Posts Tagged ‘sacramento’

Gov. Brown Signs Law Making Accurate ID Easier for Transgender Californians

October 8, 2013 By Josh Steichmann

ab 1121It just got a little bit easier (and cheaper) for transgender Californians to live authentic lives.

Governor Jerry Brown just signed AB 1121, written by Assemblymember Toni Atkins, which streamlines the process for documentation changes, specifically name and gender changes on ID like driver’s licenses and vital documents like birth certificates. The law was cosponsored by Equality California and the Transgender Law Center.

Up until now, changes to birth certificates required a court hearing, and now California is in line with many other states that only require an administrative action, in this case from the Office of Vital Records. Since the court filing fee is $435, and the courts are already overburdened with actual cases, this is a win-win for transgender Californians and good governance.

The law also changes the requirement of public notice, which for many transgender people requires outing themselves to their entire community, which may not be safe and at the least is an unnecessary hassle.

“One step in enabling transgender people to live authentic lives consistent with their gender identity is to ensure that their names and their official documents are consistent with who they are,” said Atkins. “I am very pleased that the Governor signed my bill to move us forward toward equality and dignity for transgender Californians.”

“Today California made it easier for people who are transgender to live authentic lives by removing unnecessary barriers to name changes and identity documents,” said John O’Connor, EQCA executive director. “This is a common sense solution to ensure that transgender Californians are treated fairly and with respect. We thank Gov. Brown and Assemblymember Atkins for their leadership.”

2013 Queer Youth Advocacy Day

May 1, 2013 By Guest Contributor

By Sam Alavi

I’m sure that to a bystander, 70 young people standing on the steps of the capitol screaming “we’re here, we’re queer, we’re fabulous; don’t mess with us” is quite an interesting site. But to me, it’s just another day of activism.

This year’s Queer Youth Advocacy Day was especially meaningful for me. Not only did I get the chance to train a group of inspiring youth on the ins and outs of advocacy, but we were also given the opportunity to meet with senators and assembly members about AB 1266 and AB 420, two bills that directly impacted us as students.

The event came with the usual emotions of empowerment, excitement, and pride, but also with a feeling of nostalgia. This weekend marked the end of my work as a youth trainer with GSA Network, and as a high school activist as a whole. With graduation almost 3 weeks away, I say goodbye to being a youth trainer after many years and hundreds of workshops, and say hello to my upcoming adventures as an activist in college. I am incredibly humbled and inspired to have spent the weekend advocating for justice on behalf of all marginalized students alongside my fellow activists, and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the year.

Sam Alavi is a senior at Aragon High School and the president of her school’s Gay, Straight Alliance. In previous years, Sam has helped lead the GSA through many successful events and campaigns including Ally Week, Harvey Milk Day, and the annual GSA Castro Field trip. A board member of GSA Network and Deputy Director of Bay Area Youth Summit (BAYS), Sam is a tireless straight ally and a force to reckon with.

The 2012 Equality California Institute Comcast Fellows

July 30, 2012 By Shaun Osburn

equality california comcast fellowsThrough a generous grant from the Comcast Foundation and in partnership with the California LGBT Legislative Caucus, Equality California Institute is proud to announce the second group of Fellows to be part of the first-ever legislative leadership fellowship program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in the nation.

The 2011 Comcast Fellows are:

Aldo Macias – Kalamazoo College – (East LA)
Stephanie Braziel – Claremont McKenna – (Roseville)
Anthony Nget – Cal State Long Beach (Long Beach)
Luke Vandekieft – University of Southern California (Olympia, WA)

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2012 Queer Youth Advocacy Day

May 1, 2012 By Shaun Osburn

queer youth advocacy day

I was 16-years-old when I attended the first Queer Youth Advocacy Day in Sacramento. At 32, this was literally a lifetime ago. I marched up to the capitol with my purple dreadlocks and combat boots demanding safe schools and safer-sex education in California classrooms. The largest gay-youth political turnout in the state’s history at that point, it was impossible to ignore the 300+ youth that converged upon the Capitol that day. And it’s just as impossible to ignore them today.

Launched in 1996 by LIFE Lobby (which would later become Equality California), Queer Youth Advocacy Day has evolved from a single day of lobbying to an expansive youth-empowerment weekend. Staff from Equality California Institute, GSA Network, The Transgender Law Center, The Trevor Project and ACLU of California work with youth on delivering their messages at the Capitol and support youth in overcoming fears they might have in delivering those messages to their representatives.

Or, as Assemblymember Sheila Kuehl told us back in 1996: “Remember when Dorothy found out that the Wizard was really a little old man behind a curtain, pushing buttons and turning wheels? Well, this place is like that.” Read the rest of this entry »