TLDEF, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, is celebrating its seventh year. It will hold its seventh year celebration and fundraiser this year on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, at the Art Directors Club Gallery, 106 West 29th Street, NYC. I am proud to have been a supporter of TLDEF every year for the past three years, and this year is no exception. I will be there, and I hope you will too.
TLDEF provides strong and competent legal representation to transgender people facing an unfriendly medical and legal system. When Beth Scott was denied insurance coverage for a mammogram to detect cancer, TLDEF won a victory for her. When Lina Kok requested time off for her facial feminization surgery, prescribed by her doctor as necessary for her wellbeing, and her disability insurer refused to cover her time off, calling it merely cosmetic, TLDEF achieved victory. In fact, just recently, her insurer agreed to change their policy across the board, so in the future no transgender policyholder will have to face the chance of being denied breast cancer screening or, even worse, care in the event they have breast cancer. Sam Berkeley, one of the plaintiff's in TLDEF's groundbreaking lawsuit challenging New York City's practice of requiring transgender people to undergo surgery before it will issue them birth certificates with corrected sex designations, appeared in a spread in the New Republic about the transgender civil rights movement, bringing our cause to the magazine's readers, many of whom are policymakers.