendered Spirit Awards 2011, Gay And Lesbians Activists Alliance GLLA Distinguished Service Award 2012, The Activist Of The Year By the African American Prism Awards 2012, Ten LGBTQ Latin@s That Make us Proud By XQSi Magazine 2012, The DC Center Community Center Service Award 2013, and Gays And Lesbians Opposing Violence Community Service Award 2013.
Ruby is a bilingual inspirational speaker and nationally recognized sensitivity trainer focusing on social justice issues facing transgender, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people, both in English and Spanish. Ruby's work has been featured by News Week Magazine 2003, Washington Post, 2003-2014, The Washington Blade, 2003-2014, Metro Weekly Magazine 2007-2014, Washington City Paper 2010/13, Washington Times, 2012, The Advocate Magazine 2012, NBC Latino, 2013 and by News Channel 4, 5, 7, 9, Univision DC, CBS Radio, Pacifica Radio, and National Public Radio, among other media channels.
SEIU, TransAction Florida
Tobias Packer is a conversation starter and a rule breaker. As a proud Miami native and transgender man, Tobias Packer harnesses the transformative power of storytelling to change hearts and minds. In the last decade, Tobias has played a key role in the passage dozens of local ordinances to protect the rights of the transgender community.
After receiving his BA from Smith College in 2005, Tobias returned home to begin his career at Equality Florida, the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
Today, Tobias works as a creative strategist for SEIU (Service Employees International Union) and serves on the board of TransAction Florida, Equality Florida’s statewide transgender equality initiative.
The Parallax Group, LLC
Alison Gill is an accomplished attorney and a nationally recognized expert on LGBTQ law. Alison is a senior partner at the Parallax Group, focusing on policy implementation and compliance, legislative drafting, advocacy strategy, and risk mitigation. Clients praise her ability to summarize and present complex legal and policy matters in an accessible and succinct manner. The Parallax Group is a trans-led consulting firm that provides a range of support for state and local agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations including strategic issue advocacy, organizational capacity building, and organizational development. Prior to founding the Parallax Group, Alison served as Senior Legislative Counsel at the Human Rights Campaign where she managed state-level advocacy concerning conversion therapy, anti-bullying, education non-discrimination, transgender issues, LGBTQ health and wellness, HIV policy, youth homelessness, and LGBTQ data collection. Prior to her work with HRC, Alison served as Government Affairs Director with The Trevor Project and as State Policy Manager with GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.
Hayden J. Mora
The Parallax Group, LLCHayden Mora is the founder and principal of The Parallax Group, a trans led consulting firm that works to combines rigorous analysis, community input and policy and electoral experience to create sustainable, progressive change. Previously he served as the first transgender member of the senior executive team at the Human Rights Campaign as the deputy chief of staff and prior to that was the deputy national political director at the Service Employees International Union.