October 18, 2016 at 12:13 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Trans United Fund latest to endorse Clinton
Hillary Clinton, gay news, Washington Blade

The Trans United Fund has endorsed Hillary Clinton.(Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A political action committee for transgender activists on Tuesday became the latest LGBT organization to declare support for Hillary Clinton.

Angelica Ross, a board member of Trans United Fund and founder and CEO of TransTech Social, said in a statement announcing the endorsement Clinton’s commitment to transgender rights makes her the candidate.

“I’m proud that the board of Trans United Fund has endorsed Secretary Clinton because she is ready, able and qualified to take the lead,” Ross said. “As a black transgender woman and a veteran, I know just what’s at stake for my community and there is no question that Hillary Clinton is the candidate we need.”

Trans United Fund endorses Clinton on the same day it has launched a new project called #transthevote, which the organization bills as a voter education and mobilization campaign targeting transgender people, their allies and families.

DeShanna Neal, the mother of a transgender daughter featured in Trans United Fund’s recent political ad and co-chair of Trans United Families for Equality, said supporting Clinton is right for transgender children.

“My daughter is a brilliant and beautiful black transgender girl and I want her — along with my three sons — to grow up in an America where she can thrive,” Neal said. “Families like mine are coming together through Trans United Fund because we’re committed to making that world possible. We’re endorsing Secretary Clinton because trans lives matter, because black lives matter, and because the lives of families like mine matter.”

Clinton has made a commitment to transgender rights a component of her presidential campaign. Her LGBT platform identifies protecting individuals from violence, streamlining identity documents and investing in law enforcement training for LGBT individuals as specific actions she’ll undertake for transgender people during her administration.

Kayley Whalen, a Trans United Fund board member and digital strategist for the group, said the next president must “listen to and respect trans people, disabled people, Latinx people and immigrants.”

“We need a president whom we can educate on our issues and push to improve conditions for our communities,” Whalen said. “Secretary Clinton is that candidate.”

During the Democratic presidential primary, Trans United Fund sent out a questionnaire to Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Donald Trump, but only Sanders returned the questionnaire with answers. Trans United Fund didn’t make an endorsement in the primary.

Catalina Velasquez, an undocumented Latina woman and board member of the Trans United Fund, said in the 2016 election Clinton is the better choice over Trump.

“She knows that a successful and thriving U.S. must first respect, value, and champion the 11.2 million undocumented immigrants living in this country, including many of us that are also members of the LGBTQ community,” Velasquez said.

The Washington Blade has placed a call in with the Clinton campaign seeking comment in response to the Trans United Fund endorsement.

Other LGBT organizations that have endorsed Clinton are the Human Rights Campaign, Equality PAC, the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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