The Trans Advocacy in Rural Places program builds community knowledge, legal skills and grassroots power for the legal self-sufficiency and civil rights of transgender and gender diverse people who live in rural or geographically isolated areas across Washington state.


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Introducing Trans Advocacy in Rural Places!

An Equal Justice Works Fellowship Hosted by The Lavender Rights Project


The Trans Advocacy in Rural Places program works to solve the burdens placed upon rural transgender people to meet their own legal needs. TARP encourages resiliency in rural transgender communities through improving legal supportive services for their civil rights, educating the public, and increasing trans community capacity to self-represent.

The Trans Advocacy in Rural Places is an Equal Justice Works Fellowship hosted by the Lavender Rights Project from 2018 through 2020. This project is sponsored by an anonymous funder. Dusty Weber LaMay, J.D. is the Equal Justice Works Fellow for this project. You can find out more about Equal Justice Works through clicking on this link to the organization’s website.

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How TARP can help you:

Pro Se Support, Legal Help Pop Up Shops, Advocacy, Document Support, Professional Training, Know Your Rights Clinics

  • TARP assists rural transgender and gender diverse communities to meet their personal pro-se civil legal needs with a focus on trans related legal needs like name and gender changes

  • TARP helps trans people to become “pros” at the trans related pro-se legal processes (“pro-se” means DIY or going through court without a lawyer to represent you)

  • Through participating in the TARP program, you can receive in depth advocacy, resources, skill sharing and other assistance to help you meet your trans related legal needs

  • You can receive trans specific court coaching to help you prepare for your trans related court hearings

  • TARP can help you find the right kind of legal documents needed for your trans related legal needs and will help you prepare the necessary forms for gender related court processes

  • TARP trains court staff and legal professionals across WA to be better informed and more trans sensitive legal service providers

  • You can attend one of TARP’s many cost free community legal info sessions and legal clinic events happening across Washington throughout the next 18 months

  • You can request that TARP come to your community, organization, workplace or school to host a trans legal rights or professional competency training!

  • TARP provides a county specific document bank of model court forms for trans legal needs

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What qualifies as "rural” anyway?

You don’t have to be truly “alone” for miles around to be counted as “country enough” for TARP! Every single county in Washington state has rural areas within it-including King County. So, just ask if you are unsure whether you qualify!

For the purposes of TARP, “rural-ness” is measured by address, county location and self reports from clients. The definition of “rural” can vary widely and remains rather subjective. TARP seeks to eliminate the gaps left in legal services for transgender people due to the resource isolation which results from geographical isolation. With this intention in mind, a community member qualifies for TARP services if they face any kind of geographical related legal resource isolation whatsoever- even if they do live within a small town, a city within a predominantly rural county, or would not consider themselves to “live rurally”.


How to request a TARP event for your county or group and how to inquire about TARP services:

-Email the TARP Fellow at

-Contact the program for resources and info at

-Leave a message for Dusty and the TARP program at 206-639-7955

-Join one of the TARP email list-serves. Check back here for the TBA for both the community and legal professionals support list-serves launch.

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Whats Coming Next:

-Regular blog posts centering on the intersection of transgender identity and rural realities

-A comprehensive document bank including model trans related court documents for each county in Washington state

-A calendar of upcoming TARP events