The Problem

TGNC and LGBQ people of color face poverty, police violence, and workplace discrimination.

Queer folks in our community — many of whom fled from violence in their countries of origin — experience discrimination, isolation and the threat of homophobic violence here in New York. TGNC and LGBQ people of color face disproportionate levels of poverty. In a recent survey of New York residents, 17% of respondents reported being denied access to medical care because of their gender expression.   

Trans women face transphobia from the police officers who target our community. In the face of hate violence, queer Latinx New Yorkers face barriers to support, including lack of translation services. Jackson Heights, Queens has seen an unprecedented number of hate crimes directed at transgender latina women over the past two years.  Undocumented trans workers face higher rates of workplace violence than any other group.

See the Solution
The Solution

Standing with TGNC and LGBQ New Yorkers

Make the Road New York is a space of warmth, safety and support for our TGNC and LGBQ community members. Our TGNC and LGBQ formation is one of the few in New York City led and constituted by low-income TGNC and LGBQ people of color, most of whom are immigrants and young people. Community members gather at MRNY with peers for solidarity, resources and support, and to organize to achieve dignity and justice for TGNC and LGBQ people, in New York and across the country.

Our deep ties to the larger Latinx organizing community allows us to address the unique and multifaceted challenges facing immigrant, undocumented and Latinx trans people. We offer regular political education and skills trainings in topics ranging from public speaking to the school-to-prison pipeline. Our staff members—who include former LGBTQ members, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals—spend up to half their time working one-on-one with TGNC and LGBQ members to provide emotional support and coach them in skills development so they can meet their goals.

of TGNC New Yorkers
participating in community forums across New York City reported being unfairly fired
Fast Facts
  • MRNY supports the survivors of TGNC and LGBQ hate crimes in our Brooklyn and Queens communities with public marches and rallies joined by hundreds of people.
  • We have worked with the community and allies to issue reports and engage in policy advocacy around issues impacting transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers and police abuse of TGNC and LGBQ communities of color.
  • MRNY’s organizing with allies resulted in the extension of Medicaid to cover critical healthcare for trans people.
  • We led the successful campaign to end the use of condoms as evidence of prostitution in New York City, stopping the ability of the police to unfairly target trans women carrying condoms.
  • After years of organizing with allies, Mayor de Blasio signed an Executive Order that protects the right to use City-owned restrooms that align with one’s gender identity.
Innovative U-Visa claim paves path to citizenship for thousands of undocumented trans people

Our LGBTQ Justice Project won a victory on behalf of a transgender client who was sexually harassed, bullied, and subsequently fired without cause by her employer. While working to file a discrimination claim on her behalf at CCHR, we discovered that she was not being paid overtime by her employer.  The team filed an employment-related complaint on her behalf and subsequently resolved her claims for more than 6 times the amount initially offered.  Importantly, the Immigration team changed the client’s legal name to her preferred name, and also secured on the client’s behalf a U-visa certification from the NYC Commission on Human Rights based on the abuse suffered — one of the first of its kind and an important step in allowing the client to apply for a U-Visa, which paves the way for thousands of other trans immigrants.

Support TGNC and LGBQ leaders in demanding dignity and justice for our communities.

Related Press

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Solutions Out of Struggle and Survival: A Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Policy Brief for NYC


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HARASSMENT AND PHYSICAL AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE Police often respond to gender nonconformity with “street justice,” administered through verbal harassment and abuse, including slurs such as “faggot,” “dyke,” “tranny,” “he/she,” “freak,” and “bitch,” and often accompanied by physical violence. Black lesbians frequently report being punched in the chest by officers saying something like, “You want to…


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