OutNEWS – Trans & Nonbinary Leadership Summit

This week, it was my honor to welcome nearly 100 outstanding trans and nonbinary leaders, as well as over 40 allies, to the inaugural Trans & Nonbinary Leadership Summit, alongside my fellow co-chairs Jake & Hannah Graf to elevate the Trans & Nonbinary community.

The equality of transgender people is under attack. Despite years of progress, all marginalized people are facing renewed threats to their rights and trans folks are being disenfranchised from cultural, political, and economic institutions. In this climate, we need a community of trailblazing leaders and a network of influential allies to secure our standing and fight for even greater inclusion.

Pictured above (from left to right): Jane Barry-Moran, Amber Briggle, Hannah Graf, Lulu Briggle, Jake Graf, Todd Sears, and Mila Jam at the 2024 Trans & Nonbinary Leadership Summit.

That’s why we created the Trans & Nonbinary Leadership Summit. As the political arena has become increasingly hostile to the trans experience, the business community persists as a powerful partner for progress. As we convene trans, nonbinary, and ally leaders from across Out Leadership’s over 100 member companies and nonprofit partners, we aim to create momentum within the world’s largest companies to defend our rights as trans people and continue to push back against harmful narratives that seek to erase us.

In this community of advocates, we built the space to celebrate our excellence, build solidarity, and seek out solutions that empower you to stand up against the adversity we face. This sentiment was beautifully summarized by our youngest speaker of the day, Lulu Briggle. The Briggle family, including parent Amber and trans child Max — are suing the governor of Texas over their state’s harsh and discriminatory anti-trans laws. Lulu has personally witnessed how Texas’ cruel crusade against trans children — and her family’s brave efforts to stand up against this injustice — has affected her loved ones. Looking out over the crowd of trans and nonbinary leaders, Lulu said something that melted all our hearts: “I just want you all to know that you are loved.”

Thank you for standing with us to elevate our community. We’re stronger together.

Best wishes,
Mila Jam
Senior Adviser for Global Transgender Initiatives

Here’s what you need to know this week…

Launched this week: the second edition of The Business Leader’s Guide to Trans Equality in the US.

Pictured above: The 2024 Trans & Nonbinary Leadership Summit.

Out Leadership is proud to announce the publication of the second edition of The Business Leader’s Guide to Trans Equality in the US in tandem with our inaugural Trans & Nonbinary Leadership Summit.

In 2018, Out Leadership created the first and largest global corporate statement in support of transgender uniting 330 companies and 11 nonprofit partners to oppose legal efforts to roll back the rights of transgender people. This coalition, representing more than 2.4 trillion of annual revenue and almost 5 million employees in the United States, leveraged its economic power to underscore the enormous costs of anti-trans discrimination and call for active policymaking to advance equality for transgender, nonbinary, and intersex individuals.

Amid a rapid escalation in anti-trans discrimination in statehouses nationwide, and following hundreds of discussions with senior leaders at our member firms, Out Leadership launched the first edition of The Business Leader’s Guide to Trans Equality in the US in 2021. The guide encourages our members to ask questions, educate themselves on critical issues, and work with us to fight discriminatory laws and enact policies that protect all members of the LGBTQ+ community.

This guide contains the data, resources, and talking points business leaders need to continue protecting the rights of transgender people while safeguarding the fair and productive business environment that our employees, shareholders, and communities deserve.


The Trans & Nonbinary Leadership Summit: a first-of-its-kind space to elevate and celebrate trans equality.

Amidst unprecedented challenges, with over 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced across the United States last year, the Trans Leadership Summit emerged as a beacon of solidarity and empowerment. This unique gathering provided a platform for trans people to find meaningful community and for allies to stand with the trans community and address critical issues such as family rights, access to medical care, and advocacy. Participants commented that they were deeply moved by the community created at Summit, with many noting this was the largest gathering of trans people they had ever attended.

The summit featured trans and allied business leaders including Charlotte Hamilton (Co-Founder and CEO of Adenios), Micah Davis (Global Co-Chair, Out@In ERG, LinkedIn), Bachul Kohl (Director, Warburg Pincus); as well as trans advocates including Schuyler Bailar (Trailblazing Trans Athlete and Bestselling Author), Devin Norelle (Professional Model and Trans Advocate, Host of PBS’s Brave Spaces), Ashton Mota (GenderCool Champion); Jake and Hannah Graf (Trans Advocates), and Mila Jam (Performing Artivist, Senior Advisor, Global Transgender Initiatives, Out Leadership); and political movers such as Ashley Brundage (Author, Educator, and State House Rep. Candidate for Florida) and Amber Briggle (Plaintiff, PFLAG v. Abbott).

The celebration concluded with electrifying performances from Luke Ferrari and Mila Jam.

Pictured above: The 2024 Trans & Nonbinary Leadership Summit.

As states become polarized, advocacy for trans equality from business leaders is paramount.

Pictured above: Devin Norelle (Professional Model and Trans Advocate, Host of PBS’s Brave Spaces) speaks at the 2024 Trans & Nonbinary Leadership Summit.

As the recognition of trans people improves, acceptance follows. Today, an overwhelming majority (64%) of Americans believe that trans people should be protected from discrimination in the workplace, in housing, and in places of public accommodation. In 21 states – including the majority of the Northeast and the West Coast – the law affords trans people robust protection from discrimination. 71% of Americans support the right of trans people to serve openly in the military.

While just 1.6% of the United States population identifies as transgender or nonbinary, 44% say they personally know someone who is trans, and 20% know someone who is nonbinary. About a quarter of U.S. adults (27%) say they have a trans friend, while 13% say they have a co-worker who is trans and 10% say they have a trans family member. About one in ten adults (9%) say they know a trans person who is younger than 18.

Nevertheless, issues persist. According to a Marist poll, 54% of Americans the criminalization of gender transition-related medical care for minors. While still a majority, in 2021, just 28% of Americans favored criminalizing medical care for trans youth. 62% of Americans also believe that athletes should compete on teams that correspond with the sex assigned at birth, rather than in accordance with their gender identity.

Don’t miss the launch of the 6th Annual State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index on June 3rd & 4th

Out Leadership’s 2024 State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index, which measures every US state across 22 data points to create a business-lens roadmap of LGBTQ+ equality in the nation, will highlight trends in politics and culture that affect the LGBTQ+ Americans and business operations nationwide.

The 2024 State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index launches on June 3rd in a private virtual event for members, and on June 4th to the public via LinkedIn Live.

Exclusive coverage of the Climate Index will be featured in USA Today for the third year in a row.

Join us for the latest data, outlining the conditions of LGBTQ+ people and its effect on business in states across America.

Celebrate trans joy: win a set of books honoring the trans community.

2024 Trans & Nonbinary Leadership Sweepstakes

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, our wonderful host for the 2024 Trans & Nonbinary Leadership Summit, Open Book is partnering with Out Leadership to spotlight books by and about the trans & nonbinary community! Enter for a chance to win a bundle of thought-leading and insightful books.

Authors CeCé Telfer and Schuyler Bailar spoke at the summit on Wednesday.

For a full breakdown of the Terms and Conditions and Sweepstakes rules, visit the Sweepstakes website.

Selendy Gay commemorates the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the New York Law Journal.

Pictured above: Selendy Gay partner Lauren Zimmerman (center), speaks art the Protecting Marriage Equality kickoff to the 2024 US Summit, hosted by Wells Fargo.

Out Leadership member firms are vocally advocating to protect LGBTQ+ rights across the United States, including Selendy Gay’s fierce defense of marriage equality.

To honor the 20th anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in the first state in the union – Massachusets – the partnership of Selendy Gay wrote an op-ed for the New York Law Journal extolling the countless benefits created by same-sex marriage, supported by two decades of overwhelming evidence.

From the op-ed:

“The legalization of same-sex marriage has had overwhelmingly positive effects—not just for the same-sex couples who directly benefit from its protections, but for all Americans. A recent study from the nonprofit research organization RAND found that the benefits of marriage equality are “unambiguously positive.” Indeed, none of the polemical effects advanced by the opponents of marriage equality during the past 20 years has come to pass; rather than see a decrease in the rates of marriage or divorce among heterosexual couples we’ve seen a slight increase in marriage rates overall. Extending marriage equality to all couples also resulted in the improved health of LGBTQ+ individuals, fewer hate crimes, and increased adoption rates. And marriage equality has had a direct and positive economic effect—more weddings mean more business, and the financial stability that marriage brings enables more consumer spending, greater economic mobility, and increased home ownership—one of the most reliable indicators of economic health.”


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