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The Hearing: Using the law to help people live a life free of inequality with TLDEF’s David Brown

Joseph Raczynski  Technologist & Futurist / Thomson Reuters

Joseph Raczynski  Technologist & Futurist / Thomson Reuters

For the first time on this blog, we feature The Hearing, a Legal Podcast, an award-nominated podcast conducted by Thomson Reuters U.K. In today’s installment, we showcase a conversation between David Brown, the Legal Director at the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), and host Joseph Raczynski, of Thomson Reuters.

The LGBTQ and specifically transgender community have more support than ever these days, however, there are still plenty of injustices and discriminatory behavior happening in the U.S. and abroad. The global perspective Brown shares in this podcast begins with his family leaving war-torn Europe by escaping the Holocaust as refuges to South America. We learn about the influence of a woman ahead of her time — a mother and a gender scholar — and how her influence directly shaped the lens of a young lawyer. Indeed, these beginnings fostered someone who became a person for others, a doer, utilizing the law as his means.

You can listen to the full podcast with David Brown here, or on Apple Podcasts or Soundcloud.

The pair also discuss how people can face stereotyping. As the worldwide push for social justice marches on, one less examined component of the Black Lives Matter movement is around transgender rights, which have been gravely impacted recently. There has been a dramatic increase in violence and murder of transgender and non-binary people, and many affected are people of color.

So, what is it like to work for an organization that has such weighty issues resting on their shoulders? How does this organization and others like it endeavor to help transgender and gender non-conforming people to be free of discrimination to achieve equality? In the podcast, Brown talks about TLDEF’s work to aid people in overcoming the inequalities they face on a number of fronts, including within employment, healthcare, and issues surrounding safety.

David Brown, Legal Director at the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund

He further describes what impact litigation looks like within the transgender community and how TLDEF has worked to move the law forward with the help of several law firms, such as Willkie Farr & Gallagher, Reed Smith, Kirkland & Ellis, and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

In addition, Brown unpacks the direct services that TLDEF offers, including the Name Change Project that assists hundreds of transgender and non-binary individuals change their name every year.

In the podcast, Brown sets out his vision on humanity and helping people that offers a refreshing pictorial on why, at its core, the law is here to help people live a fair and just life, free of inequality.

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