End the duopoly

This Is Why We Left America’s Largest Trans Advocacy Organization

We, the former staff of the National Center for Transgender Equality, are devastated. Over the last few months, many of us have made the difficult decision of stepping away from the organization where we’ve dedicated so much of our daily lives. As the rare trans-led organization in the nation’s capital, NCTE gave us the opportunity to work on issues important and personal to us all. Each of us is dedicated to improving the lives of transgender people nationwide through a lens of racial and economic justice, yet we stepped away after it became clear the leadership of NCTE did not share that dedication.

As has been widely reported, a majority of the staff at NCTE has left the organization in recent weeks. Earlier this year, the organization employed 23 people — a record size in the organization’s 16 years. Since that point, many of us have been fired or pressured out of the organization, and many more were offered a voluntary buyout. This includes almost all of the Policy Department, the entire Communications Department, the entire Outreach and Education department, and the few staff hired to begin the complex and sensitive process of conducting the 2020 US Transgender Survey — an invaluable resource for researchers, reporters, advocates, and lawmakers across the country that is now in doubt.

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Today, NCTE employs seven people, three of which are within the executive department. Those of us now on the outside of the organization know these issues began long before this year. Over the last decade, it’s been abundantly clear that members of the executive team hold an inconsistent and irreconcilable view of how to make the organization itself a strong social justice movement — including recognition of a union and steps needed to ensure NCTE itself is an equitable place for people of color, people with disabilities, and other marginalized members of the transgender community.

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