May 27, 2020

Christopher Vasquez, NCLR Communications Director
415.365.1337 | cvasquez@nclrights.org

Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic and NCLR Release First-of-Its-Kind Comprehensive Legal Resource for Transgender Youth

Today, the Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic (HLAC) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights published a first-of-its-kind legal resource guide for transgender youth in the United States. The newly-released Trans Youth Handbook serves as a comprehensive legal resource guide that covers the rights of trans youth across a wide spectrum of situations, including identity documents, school, health care, non-affirming care environments, and work.

The Handbook was written by HLAC’s Alexander Chen and NCLR’s Asaf Orr, who served as the lead authors for the resource, and was produced with the support of volunteers from Salesforce, Baker McKenzie, and Equal Justice Works.

“Study after study shows that trans youth thrive when they are respected for who they are and affirmed in their gender identities,” said Alexander Chen, Esq., Founding Director of the Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic. “I am delighted that this important resource will be available to trans youth and their families who are seeking to understand their legal rights.”

“The Trans Youth Handbook gathers critical information transgender youth need to understand their legal rights in an easily accessible and digestible form,” said Asaf Orr, Esq., Senior Staff Attorney and Director of NCLR’s Transgender Youth Project. “We hope the handbook will give transgender youth the tools and confidence to advocate for what they need—and are entitled to—so they can thrive. We are excited to co-author this incredible resource and look forward to updating it as our laws and society continue to recognize the unique needs of transgender youth and protect this vulnerable group from discrimination.”

“In our pro bono work, we look for ways to help with the most compelling justice challenges, particularly youth justice,” said Angela C. Vigil, Partner and Executive Director of the Pro Bono Practice at Baker McKenzie. “That is why we are so proud to support the Trans Youth Handbook project, which serves a community in critical need of legal resources. This Handbook provides the most thorough and comprehensive summary of trans youth rights across the US.”

“Equal Justice Works is proud to support the creation of the Trans Youth Handbook,” said David Stern, executive director at Equal Justice Works. “This is a critical resource to help ensure trans youth, a particularly at-risk group, and their families are aware of their legal rights. We are thankful to the Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and the leadership of Alex Chen, 2017 Equal Justice Works Fellow, and Asaf Orr, senior staff attorney at NCLR. We’re also tremendously grateful to Salesforce.org and Baker McKenzie for sponsoring Alex’s Equal Justice Works Fellowship and for launching his public interest career.”

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The Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic (HLAC) engages in impact litigation on, policy advocacy, and direct representation on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community, with a particular focus on issues affecting underrepresented groups within the LGBTQ+ umbrella. HLAC works with community members, advocates, non-profit organizations, educators, medical professionals, and governmental entities to advance the rights of LGBTQ+ people at both the national and local levels. http://clinics.law.harvard.edu/lgbtq

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is a national LGBTQ legal organization the forefront of advancing the civil and human rights of the full LGBTQ community and their families through impact litigation, public policy, and public education. NCLR has been a leading advocate for the rights of transgender youth for over a decade. Through litigation and advocacy, NCLR has expanded legal protections for transgender youth in schools, sports, healthcare, and custody disputes, among many other areas. Touching on every aspect of their lives, the work of NCLR’s Transgender Youth Project is to ensure transgender youth have the support and opportunity they need to thrive. www.nclrights.org