Transgender Community Coalition (TCC) began as TDoR Palm Springs in 2014 and is a certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. In the beginning, its purpose was to raise funds for the first Transgender Day of Remembrance Memorial Cenotaph Statue. Due to the strong demand by the local transgender, intersex, gender non-conforming, fluid, non-binary community we quickly outgrew our name of TDoR Palm Springs and became the largest transgender organization in the Inland Empire serving the needs of the local transgender community. Currently, we all work in compassionate volunteer positions in a wide range of social service, linkage to care, HIV/AIDS and PrEP education, youth, housing, employment and other supportive needs so this community can be empowered and reach their highest potential.
With over 40 active volunteers, TCC serves in a wide variety of volunteer positions in other community organization to ensure that transgender people are visible and have a voice within the LGBT Community. These organizations include, but are not limited to: Desert AIDS Project, Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast, National Transgender HIV Testing Day, Cathedral City LGBT Days, Desert Stonewall Democrats, National Center of Lesbian Rights, Human Rights Campaign, Equality California, TruEvolution, Borrego Health Care Foundation, Eisenhower Medical Center, Congressman Raul Ruiz, Inland Empire Health Plan, ViiV Healthcare, Department of Justice, Cars of Yester Years, The LGBT Community Center, Temple Isaiah/Jewish Community Center, Bloom in the Desert Ministries, Safe Schools of the Desert, Latina Coalition, Operation Safe House, Sanctuary Palm Springs, Palm Springs Unified School District, Girl Scouts, College of the Desert Gay Straight Alliance, APAIT, Riverside County Public Health, Riverside County Department of Mental Health, Transgender Service of Excellence. In 2017, TCC was recognized by Travelocity as being one of the main organizations that make Palm Springs the best place to live.
TCC served well over 200 transgender people in 2017 linking them to medical and mental health care, legal services, housing, employment and other resources. TCC has either directly or helped facilitate training for approximately 1,200 health care professionals in the last year. In 2018, it is the mission of TCC to train other transgender people to provide education on health care, human resource and business, city agencies, HIV education, PrEP and PEP, homelessness, youth and to develop possible future employment skill sets for these individuals. It is also the mission to bring TCC to the next level with their own office space. When achieved, this will be a historical moment for the local transgender community.
Responding to hundreds of inmate letters a year, TCC monitors correctional institutions to ensure LGBTQ+ inmates are free from sexual violence and are provided valuable resources for rehabilitation and safe community reentry.
TCC created the Raina Chessman Fund which was named after a Palm Springs transgender woman who was murdered in Whitewater, California in 1999, but was not identified until 2010. The funds raised help the local transgender community in the Coachella Valley during life crises. TCC recognizes that so many transgender people do not have access to family support and employment as punishment for living their authentic lives. In 2017, 9,434 people were educated about Riana and the Fund and 323 persons participated in either supporting this Fund or borrowing from it. TGMondays, which is held on the second Monday of each month at Bongo Johnny’s Patio Bar and Grille, was created to help raise money for the Raina Chessman Fund which is replenished by a percentage of the sales that day. Without these generous donations the local transgender community would suffer greatly.
With the assistance of Desert AIDS Project, TCC received a 100-foot Transgender Pride flag to march with in the annual Greater Palm Springs Pride Parade. This flag is used to unify the transgender community and sends the message that transgender people exist and deserve equality. We share the flag with other cities so they too can send the same message.
TCC brought Transgender Day of Remembrance to the next level in Palm Springs by providing special guests like national transgender leaders Mya Taylor and Aydian Dowling. This year the first Transgender Day of Remembrance Memorial Cenotaph Statue created by artist Health Satow, will be donated to the City of Palm Springs on November 20th in memory of all the transgender people that have lost their lives to hate and violence.
TCC created Trans Pride to showcase national transgender leaders who inspire others through education and that they too can live authentic and successful lives. In 2017, Trans Pride honors retired United States Navy SEAL Kristin Beck on November 5th at 6 pm at the Camelot Theatres.
TCC continues to grow at an enormous rate bringing more of our community into leadership positions to ensure the future of our community’s equality.