by Ethan Huckle
On March 30, at this year’s Empowerment Breakfast in honor of Transgender Day of Visibility, we were excited to present the annual Empowerment Awards to two deserving honorees. Mandy LeComte, a Burrillville school social worker, has committed herself to ensuring that the Burrillville school system is a safe and affirming place for gender diverse youth. Justice Gaines’ work as an outspoken advocate for justice and equality has been a beacon to the transgender community. These honorees represent the ongoing fight for equity and access, the themes of our movement for decades, shaped by the tireless work of advocates.
We’re still grieving the loss of our good friend Belle Pellegrino, who passed away in December. While we honor the work being done to uplift our community today, it’s important to remember where that path began and the people who laid the groundwork for our current victories. As a plaintiff in the lawsuit that brought about Rhode Island’s first Pride March, Belle’s commitment helped advance the cause.
On May 18, the Rhode Island Trans Health Conference will provide education to extend the network of knowledgeable and affirming providers in Rhode Island as well as space for connection and community building for our trans and gender diverse community.
On June 12, we will host our LGBTQ Interfaith Service in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riot and the five decades of activism it birthed. We will come together with our community for RI Pride to honor that legacy once more.
TGI Network of Rhode Island is the only statewide organization providing support, advocacy and education for the transgender, gender-variant, and intersex community (aka trans community). Incorporated in 2011, our mission is to be a resource for TGI people navigating their lives and the medical and legal systems; to serve as a resource for professionals working with TGI people; and to serve as a liaison between the TGI and LGB communities and the community at large. Visit us at tginetwork.org and facebook.com/ TGINetwork.