Thomi Clinton, a transgender activist and director of the Transgender Community Coalition, will be among one of the eight recipients who will honored with the Palm Springs Human Rights Commission award for community service in February.
Clinton will be recognized for her efforts to raise awareness for the transgender community.
“I’m very honored,” Clinton said. “People have a misunderstanding of what it means to be transgender,...by educating people, we create a better, more inclusive community.”
The Transgender Community Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to advocacy work for the transgender, gay and gender nonconforming, connects individuals to essential services around the valley. The coalition, founded in 2014, also hosts events to raise awareness around transgender issues and unites the community and their supporters.
Every year, the Palm Springs Human Rights Commission honors indivdials and organizations that promote human rights in the community, said chairperson Dee Dee Wilson Barton.
“We honor the extraordinary individuals and organizations who take the initiative to create positive change around the community,” Barton said.
Commission member Deborah Sutton-Weiss nominated Clinton for her work.
“She’s on the ground with her sleeves rolled up,” Sutton-Weiss said. “She’s in it.”
“Thomi has connected people in the transgender community to much needed resources,” she added.
Clinton, along with Palm Springs Councilman Geoff Kors, George Zander, a prominent LGBT activist who passed away in December, worked with the city's police department and the Riverside County sheriff’s office to create guidelines for law enforcement relating to treatment of transgender people while in custody.
“She does a lot behind the scenes, from meeting with public officials and community members to answering questions people might have, that’s what changes hearts and minds,” Kors said.
Earlier this year, Clinton, also an organizer for the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, raised funds for a statue that will pay tribute to transgender people who have fallen victim to violence.
Other recipients of the Human Rights Commission award include: Dimitri Halkidis, founder of Boo2Bullying Inc., for his work educating students and faculty on bullying; Safe House of the Desert for providing emergency shelter, intervention, and outreach to youth in crisis; and Incight for its work assisting people with disabilities in education and employment training.
The award ceremony will be held in the City Hall council chamber on Feb. 8 at 3 p.m.