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Charlene Arcila-Ecks

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Charlene Arcila-Ecks
Born(1963-01-02)January 2, 1963
Jacksonville, Mississippi, U.S.
💀DiedApril 7, 2015(2015-04-07) (aged 52)
Philadelphia, PA, U.S.April 7, 2015(2015-04-07) (aged 52)
🏳️ NationalityUnited States
💼 Occupation
Activist and Community Organizer
Known forFighting to remove gender tags from mass transit passes
🥚 TwitterTwitter=
label65 = 👍 Facebook

Charlene Jacqueline Arcila-Ecks (January 2, 1963 - April 7, 2015) was a transwoman and LGBT activist in Philadelphia. She fought against the gender markers on SEPTA transportation passes as well as worked for the Philadelphia AIDS Consortium, where she created the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference. She also served as an ordained minister with the Unity Fellowship of Christ Church Philadelphia.


Charlene Arcila worked for The Philadelphia AIDS Consortium, served on the board of directors for the Mazzoni Center, and was the treasurer for the William Way Center. She is best known for founding the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference (now known as the Philadelphia Trans-Wellness Conference).

The Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference[edit]

During her 20-year tenure with The Philadelphia AIDS Consortium, Charlene served as the Executive Assistant to director Yoshiaki Yamasaki. It was during this time that she created the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference. Arcila saw the lack of trans health programs and conferences for poor, homeless, or those with HIV/ADIS. The initial conference was only one day but has since been picked up by the Mazzoni Center and runs for three days and sees upward of 7,000 members..[1]

The conference now honors trans, gender-nonconforming, and intersex individuals who have helped build the PTWC with the Charlene Arcila Pioneer Award.

SEPTA Discrimination[edit]

In 2006, Arcila faced discriminatory practices by Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) which at the time required gender markers on transportation passes. This practice was initially put in place to combat the sharing of passes. Arcila was told by one driver that her appearance did not match her pass's male gender marker and was forced to pay a small fee to ride. When she later applied for a different pass, she was told she couldn't apply for a female gender marker. Arcila filed suit against the transportation authority and her actions also inspired Riders Against Gender Exclusion (RAGE) to take up further actions. The gender markers were removed in 2013[2]


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