To coincide with the celebration of International Day of Transgender Visibility, activist and model Geena Rocero Monday launched her new a global awareness campaign, Gender Proud, which calls attention to the fact that there are only eight countries where transgender individuals are able to change their gender marker without having to first undergo surgery. In addition, her recent TED talk, which garnered an immediate standing ovation and praise, went live on the TED site at 11am EST.
“I want people to realize that while gender identity is core to our being, sometimes our gender assignment doesn’t match. There should be space to self-identify,” said Geena.
In the months ahead, Gender Proud will work alongside the ground-breaking LGBT justice organization AllOut to target countries where gender marker legislation is at a “tipping point.”
The campaign is also proudly partnering with the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRCF), GLAAD, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and the Transgender Law Center.
As it launches, Gender Proud has initiated a petition on Change.org that seeks to bring awareness to the issue at a broader level; simultaneously, an IndieGogo campaign will raise money for a national speaking tour by Rocero about the organization and the need for all transgender people to self-identify with the fewest possible barriers. The campaign will feature donation perks including a limited edition t-shirt designed by world-renown street artist Seizer One, and limited edition prints from award-winning Russian visual artist Uldus.
Geena’s talk marked the first time that TED has tackled transgender rights issues on the main stage.
“Every year we work to bring inspiring ideas and speakers from a wide range of backgrounds to the TED stage,” said Kelly Stoetzel, Director of TED Content. “This year, we were thrilled to have Geena join us. Her courageous story stands to help people everywhere think about gender in a new and nuanced way.”
“All Out has joined Gender Proud to advocate for everyone’s right to be who they are – and for governments to respect that choice,” said Andre Banks, Co-Founder and Executive Director of All Out.
“There are no countries in the world where transgender people have complete equality. That isn’t acceptable in the 21st century, and by coming together with Geena Rocero and Gender Proud we hope to change that,” Banks added.