31 Days 31 Trans Voices | Day 23: Chase Strangio, Driving Change and Saving Lives

Chase Strangio is Deputy Director for Transgender Justice with the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT & HIV Project in New York and a nationally recognized expert on transgender rights. His work includes impact litigation, as well as legislative and administrative advocacy, on behalf of LGBTQ people and people living with HIV across the United States.

Strangio grew up in Newton, Massachusetts. As a kid, he struggled with questions about his identity, but it wasn’t until law school that he came out as trans. He received his B.A. from Grinnell College in Iowa and his J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

Chase Strangio | Photo by Timothy Greenfield Sanders

He has certain expertise on the treatment of transgender and gender non-conforming people in police custody, jails, prisons and other forms of detention.

Strangio litigates a full docket of cases across the country on issues affecting LGBTQ people and people living with HIV. His work has included serving as a member of the legal team of Obergefell v. Hodges, which recognized same-sex marriage, and G.G. v. Gloucester City School Board, which challenged a Virginia public school district’s policy prohibiting transgender students from using the restroom conforming to their gender identity, at the U.S. Supreme Court. He also served as lead counsel for Chelsea Manning in Manning v. Hagel, a suit against Department of Defense officials for their failure to provide necessary treatment for her gender dysphoria, and as a member of the legal teams in challenges to HB2, the North Carolina “bathroom bill” and President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban.

Prior to joining the ACLU, Chase was an Equal Justice Works Fellow and the Director of Prisoner Justice Initiatives at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project in New York City, where he represented transgender and gender non-conforming individuals in confinement settings. In 2012, Chase founded the Lorena Borjas Community Fund, an organization that provides direct bail/bond assistance to LGBTQ immigrants in criminal and immigration cases.

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The American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity honored  Strangio with its Stonewall Award during a ceremony in February 2020 at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Austin, Texas.

You can keep up with Chase by following him on Twitter @chasestrangio.

Terry Willits

Trans Speak's Editor-in-Chief is an international mixed media artist, writer, LGBTQ advocate, coffee snob, dog dad, and FTM transgender - but not necessarily in that order, who practices what he posts. A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; he now does the writing thing from St. Louis, Missouri. You should check out his work - it's recommended by 4 out of 5 people that recommend stuff.

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