Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Largest Trans Fundraiser. Ever.

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | May 24, 2011 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: BNY Mellon, Davis Polk, Debevoise, Gibson Dunn, JetBlue, KetelOne, Kimpton, Kirkland & Ellis, Linklaters, Michael Silverman, Skadden, TLDEF, Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund

Paterson.jpg (TopStories)Last night, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund held its sixth annual fundraiser. Hosted by actress Laverne Cox, it was notable for a number of things, including the presence of four amazing honorees.

The Special Honoree, NY Governor David Patterson, is notable for his administration's adoption of several executive orders and administrative orders protecting trans rights. The very charming and handsome Kye Allums was honored for his presence on the basketball courts as an out trans college athlete. Dr. Christine McGinn is notable for her commitment to trans health through her surgical practice in New Hope, PA. Kimberly Reed was honored for her award winning documentary, Prodigal Sons.

There were about 200 people in attendance, the largest TLDEF fundraiser yet, since it all started in lawyer Michael Silverman's living room six years ago. There were many LGBT notables in attendance, as well as donors from the corporate and legal worlds. The event had a over a dozen major corporate sponsors, listed below. How did they do that? Probably has something to do with all the major players they're hooked up with in the legal world for their litigation.

Most notable, however, is the fact that the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund raised over $100,000 in a single night. Congratulations to TLDEF, to Michael Silverman and the TLDEF Board. And kudos to us, as a community, for recognizing the importance of trans rights and the great work of TLDEF in that field. This is clearly a milestone in the importance of trans rights to the community.

Governor Patterson's speech at the TLDEF fundraiser:

Gold Sponsors:
BNY Mellon
Davis Polk & Wardwell
Kirkland & Ellis LLP
The Rubin Family Foundation

Bronze Sponsors:
American Airlines
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Cleary Gottlieb
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
DLA Piper
Fried Frank
Gibson Dunn
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
McGraw Hill

Media Sponsors:
The New Civil Rights Movement

Beverage Sponsors:
Barefoot Wines
KetelOne Vodka

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I wonder --- how many of the sponsors still discriminate against trans employees in their employee health plans? 50%? 90%? Now that we have them as donors, can we nudge them to be inclusive in their health plans?

Don't get me wrong, this is great news to have a fundraiser like this. Keep the advocacy money coming!

The money raised is excellent news!

That's an amazing dollar amount for a small non-profit. Kudos to them!

Wow, I can't believe they raised so much money! Great work. It's also nice to see Dr. McGinn honored for her great work. I spoke with her last year about her practice, and she was one of the first people to expose me to some really great, important information about trans rights.