Our mission is to improve access to justice for Two Spirit, trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming (2STNBGN) communities. We aim to provide accessible legal education to 2STNBGN people by challenging transphobic policy and advocating for community-based transformative social justice.
Our vision is to create a world free of transphobia, systemic violence, and injustice, where Two Spirit, trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people can thrive.
JusticeTrans was founded by Benjamin Vandorpe in 2015 as the first comprehensive resource for 2STNBGN people to better understand their legal rights in Canada. Originally envisioned as an app that could be used to easily search through various areas of law for cases and legislation specific to 2STNBGN people, JusticeTrans has now transformed into a website and expanded its scope along three axes: knowledge creation and dissemination, advocacy, and service to the community.
JusticeTrans is an organization run by trans people for trans people and was founded on the belief that everyone, regardless of identity or lived experience, should have access to justice. Our approach centres principles of decolonization, anti-oppression, transformative social justice, intersectionality, mutual aid, and accessibility. We acknowledge that many Two Spirit, trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming (2STNBGN) individuals face additional barriers to accessing justice due to intersecting marginalized identities and lived experiences, and we seek to prioritize these voices within our organization’s work and leadership. Through our efforts to acknowledge the diversity of justice needs within 2STNBGN communities, we commit to the following:
- We are in strong support of Indigenous sovereignty , and recognize the need to decolonize justice and centre Indigenous peoples in our advocacy and programming.
- We recognize the harms that the current policing and criminal justice system has on Black, Indigenous and people of colour, and stand in support of defunding the police as a stepping stone to full police and prison abolition.
- We see the harmful effects of restrictive immigration policy on migrants and refugees.
- We believe that sex work is work and should be fully decriminalized.
- We believe in the importance of harm reduction with respect to drug use, including safe consumption sites, safe supply, and the decriminalization of all drugs.
- We work to make our spaces accessible for everyone, and believe that disability and/or neurodiversity should not limit one’s access.
- We believe that justice extends beyond the colonial legal system, including community-based responses to harm.
- We are committed to non-exploitative labour practices and equitable compensation.
- We believe our organization is stronger when we listen to and act on the continual and constructive feedback from 2STNBGN communities.
Women and Gender Equality Canada is currently funding our Trans Access to Justice and Capacity Building Project through a generous grant. This project is greatly increasing our capacity to fulfill our mission of increasing access to justice for the trans community.
We are a proud member of The Enchanté Network, an organization that helps and supports 2SLGBTQ+ organizations across Canada.
Toronto Metropolitain University Legal Innovation Zone provided a working space for JusticeTrans during its infancy. The LIZ is a legal tech incubator, providing a co-working space that helps to support, foster, and develop solutions and techniques to improve legal services and the justice system.
The Dalhousie University Faculty of Computer Science hosts a year round course, titled ‘Community Outreach‘. Through the generous help of FCS students enrolled in this course, JusticeTrans was able to redesign the website.