Alexander Chen

  • Hosted by National Center for Lesbian Rights
  • Sponsored by Baker McKenzie, Salesforce.org
  • Service location San Francisco, California
  • Law school Harvard Law School
  • Issue area Gay/Lesbian Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2017
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Alexander pioneers the use of litigation and policy advocacy to expand the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming youth in schools, families, health care, child welfare systems, and juvenile justice facilities.

Transgender (“trans”) and gender nonconforming (“GNC”) youth are an exceptionally vulnerable population. 72% of the over three hundred annual trans callers to NCLR’s legal helpline are low income, and 60% are people of color. Trans and GNC youth face daunting systemic barriers to achieving long-term health and well-being, including: Extremely high rates of harassment, physical assault, and sexual violence in schools; family rejection; serious barriers to equal health care; and severe overrepresentation and higher rates of abuse in foster care and juvenile justice settings. Almost 50% of trans youth attempt suicide before their 20th birthday.

Fellowship Highlights

In the first year, Alexander has:

  • Contributed to litigation of significant federal cases protecting the rights of trans and GNC youth in schools under Title IX and hospitals under the Affordable Care Act;
  • Contributed to litigation of significant federal cases expanding the constitutional and statutory rights of all trans people in the transgender military ban cases, as well as in employment, health care, housing, and prisons;
  • Co-authored and testified regarding California legislature AB 2119, a first-of-its-kind bill guaranteeing trans foster youth the right to access gender-affirming health care;
  • Conducted public education about the rights of trans and GNC youth for approximately 700 trans youth, their families, and providers.

What’s Next

In the next year, Alexander plans to:

  • Continue to litigate existing cases, as well as develop litigation around exclusions for transition-related health care for trans youth;
  • Pass AB 2119 and develop implementation and public education materials around the bill;
  • Hold an expert convening on trans and GNC student privacy issues and develop model policy and best practices for school districts;
  • Continue policy advocacy and public education regarding access to transition-related health care for trans youth, including reproductive health care such as fertility preservation services;
  • In collaboration with sponsors write and publish the Trans Youth Handbook, offering trans and GNC youth the first comprehensive national guide to their legal rights in school, employment, health care, identity documents, family law, and criminal justice system.

Media

National Center For Lesbian Rights Equal Justice Works Fellow Alexander Chen Makes Forbes 30 Under 30 List

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