December 16, 2014

Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health announced that Medicaid programs will now be inclusive of trans healthcare. This will allow trans and gender non-conforming people to finally access hormones and surgeries that they have been denied for so long.  For the past 12 years, Trans Justice, an organizing program of the Audre Lorde Project (ALP), has been working with Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP), and such groups as Queers for Economic Justice, Make the Road NY and GLOBE, to mobilize our communities on the ground in solidarity with the Cruz v. Zucker lawsuit filed by SRLP in partnership with the Legal Aid Society and the law firm Willkie, Farr and Gallagher.

We know that this shift in policy is going to significantly improve the lives and survival of so many in our community! We hope that this campaign can show the world that centering the well being and safety of Trans and Gender non-conforming people of color in our work and by including our communities as decision makers translates into victories for our movement.

We recognize the denial of trans inclusive healthcare as part of a bigger system of transphobia and racism that criminalizes, deports, incarcerates, and oppresses trans and gender non-conforming people of color communities. We know that shifts in policy do not necessarily mean shifts in practice. This is why we know that we need the continued people power of our communities and our allies to apply pressure and ensure accountability to make sure these policies will be applied.  This is why we will continue to fight systematic racism and transmisogyny to create a world where all people can self-determine their gender.

Please read this statement from the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) for more information.