Advanced directives are living wills that allow people to document their wishes concerning medical care and treatment when they are unable to communicate or make decisions on their own. These documents are especially important for queer and transgender people living in the Bay Area, as many have moved here to escape abusive families who refuse to recognize their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Without this document incapacitated queer and transgender people's abusive parents and next of kin are legally entitled to make important medical decisions on their behalf. Horror stories are pervasive as a result, ranging from parents forbidding their queer adult-child's partner from being at their deathbed and parents refusing to use their child's correct pronouns to parents dressing their estranged transgender son in girl clothes after death. In one extreme instance, a transgender woman's sister shaved off her long hair while she suffered a coma.
In an effort to ensure that Bay Area queer and transgender people are treated with respect and in accordance with their wishes, Red Light Legal will coordinate two day-long legal clinics. At these clinics, volunteer attorneys will assist 40 queer and transgender people in creating their advanced directives for free while providing notarization and copies in both English and Spanish.
Funded by Oakland, CA (June 2016)