GO Proudly Presents: 100 Women We Love, Class Of 2020

LaLa Zannell

Photo by REUTERS: Brendan McDermid.

As the leader of the ACLU’s advocacy and organizing work to support and empower transgender and nonbinary people, LaLa Zannell seeks to empower trans and non-binary youth through her work. She was the chair of the policy and working group committee for Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), which worked to pass Intro 541 which addresses unconstitutional searches by the NYPD. Before taking on this role, she was Lead Organizer at the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP), where she advocated for LGBTQ+ people who have experienced violence in New York. Zannell also created the first Trans Discrimination Survey in New York City to collect data on trans people’s experiences in employment. No matter what she’s doing, though, Zannell is just proud to be highlighting and advocating for her community. “The most rewarding thing about my work is I get to go to work every day for my community and get to travel the country to help advance trans rights,” she tells GO. “I also get to advance and uplift the leadership of trans women of color and the importance of letting trans women lead.” Having transitioned at 15, Zannell says she has been able to become someone for other trans people to look to for experience and guidance in the advocacy and policy world. Her biggest piece of advice? “Stand in your power and know you are perfect in every way,” Zannell says. “Stand up for what you believe and know that you have a whole community standing by fighting for you. Even if you do not see them, know they are here and we have the strength of our ancestors.” —GP


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