Gender Justice LA (GJLA) is a member-based, grassroots social justice organization for and led by gender non-conforming, genderfluid, two-spirit, questioning, and trans Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) in LA County, centering low-income folks. We organize, hold space, provide resources, and collaborate with others so that our communities can: resist oppression, develop community responses to violence, heal from present & historical trauma, and come together in ways that feel brave & affirming. We know that personally and culturally, our genders are bigger than the language we have. We are 20 years resilient with our roots dating back to 1995.
GJLA serves transgender, gender non-conforming (TGNC) & Transgender, Gender Non-conforming, Intersex (TGI), 2S, Non-Binary, Gender Expansive, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and no-low-income communities. Our constituents and members make up a wide arrange of gender(s), sexual identities and or expressions. We are committed to making concrete changes for racial, gender and economic justice. Through organizing, leadership development, policy advocacy and coalition work, we are building our collective power to fight for issues impacting our communities.
In order to continue this critical work, we need your support! Please consider investing TGNC / TGI communities! Invest in Gender Justice LA, a TGNC led organization that has been in existence for the last 20+ years!
To learn more about our work, please read below...
With your support in the last two years, GJLA has been able to do the following (and so much more!)...
Gender Justice LA has created many Trans Day of Remembrance (TDOR) events over the years in collaboration with the City of West Hollywood’s Transgender Advisory Council, leading rallies and marches to bring about awareness, education and healing. TDOR is an annual day of mourning where we honor the lives of our transcestors (ancestors) who have been taken from us too soon due to transphobic violence. On November 20th, 2021 we created a Healing Centered Space for our community to decompress and in an intentional safe space. We created an Altar in honor of those who have been killed in 2021 due to state violence, many of whom are youth. We also know the importance of healing secondary trauma, creating a healing centered space for our members to have a day of self/community care via our healers who offered card readings, acupuncture and other healing modalities.
AB 2218: The Transgender Equity and Wellness Fund received a budget allocation of 13 million this legislative cycle in order to expand health services for the Transgender, Gender-nonconforming, Intersex (TGI) community. Gender Justice LA has helped to co-lead these efforts (in coalition with other TGI led organizations) on behalf of the California TGI Policy Alliance (CTPA).
Solis Policy Institute (SPI), formerly known as the Women’s Policy Institute (WPI): Is an experiential policy advocacy training program advancing racial, economic and gender justice throughout the state of California. Over the course of a year-long fellowship, SPI delivers tools, builds networks, and develops leadership across a dynamic cohort of leaders who are ready to shape California policies. GJLA was able to support a GJLA representative to be a part of this institute in order to support the development of a community member as well as continue to bring the learnings back to GJLA to further build out our leadership curricula.
Justice LA (JLA) Coalition: GJLA is an Executive Committee co-lead with JLA, a coalition with a robust leadership body which was born from the community-based advocacy of countless families separated by the largest jail system in the world, the Justice LA Coalition formed to stop jail expansion in Los Angeles County and invest in Alternatives To Incarceration (ATI). In partnership with grassroots organizations, advocates, directly impacted communities, and stakeholders, we seek to reclaim, reimagine and reinvest those dollars away from incarceration and into community-based systems of care. GJLA is also part of JLA’s Base Building team which is currently working on an Abolitionist Academy. Our work prioritizes an intersectional approach to movement building that uplifts the communities most impacted by incarceration in Los Angeles County, including: immigrant and undocumented people; Black, Brown and Indigenous peoples; people with mental health and substance use needs; young people; cis women; Two-Spirit, TGI and LGBQA+ people. Building on nearly a decade of advocacy, we are calling for a robust decarceration plan for Los Angeles that fully realizes the promise of diversion and re-entry through a justice reinvestment strategy.
Through JLA, GJLA has contributed deep expertise on the needs and barriers faced by TGI people. Their commitment to serving and uplifting these populations is undeniable and evidenced through our long-standing leadership in Los Angeles. GJLA’s work has helped expand the definition of gender justice and center TGI folks in criminal legal system reform, most notably through LA County’s groundbreaking Alternatives to Incarceration Workgroup Final Report - a roadmap developed in partnership between the county departments and the community that provided 114 recommendations in order to expand community-based systems of care. This report has become the guiding document for LA County’s Care First, Jails Last initiative and moved the county to invest nearly $200 million in community-based care last year alone.
GRAC: LGBTQ Ad Hoc Committee: Gender Justice LA has played a critical role with the Gender Responsive Advisory Committee (GRAC), which is a county commission focused on making recommendations that makes the county system more gender responsive, including CRDF (aka the "women's jail") and the K6G unit in the "men's jail". The populations focuses on supporting anyone who identifies as a cis woman (non-trans), LGB and non-binary, trans, gnc and intersex persons who come into contact with the legal system.
Out For Mental Health (O4MH): As part of the LGBTQ Health and Human services networks Out For Mental Health advocacy and policy work, GJLA has created a TGI O4MH Task Force which is made up of both youth and young adults. Through this work GJLA is able to advocate for mental health justice creating and implementing policy change, promote wellness & care strategies as well as build collective leadership for the TGI communities. Our members met with county staff and presented to the department of mental health on mental health issues impacting the trans and gender non-conforming communities. We are investing in new and innovative ways to effectively support the unique mental health needs of TGI and TGNC communities in order to reduce mental health disparities.
Out Against Big Tobacco (OABT): GJLA is a coalition leader with OUT Against Big Tobacco Los Angeles. The goal is to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco on LGBTQ+ Californians in Los Angeles County. We work to educate the LGBTQ+ community on the health risks of tobacco and empower communities to work collectively to address tobacco control and tobacco-related health inequity issues within the LGBTQ+ community.
Research Justice: Gender Justice LA recently released our groundbreaking Transmasculine Health Justice: LA (TMHJ:LA), a participatory research project and web report. The Transmasculine Health Justice: Los Angeles highlights some of the serious health and health care inequities facing Transmasculine people. This is the first and largest survey of its kind in LA County. You can learn more about our report here: https://tmhealthstudyla.org/. TMHJ: LA Advisory Board members can be located here: https://www.tmhealthstudyla.org/about/. GJLA TMHJ:LA Virtual Press Release: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUgECDjTbtM
TMHJ:LA Media Coverage: LA Blade: “How Trans People Are Making Health Care Better for Us All” by Candex Seokyi Louie in Rewire News (March 31, 2021) https://www.losangelesblade.com/2021/04/07/new-report-highlights-serious-health-inequities-impacting-transmasculine-people-in-la-county/
Press release: “New report highlights serious health inequities impacting Transmasculine people in LA County” in the Los Angeles Blade (April 7, 2021)
In January 2021, community organizers at Gender Justice Los Angeles and the California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network spoke out publicly about concerns about the “transgender research program” at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. This work is ongoing and we are currently co-planning a research justice convening to address issues of research justice by and for the TGI community.
Advocacy Against TGI Research Study:
The initial community complaint
Articles following the complaint letters can be located on Vice, Medpage and LA Blade article
Stay tuned for updates!
Research Justice Convening: Gender Justice LA is part of a new initiative launched by a team of two-spirit and trans researchers and organizers interested in transforming research related to transgender, gender-expansive, and intersex (TGI) people and communities in California’s public research universities in California. The new initiative is called Just Research? Trans Futures in Health and Scientific Knowledge.
We are cultivating a network of scholars and community leaders to strengthen the interdisciplinary field of transgender studies and build capacities for community-driven and justice-centered research in alignment with our fight for liberation. We know that many TGI people and organizations engage in knowledge-making practices outside of universities and we are centering community organizations in forming this network. We work for a future in which community-based researchers are valued, well resourced, and credited and publicly-funded research about TGI people is relevant to and rooted in the knowledge, priorities, and practices of TGI people and communities.
The cause of justice-centered research is crucial to our liberation. Gender Justice LA is proud to be a leading collaborator on this project, with leaders within TGI organizations working in California to collectively create a vision for this initiative. This event will take place Summer 2022 at the Connie Norman Transgender Empowerment Center in West Hollywood, CA.
Black TGI Futures (BTF):
Gender Justice LA is invested in building the collective leadership of Black, Indigenous, People of color in Los Angeles. We also understand the need and desire to create by and for only spaces that center Black transgender, gender non-conforming and Intersex (TGI) visionaries to come together to celebrate collective joy, struggle and solidarity in action. With this funding, GJLA former staff Zen started to develop curricula as well as a creation of pilot workshops for this leadership program. We are excited to announce that we are currently visioning and fundraising for our next leadership program which will be a series of workshops over the course of 3 months working to build the collective power of Black TGNC, TGI organizers. During this workshop series, participants will work towards radical transformation. This program will draw from the experience and knowledge of participants. We will create opportunities to learn and grow through sharing our full selves, which includes the many ways we identify. These identities will include race, class, gender, ability, sexual orientation, documentation status and more. The workshop series will be grounded in GJLA’s commitment to political education, leadership development, and grassroots organizing for the health, safety, and well-being of the Los Angeles trans* community. https://gjla.networkforgood.com/projects/104837-black-tgi-leadership-fund
During this global pandemic, GJLA has had to pivot and provide COVID specific resources to the TGNC and TGI community. We created a TGI resource guide which can be found here: http://tiny.cc/gjlaresourceguide. During this global pandemic, GJLA has also been able to expand our Staff, Advisory Board members and held part one of our strategic planning process. Gender Justice LA was able to do all of this and so much more with the generous award on behalf of the donor advised fund of the California Community Foundation. We are extremely grateful for your trust and support in trans and gender non-conforming leadership.
And more recently, GJLA just celebrated our 20 Year Anniversary event! If you missed it, no worries, we got you! Click on this link HERE to watch our 20 years in Resilience celebration.
Thank you for continuing to support Gender Justice LA!