Amida Care Mourns the Passing of Beloved Trans Activist and Advocate Cecilia Gentili
February 8 2024
Amida Care mourns the passing of Cecilia Gentili, Principal Consultant and Founder of Trans Equity Consulting, and a pillar of the trans community in New York and around the globe. Cecilia’s vibrant spirit, witty sense of humor, intelligence and wisdom, and fierce advocacy were a driving force in social justice movements. A true leader in the fight for trans justice and equality, Cecilia made deep contributions to enabling access of gender-affirming care, sharing her own story of facing barriers and discrimination.
Cecilia advocated with other community leaders to accomplish an extensive list of public policy achievements, including:
- Founded Decrim NY and successfully lobbied for statewide legislation to provide survivors of trafficking with record relief, and to end the criminalization of ‘loitering’ – a charge overwhelmingly leveled against transgender women, regardless of their involvement in sex work.
- Fought for passage of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), which prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression in employment, housing, places of public accommodation, and non-religious schools. As the former Board Co-Chair of the NEW Pride Agenda, her efforts led Governor Andrew Cuomo to mandate GENDA training for all 340,000 New York State employees—the first state in the nation to do so.
- Advocated with other TGNCNB leaders to establish a New York State fund for organizations serving transgender individuals known as the Lorena Borjas Trans Equity Fund.
- Brought a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services after the Trump administration erased provisions in the Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibiting sex discrimination against gay and transgender patients.
- Expanded access to community health services for transgender people, including helping a local community health center grow from 27 patients in 2012 to 500 in 2016.
Cecilia received countless awards for her work, including the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) Leadership in Advocacy Award, after being nominated by Amida Care.
“We are heartbroken. Cecilia worked tirelessly to advocate for sex workers, immigrants, TGNC justice, and LGBTQ+ rights. Cecilia was a great friend of Amida Care with whom we would regularly partner in our advocacy around the importance of access to HIV prevention and treatment and to gender-affirming care. She was a beautiful and bright light, and the world is a better place because of Cecilia’s work,” said Amida Care President and CEO Doug Wirth.
While we mourn, we resolve to continue to fight for justice. We draw our inspiration from leaders of the movement, like Cecilia, who showed immense courage and determination. Our hearts go out to all those who knew and loved Cecilia. We continue the work in her honor.