Today, communities around the world remember those whose lives have been unjustly ended by ignorance and hate. And everyday, we honor them with our relentless spirit in the struggle for transgender civil rights.


Since the 1960s, the ACLU of Southern California has recognized itself as an LGBT rights organization, whose mission includes the advancement of transgender and gender non-conforming civil rights.

In 1967, we challenged Los Angeles’s ordinance that barred performers from “impersonating” people of a different gender. We won. In 1980, we embraced transgender struggles as our own and established the Transsexual Rights Committee. And earlier this year, we helped pass state law that gives transgender students the opportunity to succeed in public schools. See our timeline for more ACLU transgender rights victories.

Today, under the auspices of our new LGBT, Gender & Reproductive Justice Project, we are working hard to expand transgender rights by focusing on:

  • Creating safe and bias-free schools for transgender youth.
  • Enforcing laws that prohibit gender identity and gender expression discrimination, with particular regard to access to gender-segregated facilities and health care.
  • Ensuring transgender people are treated with dignity and that their gender identity is respected when interacting with law enforcement or when incarcerated.

Transgender Day of Remembrance is about reflection and renewal. We remember our family members, friends and neighbors and reaffirm our commitment to justice in their name.

Joey Hernández is community engagement and policy advocate at the ACLU of Southern California. Follow ACLU SoCal on Twitter.