Two Of The Largest Transgender Organizations In The USA WIll Merge

Two Of The Largest Transgender Organizations In The USA WIll Merge

Two of the USA’s largest transgender rights organizations are merging in a step to unify against conservative politicians attempting to repeal trans rights. 

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) will come together as Advocates for Trans Equality or A4TE, indicated in a press release published last week.

According to NBC News, the NCTE centers its work around federal policy reform and TLDEF works to strengthen trans rights through litigation. Both organizations were founded in 2003. 

Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, executive director of NCTE said “At a time when states are considering a record number of anti-transgender bills, trans voices are needed now more than ever, and we have to be operating at a different scale.” 

Last year more than 500 bills targeting LGBTQ+ people were introduced. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, as of 2024, over 300 anti-LGBTQ bills have already been introduced. Most of this legislation directly targets trans youth as they interact with educational and medical systems, athletics, and daily life. 

TLDEF’s executive director Andrea Hong Marra is poised to become the CEO of Advocates for Trans Equality. When Texas’ Department of Family and Protective Services began investigating parents suspected of providing their minor children with gender affirming care, Marra told NBC it was a wake up call. 

“We need something cataclysmic, and that’s how we came up with this idea of merging,” said Heng-Lehtinen to NBC. The creation of Advocates for Trans Equality is not a business decision, as each organization is independently successful, but a bigger picture idea. All employees from each organization will keep their jobs through the merger 

“This is about strengthening our movement and giving trans activists a real opportunity to lead and drive progress towards equality and freedom,” said Marra.

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