Milo Primeaux

  • Hosted by Whitman-Walker Health
  • Service location Washington, District of Columbia
  • Law school City University of New York School of Law
  • Issue area Community/Economic Development, LGBTQ+ Rights, Medical-Legal Partnership
  • Fellowship class year 2014
  • Program AmeriCorps Fellows Program

The Project

Milo focused on overcoming legal barriers to employment and healthcare access for transgender individuals in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Milo accomplished this by directly serving at least 125 transgender clients, coordinating a monthly name and gender change legal clinic, training pro bono attorneys to represent transgender clients, providing regular legal and cultural competency trainings, and developing data tracking systems to better assess the employment needs and challenges of the transgender population.

The transgender community faces many barriers to healthy living: discrimination in housing, education, healthcare and work places – all of which combine to create a cycle of poverty which is too frequently insurmountable for many individuals. Much of the discrimination transgender people face mirrors that experienced by lesbian, gay and bisexual people, but is often more severe. Additionally, transgender people face a range of legal issues that LGB people rarely do: identity documents not reflective of one’s gender, sex-segregated public restrooms and other facilities, dress codes that perpetuate traditional gender norms, and barriers to access to appropriate health care. The implications of this legal void are far-reaching, and are a direct factor in the high levels of poverty experienced by the transgender community. By addressing increasing access to employment, this project aims to lift transgender individuals out of poverty in a case-by-case and systemic way, and thus place them in a better position to live a full and healthy life free of discrimination and unjust criminalization.

Through this project, transgender clients obtain critical government-issued identity documents that accurately reflect their lived gender identities and thus reduce the possibility of experiencing discrimination when accessing housing, healthcare, government benefits, employment, etc. Transgender clients are assessed for criminal record expungement eligibility that would effectively increase their employability. New data tracking systems will help WWH’s Legal Service Program and governmental agencies to develop and improve programming that targets transgender employment. Additionally transgender clients will get assistance navigating their health insurance policies and appealing claim denials for medically necessary transition-related care. Finally, transgender community members, pro bono attorneys, and area-wide entities involved in employment preparedness will receive intensive legal and cultural competency training related to the unique identities and needs of transgender individuals.

Fellowship Highlights

  • Evaluated and increased the capacity of the monthly name and gender change legal clinic.
  • Instituted a bimonthly rotating satellite legal clinic at other locations in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
  • Instituted criminal record expungement services within the monthly clinics.
  • Spoke at 3-5 conferences on transgender employment barriers and how to start name and gender change legal clinics.
  • Developed an effective data tracking model for transgender employment challenges and successes; to host an annual training for pro bono attorneys; to network with regional support groups and employment preparedness entities on how to improve our respective services to better address the unique needs of transgender clients.
  • Assisted at least 125 transgender clients through monthly name and gender change legal clinics hosted at WWH (and more through bimonthly satellite clinics).
  • Fully integrated the new transgender employment data tracking system into WWH’s intake process and legal database;
  • Connected at least 50 of our transgender clients to proper employment training, and track their employment status as they move through the process;
  • Assisted at least 14 clients to obtain a job after their employment barrier is removed.

Media

My Impact: A Conversation with 2014 Equal Justice Works Fellow Milo Primeaux

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