Photo of Danny Waxwing

Danny Waxwing

  • Hosted by Disability Rights Washington
  • Sponsored by Fenwick & West LLP
  • Service location Seattle, Washington
  • Law school University of Washington School of Law
  • Issue area LGBTQ+ Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2018
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

As an Equal Justice Works Fellow, Danny started the Trans in Prison (TIP) Justice Project to support the survival and self-determination of transgender and non-binary people imprisoned in Washington State through impact litigation, policy change, coalition building, community organizing, and direct services.

Transgender and non-binary prisoners face devastating conditions: appalling rates of sexual and physical violence, disproportionate punishment in solitary confinement, denial of medically necessary care, incessant harassment and dehumanization, and denial of basic self-expression. These harsh conditions are further compounded for trans and non-binary prisoners with disabilities. The TIP Justice Project balanced immediate direct service needs with work for systems-level changes while focusing advocacy at the intersections of disability, gender, and racial justice.

Fellowship Highlights

During the two-year Fellowship period, Danny:

  • Led structured negotiations with the Washington State Department of Corrections regarding systemic issues impacting transgender and non-binary people in custody, with the goal of the most extensive and comprehensive changes to state prison policies and practices in the country
  • Provided legal representation for 20 individuals on matters related to sexual violence, housing placements, access to medical care, legal name changes, and release from confinement due to COVID-19—support that resulted in access to gender-affirming health care for individuals that previously had been denied such, transfers to gender-affirming housing, policy changes, and more
  • Successfully advocated for policy changes, including increased access to gender-affirming health care and religious property, across the state prison system and at the level of local county jails in close collaboration with currently incarcerated people
  • Published resource guides for incarcerated pro se legal name change petitioners in five counties
  • Provided legal rights information, resources, and support to over 1000 individuals through over 475 phone appointments, 500 letters, and 90 in-person visits

Next Steps

Post-Fellowship, Danny continues to work with the Trans in Prison Justice Project as a staff attorney at Disability Rights Washington.

Meet Other Fellows Like Danny

View All

Andrew Sta. Ana

Host: Sanctuary for Families

Sponsor: Anonymous

Photo of Kat Grant

Kat Grant

Host: Freedom from Religion Foundation

Sponsor: Wm. Collins Kohler Foundation

Current Fellow

Lisa Mottet

Host: National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Sponsor: Equal Justice Works

Eugene Chen

Host: New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG)

Sponsor: The Paul Rapoport Foundation