TDOR & Beyond: How Can You Support Transgender Communities?

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Today we celebrate International Transgender Day of Remembrance & Resilience. The day honors those of us transgender and non-binary people who were tragically murdered due to transphobia transphobia and its intersections with sexism, racism, and classism. TDOR is also a day where we celebrate the incredible strength and resiliencies of our communities despite pervasive violence and discrimination.

This year, the day offers an important source of community support in response to the Trump Administration’s malicious attempts to narrowly redefine gender, which would legally erase trans people from receiving culturally responsive services from certain federal agencies. The resulting effect would make a vulnerable population even more susceptible to higher rates of violence, discrimination, and poverty.

TDOR effectively raises visibility to the barriers transgender & non-binary people endure in all aspects of our daily lives; however, TDOR alone is not a panacea to dismantle them. Complimenting the day, we need more cisgender allies, accomplices, and champions committed to doing the day-to-day work required to improve the lives and well-being of our communities.

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As Muhammad Ali famously stated, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” In this spirit, my firm is actively working to improve the lives of trans people living in Portland, Oregon by addressing the unacceptable rates of poverty and unemployment. The RPC team is leveraging our expertise to supporting the community driven PDX Trans Works Project, a program of the Portland Area LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce.

While in its infancy, the project’s goal is to expand economic opportunities to transgender and non-binary people living in-and-around the city. The project intends to expand quality employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. Much of what has shaped this project comes from community input that was summarized in this listening session report, published earlier this year.

To help fund this critical community project, a portion of the profits from my new book, Belonging at Work, will be invested in the PDX Trans Works Project. The funds will help support the development of a business advisory council composed of transgender and non-binary community leaders working together to dismantle the significant workplace barriers that make it difficult for TNB people to access employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

To learn more about why cultivating trans-inclusive workplace cultures is important, consider purchasing your own copy of  Belonging at Work. If you’re interested in learning more about the PDX Trans Works Project, and ways you can support its success, please contact me.

Rhodes Perry

Rhodes Perry is a nationally recognized expert on LGBTQ and social justice public policy matters, with two decades of leadership experience innovating strategy management, policy and program solutions for corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. At his core, Rhodes is an entrepreneur, where he most recently established Rhodes Perry Consulting, LLC, a national diversity and inclusion consulting firm that uses an intersectional approach to collaborate with leaders on creating solutions in the practice areas of strategy management, issue advocacy, and stakeholder engagement. Previously, Rhodes founded the Office of LGBTQ Policy & Practice at the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, and prior to this assignment he served as the founding Director of Policy at PFLAG National where he led the policy strategy and advocacy efforts for the organization’s 350 chapters. He cut his teeth serving as a Program Examiner at the White House Office of Management & Budget, where he improved upon federal benefit programs designed to provide assistance to low-income communities. Rhodes earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Gender Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and obtained a Master of Public Administration from New York University.