About Us

Trans Empowerment Volunteers in Knoxville, TN
Volunteers for the Nov 2019 clothing swap in Knoxville, TN pose with members of Trans Empowerment.

About us: Trans Empowerment Project is a gender inclusive organization that is aimed at identifying and creating necessary resources to further the empowerment and progression of the Transgender community across the US. How we got started: Our founder, Jack Knoxville, started navigating the coming out process as a transman in Knoxville, TN. To his surprise, there seemed to be a lot of people, also in the area, who didn't identify as a part of the binary. Yet for some reason, many people were isolated and struggling to find access to resources they needed to live as their authentic selves. After talking to his cis-friends, he realized there was an equally large number of cis people that wanted to help the community. Jack decided it was time the two communities met face to face and enlisted the help of a few friends. The group decided to hold the first clothing swap for Trans Empowerment Project on Dec. 10th, 2016. After just 3 weeks of planning, the new group was able to successfully organize a clothing drive and give away totally free clothing items, (including shoes and accessories) to over 100 people across Knoxville.

Where we are now:

  • We received our first 2 grants in June of 2018 to further our outreach. (One from the Trans Justice Funding Project to accommodate emergency HRT requests & the other from the Appalachian Community Fund to expand our educational reach in Eastern, TN).
  • Some of that outreach includes national efforts to reach  Trans youth and young adults in crisis.
  • We launched a community clothes closet program so that we can extend our resources to inclusive allies.
  • We are working toward establishing an entire website dedicated toward furthering education about the trans community for allies (including downloadables)
  • We now offer a mentor program that allows folks within the Trans community to become resources for each other
  • We help with job searches
  • We are working toward helping new chapters launch before the end of 2018
  • We are constantly expanding our volunteer base so that we can further effect change across the US.
  • Partnering with Trans affirming organizations across the country to help elevate one another while increasing our impact on helping further the Trans community.
  • Gearing up to launch a TEP Ambassador Program for our social media superstars.
  • Leading workshops at national conferences such as the Power of Pink, hosted by Planned Parenthood & the Trans Wellness Conference in Philadelphia.

If you are interested in joining us, sign up for our email/text list: [yikes-mailchimp form="2"]

We have launched our "inTRANSition Mentoring Program". Currently we have 20 mentors going through training, 8 completed with training, and 3 matched with a mentee.

To sign up as a mentor, click here. To sign up as a mentee, click here.

We have launched our "Inmate Advocacy Program". We are currently advocating for two clients with our Partner Orgs & Affiliates.  Clink the link to sign up as a Potential Community Partner.

We now offer Name/Gender Change Assistance through our program "TransFormations". To apply for assistance, click here.

Ongoing Projects

inTRANSition Program:

  • Home Home Sponsorship: Population Served: Homeless, Displaced, Abused Trans/Queer/GNC Folks 18-25 Placement Options: LGBTQ Affirming Partner Organizations LGBTQ Affirming Host Home Sponsors Please fill out our intake form for assistance. To volunteer as a host home sponsor please complete this form.  
  • HRT Assistance: Population Served: All Trans/Queer/GNC identified individuals Funds are available through direct private contributions, to subsidize the costs associated with HRT & surgeries, assistance possible as funds are available.  If you are in need of assistance please fill out this form. Networking with community partners to encourage reduced-fee medical services and transgender-inclusive policies for medical care and pharmaceutical services.  
  • Mentoring Program: Population Served: Trans/Queer/GNC All Ages “Big Sibling/Role Model” Type program where mentees are matched with a trained TransMentor that can be a support, resource, and a method of empowerment to help each individual reach their potential to reach their personal, educational, employment, and transitional goals. If you are interested in being a TransMentor you must qualify by being in the following categories: Adult 18+, out as Transgender for 3-5 years or a Transgender SOFFA member Able to give time weekly to the assigned mentee Able to devote time to training Able to devote one year to the assigned mentee If you want to sign up to be a TransMentor you can do so here. To enter our TransMentor program as a mentee click here.
  • Trans Job Connect: Connecting trans people to trans inclusive employers currently hiring. Whether looking for a local job, or work from home options.  We offer resume building assistance and job search assistance. Join our Facebook group here. or Complete the Trans Job Connect Intake form here.

TEP Programs:

  • Bi-annual Clothing Giveaway/Clothing Closet: Population Served: All Trans/Queer/GNC identified individuals in need of gender-appropriate clothing. If in need of clothing, please fill out our Assistance Application. If you want to make a donation to our clothing closet please visit our Facebook page and send us a message.  
  • Trans 101-Community Education: Population Served: Individuals, Companies, Corporations, & Individuals. Bridging the gap between trans folks and their allies by educating our communities on transgender affirming practices.  
  • Cell Phone Assistance: Population Served: All Trans/Queer/GNC individuals in need Free cell phone program provided through SafeLink. If you are in need of a free cell phone, please fill out this form.  
  • Trans Inmate Program: Population Served: Transgender Inmates of all ages.  Providing advocacy, support, and empowerment for transgender inmates.
  • Senior Care Advocacy and Outreach- coming soon