Mission & History
TRUTH is a youth-led program for trans and gender nonconforming young people to build public understanding, empathy, and a movement for liberation through storytelling and media organizing.
TRUTH launched in 2015 as a joint program of Transgender Law Center and GSA Network. The inspiration for TRUTH came from the experiences of trans young people and their families who shared their stories with local, state, and national media as part of various campaigns to change policies in their communities. These young people often succeeded in changing hearts and minds, but didn’t always have the resources they needed to stay safe, healthy, and supported in the aftermath of sharing their stories.
TRUTH, informed by the lessons of those campaigns, sought to:
- Build public empathy and understanding around trans youth issues by providing guidance and a platform for youth and families to share their stories effectively and authentically
- Create infrastructure for transgender and gender nonconforming youth to support each other, connect, and strategize about how to use media and storytelling as a tool for liberation
The program launched with five videos from transgender young people and families, a storytelling toolkit guiding young people through effective storytelling for creating change, and a toolkit with best practices for journalists covering trans youth issues. Over the following year, National TRUTH Organizer Juniperangelica Cordova-Goff built out a formal structure through the TRUTH youth councils to ensure transgender and gender nonconforming young people lead the work of the program. The California TRUTH Council launched in August 2015, the National TRUTH Council launched in June 2016 at the Allied Media Conference, and the Southern TRUTH Council launched in June 2017 at the Queer Youth Leading the South (QYLTS) camp.
- Our campaigns have reached thousands of people, including our first #transTRUTH selfie campaign to our GSA Day 4 Gender Justice campaign: #MyTransBodyIs.
- Our platform has allowed transgender youth to connect with others, express themselves online, and for some, come out for the first time.
- Our work has been featured by multiple news networks, including MTV News, Buzzfeed, Fusion, and many others.