|Intro||American activist, writer, director|
|From||United States of America|
|Birth||10 July 1995, Willits, Mendocino County, California, USA|
Eli Erlick (born July 10, 1995) is an American activist, writer, and director of the organization Trans Student Educational Resources.
Eli Erlick was born on July 10, 1995. Her parents met while protesting, which she cites as a background behind her activism. She is of Jewish heritage and grew up near the rural community of Willits, California, where she said she experienced isolation, abuse, and violence, was not allowed to use the school restroom, and was threatened and bullied.
At age 13, she transitioned to female, keeping her birth name. She then began her work in advocacy and writing while co-founded the organization Trans Student Educational Resources at age 16. She attended Pitzer College in Claremont from 2013 to 2016, where she graduated early with honors.
Erlick cites starting her activism at age 15, in 2010, when she became a board member for a local LGBTQ youth conference. She became public in media over a year later while advocating for California's School Success and Opportunity Act, the first state bill to protect transgender students. Erlick co-founded Trans Student Educational Resources, an organization "dedicated to transforming the educational environment for trans and gender nonconforming students through advocacy and empowerment."
While advocating for comprehensive admissions rules for trans students at women's colleges, she spoke about the importance of remaining skeptical of all policy work. In 2015, Erlick published an article on why equality should not be the goal of the transgender movement. For her organizing, Erlick has been recognized in Refinery29 and The Advocate among other publications.
In 2015, she led national efforts with Trans Student Educational Resources to admit trans women at women's colleges. She also co-authored Trans Student Educational Resources' model policy for admissions of trans students at women's colleges.
Erlick also co-founded Trans Youth Leadership Summit, a program run through Trans Student Educational Resources and the only national fellowship program in the United States for transgender youth. Several of its fellows have gone on to become prominent media advocates, activists, and organizers since its launch.
In 2017, she began publicly advocating for self-expression of gender-nonconforming transgender women.
Trans Student Educational Resources
In 2011, at age 16, Erlick co-founded Trans Student Educational Resources, an organization "dedicated to transforming the educational environment for trans and gender nonconforming students through advocacy and empowerment." It is the only national organization led by transgender youth. She is currently the director of the organization. It is one of the largest transgender organizations in the United States.
Erlick has written articles focusing on political philosophy, social movements, and transgender communities. In 2017, Glamour Magazine named her College Woman of the Year, the first trans woman to receive the honor in its 60-year history. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of California, Santa Cruz in its Feminist Studies Department. In a 2017 interview, Erlick stated she intends on becoming a professor.
In 2016, Teen Vogue named her a "New Face of Feminism" as a "young feminist changing the game". Erlick also writes for culture publications including Teen Vogue and Glamour magazine about transgender and queer culture, media, and fashion.
Erlick has appeared in publications discussing fashion. In an interview with Yahoo News, Erlick stated that she felt pressure to dress femininely based on the widespread conflation of gender identity and gender expression despite wanting to dress more masculinely. Erlick describes herself as gender nonconforming.
She is openly queer.
In 2020, Erlick endorsed Bernie Sanders for president.
- 2013: Refinery29's 30 Under 30 SF
- 2015: Westly Prize for Young Innovators
- 2016: Davis Projects for Peace
- 2016: Teen Vogue's The New Faces of Feminism
- 2017: Glamour Magazine College Woman of the Year
- 2017: GO's 100 Women We Love
- 2017: Lambda Literary Award, LGBTQ Anthology (as contributor to The Remedy: Queer and Trans Voices on Health and Healthcare)
- 2018: Real Leaders 100