Dear Members,

As the NTBA continues to grow and cohere, we find ourselves writing to you all in the midst of significant turmoil for our community.

On Saturday, January 28, Utah’s Governor signed into law a bill that disrupts gender affirming care for minors; it bans all trans youth not already diagnosed with gender dysphoria from receiving gender affirming care. This is just the latest in a growing trend. We still wait to see whether more bills from the mountain of proposed anti-trans legislation actually get passed into law.  

We are, of course, not letting any of this go unchallenged.  Members of our community – trans lawyers and our allies in the profession – are fighting hard to protect the community and to maintain the legal recognitions our trans and queer elders obtained for us in the preceding decades. For instance, in Arkansas, post-trial briefing is wrapping up in the constitutional challenge to that state’s gender affirming care ban. In Alabama, trans children await the Eleventh Circuit’s decision whether to uphold the current injunction against a similar ban.  Meanwhile, litigation is on-going against the Texas Governor’s efforts to describe gender affirming care as child abuse and the Florida Governor is manipulating regulations to undermine gender affirming care in various ways throughout the state. The Ninth Circuit will soon be hearing arguments regarding Idaho’s law banning trans and intersex women and girls from participating in sports

These are but a handful of the efforts underway to fight those few bills that are not stopped by the LGBTQ community’s largely successful lobbying efforts. Activists and lawyers alike continue to stand in the way of this seemingly ever-rising tide of anti-trans legislation across the country. Some in our community is battling disingenuous lawsuits over “free speech” and others are chipping away at relatively older but still harmful laws. And every day, others within our trans community continue to fight to just survive.  

We are all tired.  Being centered in the national “debate” – usually without our voices present at these casual discussions about whether we can exist – is exhausting.

But we are here. We are not going away. We will continue to fight. And, through the NTBA, we hope to provide you another space where you can come for resources and renewal in community.

We aim to host at least four events this year that bring us all together. We will, as always, aim to bring the community together for the Trans Law Institute in connection with this summer’s Lavender Law in Chicago. This winter, we will host a second SCOTUS bar group admission ceremony for trans attorneys.  We will also bring together mentors and mentees and host a social. Let us be here for you through these gatherings and other events and programming. 
We have other exciting changes coming: We’re presently interviewing a number of very promising applicants for the Board of Directors. We are revising our bylaws to streamline board operations and we are formalizing and re-invigorating our committees. Please keep an eye out – we cannot wait to unroll these changes and introduce you to the new Board of Directors.

We – your new Co-Chairs – extend you an invitation: Reach out to us. Let us know what you’d like to see the NTBA do this year. Let us know if you can give some of your time to helping to plan activities and want to be connected with others working on similar issues. Each of our members has a lot to offer and we wish to ensure you all have the support you need.

Warmest Regards,

D Dangaran and Rafael Langer-Osuna,
Co-Chairs for the NTBA Board