The Transgender Equality Network’s purpose is to help create and empower transgender-inclusive communities. We value intersectional justice, constructive communication, and collective healing for all people. We aim to develop healthier communities by promoting visibility and providing resources, education, and advocacy.
The Transgender Equality Network’s vision is to help create a world where transgender, non-binary, two-spirit, and gender non-conforming people can live authentically and thrive in their communities without discrimination.
TEN was created in 2013, in Fayetteville, Arkansas by a group of young trans people who originally met in a support group. They had a desire to get involved with and advocate for their community but didn't know how to do so. A civil rights ordinance in Fayetteville was gaining traction. The ordinance gave them the opportunity to get involved and give the trans community a voice. During the campaign, members of the community presented before the city council with little more than their own passion and their stuffed rabbit mascot, Opal. It was through these beginnings that they found their voice.
After collaborating on this project, they realized just how much more work needed to be done. The founders began offering trans inclusion workshops, educational events, and support for individuals seeking to be more inclusive, as well as to learn more about transgender issues. They also reached out to local therapists, doctors, and other service providers to compile a list of locally available resources for the trans community. They collected these resources and deem them trans-friendly for the community.
The group needed a name to operate under, and Transgender Equality Network was born. In addition to education and resource networking, TEN spreads awareness of transgender issues by hosting and participating in local events. Since it's inception, TEN has held annual events for the Transgender Day of Remembrance and Transgender Day of Visibility, as well as participating in the NWA Pride Parade.