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Leadership transition at GATE

Dear friends,

When Mauro Cabral and I developed the idea for GATE – Global Action for Trans* Equality in 2009 neither of us could imagine what the organization has become since then.

It all started with a dream – to take our experience working at the regional levels in Europe and in Latin America and use that knowledge to further trans* rights at the global level while creating a trans*-led organization to do so.

The past six years have been quite a ride: exciting, stressful, annoying, successful, and lots and lots of hours on planes. I have had the incredible fortune to meet trans* activists on every continent (except Antarctica), build networks and relationships with amazing people and see this movement explode into full bloom.

GATE has accomplished a lot since its inception: the WHO is considering to remove gender identity disorder from the list of mental diseases – something that was virtually unthinkable when we started and with more advocacy may become a reality in coming years. And just a couple of weeks ago we co-hosted a meeting of trans* activists and funders to discuss the creation of an International Trans* Fund to bring more money to trans* movements worldwide. Around us we have seen regional trans* networks start, flourish and come into their own. Trans* groups working at the national and local levels have increased their staffing, have won important battles and have learned from their experiences and mistakes. Our movements are more diverse and inclusive due to a collective and intentional effort to oppose all kinds of oppression.

I feel now is a good moment for me to take a step back, enjoy the successes and let somebody else take GATE to the next level. I have therefore decided to leave GATE in the capable hands of its co-director, Mauro Cabral, by June 30th, 2015. Mauro and the board of directors have decided to engage an interim director to help through this transition process and will make an announcement soon.

What my future holds is not certain yet – other than a long break during the New ork summer with lots of time to recharge, think and let the mind wander. Leaving GATE without a clear idea for my future is exciting and scary – but I trust that I will land on my feet and be able to contribute to social justice movements in one way or another in the future.

Justus Eisfeld

New York, June 8, 2015