Cecilia Chung, a transgender woman living openly with HIV and Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives and Evaluation of Transgender Law Center, is an internationally recognized civil rights leader who advocates for HIV/AIDS awareness and care, LGBT equality, and social justice. Chung has been a vocal advocate for transgender women and people living with HIV.
An immigrant from Hong Kong, Chung has called San Francisco home since December, 1984. She has worked locally and internationally to advance equality and justice. Chung has broken ground in a number of ways including: being the first transgender woman and first Asian to be elected to lead the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Celebration; the first transgender woman and first person living openly with HIV to Chair the San Francisco Human Rights Commission; and, an architect of the nation’s most ambitious publicly funded program addressing economic justice within the transgender community. Her community service spans nearly two decades. In 1994, she was a member of San Francisco’s Transgender Discrimination Task Force, which documented widespread discrimination against transgender people through a groundbreaking report. The work of the Taskforce led the City to adopt many pioneering anti-discrimination ordinances and policies. During her tenure as President of the SF Pride Board, she led the organization in achieving a new standard of inclusion and excellence.
In 2002, she joined the Board of the Asian Pacific Islander Wellness Center and currently consults with them on an innovative mobile HIV testing project for transgender youth. In 2004, as a founding producer of Trans March, she helped organize one of the world’s largest annual transgender events which has since been replicated in cities across the U.S. In 2005, she became the first Deputy Director of the Transgender Law Center and is widely credited with shaping the organization’s mission and programs. In 2013, she was appointed by President Barak Obama to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and has served two full term and retire from the council before the inauguration of President Donald Trump. In 2015, with the support of Transgender Law Center and Elton John AIDS Foundation, Chung launched Positively Trans, a national network of transgender people living with HIV that is led by an advisory board of transgender people of color living with HIV that focus on story telling, policy advocacy and leadership development.
Chung’s life has inspired the character played by Ms. Ivory Aquino in the mini docudrama series, When We Rise, produced by ABC.
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