Davis is first transgender woman to receive the annual Senate award
Hoylman: “Carrie is a role model for trans kids who might be struggling with their identity.”
ALBANY - Today, State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) presented Carrie Davis with the 2015 Woman of Distinction award for the 27th District. Carrie currently serves as the Chief Programs & Policy Officer at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (The Center) in New York City and is the first transgender woman to receive the Woman of Distinction Award, which is presented to a woman in each senate district each year.
State Senator Brad Hoylman said: “Carrie is a role model for trans kids who might be struggling with their identity. Her contributions to the LGBT community stand on their own as a testament to her commitment to public service. We need to remind my colleagues in the state Senate that transgender New Yorkers do not have the same rights and protections as everyone else. Transgender rights truly are the unfinished business of the LGBT civil rights movement, and I’m proud to stand beside Carrie as we continue to fight for full equality for all New Yorkers.”
State Senator Daniel Squadron said: "Whether providing assistance to LGBT youth, adults and families for years in her role at The Center, or developing best practices with City agencies to better serve transgender New Yorkers, Carrie Davis' years of service embody the spirit of community. It's shocking that Carrie -- an accomplished and admired member of our community -- is not afforded basic protections in housing, employment and public accommodations, simply because of who she is. Working with Senator Hoylman, I will continue fighting to bring GENDA for a vote on the Senate floor until it is law in New York. As I've said before, the failure of this legislature to pass GENDA is the shame of our state. Senator Hoylman made a great choice in Carrie Davis as a Woman of Distinction in New York."
Carrie Davis, MSW, oversees The Center’s human services programming for LGBT youth, adults and families, as well as The Center’s policy and education services. These programs provide over 9,000 LGBT people annually with community-based services to foster healthy identity and family development and include substance abuse, mental health, HIV and AIDS, economic and educational opportunity, family creation and relational support, foster care resources, insurance navigation, and immigration support through the delivery of a range of supportive interventions, advocacy, outreach, education and capacity-building.
As a transgender peer, Carrie began working with The Center in 1998 to address the needs of transgender sex-workers, initially through nighttime street outreach. As a counselor, and later as a coordinator for The Center’s Gender Identity Project (GIP), her work focused on offering counseling and groups for transgender and gender non-conforming youth, adults and partners. During this period, she was responsible for developing the core of The Center’s transgender cultural competency training curriculum and has since delivered that curriculum to more than 5,000 providers including governmental agencies, not-for-profit agencies and schools.
Carrie has worked collaboratively with the New York Department of Homeless Services, Police Department, Commission on Human Rights, Department of Correction, Human Resources Administration and others to develop guidelines, policies, regulations and best practices to better serve transgender and gender non-conforming people. In the fall of 2014, after 11 years of direct advocacy by Carrie and coalition of others, New York City’s City Council and the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) approved regulations to enable transgender people to obtain revised birth certificates without genital surgery.
Carrie currently serves on the HIV Health & Human Services Planning Council of New York and the New York City Police Department LGBT Advisory Committee. The 2nd edition of Gary Mallon’s “Social Work Practice with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People” included her chapter on “Social work practice with transgender and gender non-conforming people.” She joined the Hunter College School of Social Work in 2007 as an Adjunct Lecturer and served in this role through 2014.
New York currently lags behind 18 other states and the District of Columbia, which have laws that provide protections for transgender people from discrimination in housing, employment or public accommodations. Senator Hoylman is a cosponsor of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), which was introduced by State Senator Daniel Squadron.