Garden State Equality, New Jersey's statewide LGBT advocacy organization, announced transgender advocate Andrea "Andy" Bowen as Executive Director. Bowen is also a social worker, and previously served as Social Policy Organizer at the DC Trans Coalition and Policy Associate at the National Center for Transgender Equality.
“New Jersey has a lot of forward thinking policy already in place,” Bowen said in a statement. “But we must continue to press for full equality for the LGBT and ally community, and be vigilant in working to ensure our current laws are implemented and enforced. My goal is to work with communities across intersections of race, class, gender, age, and ability to ensure that LGBT people and our allies are truly protected from discrimination, physical violence, and economic pain.”
While in Washington, D.C., Bowen led advocacy toward passing the District's law that made the process of changing birth certificates and names easier for transgender people. She also worked with community members to ensure that DC's private health insurance policies and Medicaid cover transgender healthcare needs, and organized the community around a lawsuit against a homeless shelter refusing entrance to transgender women.
Bowen is among the first transgender women to lead a statewide LGBT advocacy organization.