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Transgender Allies Group

Nevada’s Transgender Advocacy Group

Credit: TAG website

The Transgender Allies Group (TAG) is an advocacy group for transgender people in Nevada. They go to the Nevada state legislature and lobby to have bills passed and sometimes terminated.

TAG has been around since 2010. A bathroom bill brought TAG into existence. At the time, Nevada was considered one of the lowest states for LGBTQ welcomeness. As a result of massive legislation in this state over the years, Nevada, in 2020, was ranked number ONE by USA Today as the most LGBTQ-friendly state in the nation. The rankings looked at legislation, number of hate crimes, and LGBTQ population per state.

Some TAG wins here in our good ‘ole Nevada:

  • One of the easiest states to get ones birth certificate changed
  • It is very easy to change ones’ gender marker
  • No longer have to publish your name in the newspaper when you do a name change
  • No longer have to prove to the DMV that a 3rd party verifies who you are
  • One of the few states that has an X gender on drivers’ licenses

When I spoke with Sherrie Scaffidi, the president of TAG (see here and here for more on Sherrie) she said one of the reasons they have been so successful is that TAG has good rapport with the Nevada State Senators.  Nevada has four open LGBTQ legislators. Sherrie said it has been easy to get them on board with getting various bills sponsored, supported, or killed.

The TAG board is currently comprised of two transgender women, two transgender men, and one cis gay man.  These folks are the president, secretary, treasurer, and two directors.

The meetings are held via Zoom on the fourth Thursday of every month in conjunction with Northern Nevada’s Carson City chapter of PFLAG, for which Sherrie is also the president. For anyone who is not familiar with PFLAG, they are the first and largest organization for LGBTQ people, their parents and families, and allies.

TAG has about 12 active members, but Sherrie knows that they touch the lives of many, many more in Nevada. It’s unknown exactly how many people, though, because TAG does not maintain a listserve in order to preserve anonymity of those seeking assistance.  TAG often deals with people who are not ready to come out.  Sherrie estimates they affect 50 to 100 people personally and one-on-one per year in helping with transitioning legal tasks like name changes.  

When a bill gets passed specific to the transgender community, TAG doesn’t know how exactly many people they are going to touch. Nevada is estimated to have approximately 12,600 transgender people in 2022.

They have a great name-change roadmap and forms on their website and a ton of resources, but the website is definitely out of date, so I know some of it is not useful any more.

They need to update their woefully out-of-date website and develop a business presence on LinkedIn. They do have a twitter @TAGNevada which is very active, and I applaud that.

TAG needs to work on their marketing and outreach. Because they don’t collect listserves, they don’t have much of an outreach strategy. Mostly, it’s just Sherrie putting her personal contact information out everywhere she can. They get some contacts through PFLAG.

Although not a social group, TAG hosts a Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Church in Reno every November.

TAG’s most current issue is advocating for the LGBTQ community in the Nevada prison system.  Transgender inmates are being put in the wrong gender population.  A transgender woman’s legal documents may confirm that she is female, but because she has male genitalia, she is often placed with the men’s population.  These inmates are often denied their hormones.  TAG is bringing new legislation in the latest session to address these injustices.

Sherrie wants you to know that TAG can help with anything having to do with gender transitioning.  And if you show them something they have never seen before and don’t have an answer to, they want to help you figure it out.

Sherrie helped me in 2021 to develop a powerpoint presentation for my organization on terminology and etiquette related to transitioning and transgender employees.

Follow them on twitter. Follow me on twitter.

Credit: TAG Website. Signing of Senate Bill 201, protecting LGBTQ youth from dangerous “conversion therapy.” From left to right: Eliza Cafferata (Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood), Sherrie Scaffidi (TAG), Tick Segerblom (Senator), Governor Brian Sandoval, Holly Welborn (ACLU-NV), Tyrone Thompson (Assemblyman), David Parks (Senator, Sponsor), Brooke Maylath (TAG), Stacey Shinn (PLAN), Brad Combs (Intern), Ashley Clift-Jennings (TAG).

By Erica Pionke

Erica Pionke moved to Reno/Sparks, Nevada in March 2020 and is finally now getting out into the world and exploring all of its queer offerings with her hilarious and loving partner of 10 years, Debbie.

Erica is an avid outdoorsperson and a self-inflicted seeker of education. She works for the government, in realty, and has a history going back to her earlier years in law school, in real estate, zoning, and land management.

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