Improving Transgender Healthcare in Texas

Equity to Action Series

Our webinar series Equity to Action is funded by AIDS United’s Southern Reach Project and is designed to educate and mobilize Texas HIV prevention and care staff and the public to improve quaity and access to compassionate healthcare for Trans-identified and gender-diverse citizens living with or affected by HIV.  Our goal is to raise our voices to fight ignorance and stigma and to promote and shape public policy to reduce HIV disparities and improve health for all.

Intersecting Identities: When a person is Trans, Poor and of Color
August 24, 2016.  11am-12pm CDT
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Capturing and Using Health Data for the Transgender Community
September 21, 2016 11am-12pm CDT
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aidsunitedcardeaLogo by Noel Smith

“This work is part of the AIDS United Southern Reach initiative, which is generously supported by the Ford Foundation.”

We are Texans, and we are responding to our state leaders.  When they  make comments that are hurtful and offensive to us as their constituents, we wonder when our Governor, Attorney General, and Lt. Governor will recognize that we are here and are part of Texas, too.  We wonder if we’re not at a point where Texas’s slogan shouldn’t be:

 Minority Hatred in Texas:  We have an App for that (Abbott, Patrick, Paxton).

Our Work

The Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) is an organization dedicated to furthering the gender diverse equity in the State of Texas. We work to accomplish this through education and networking in both public and private forums. Through our efforts we strive to halt discrimination through social, legal, legislative and corporate education.

Transgender Education Network of Texas is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and donations are tax deductible.

Some of the things we do:

The three tiers of what we do: Education, Advocacy, Empowerment


Cultural Competence:

Transgender Education Network of Texas offers cultural competency seminars, workshops and presentations for agencies, organizations, businesses, faith organizations, and anyone interested in better serving gender diverse clients through a client centered model. Our cultural competency educators are professional, well trained, and experienced in delivering high quality content to audiences that focuses on the following concepts:

  • Gender as a shared characteristic
  • Gender Enforcement
  • The influence of privilege in regard to gender expression and identity
  • Examination of Intersecting Identities
  • Self Examination of our own gender uniqueness
  • Best practices for working with clients as informed by the work of stellar transgender advocacy/educational organizations.

CEU courses are offered on a request and rolling basis.


Transgender Education Network of Texas offers advisory services in the following:

  • Serving Transgender Students in the Classroom
  • One on One mentorship of trans* persons as they deal with societal hurdles and look for safe space
  • On the job workplace transitions
  • Providing the best quality of health care to clients


Transgender Education Network of Texas reaches out to like minded organizations and individuals to foster awareness of Transgender issues. We help local leaders to create a network of trans folk and allies in their municipalities for support and education. Outreach is absolutely critical to the enhancement of understanding within and without the LGBT community.


Transgender Education Network of Texas works at the State Capitol to promote policies that treat Gender Diverse Texans with Equality. We work with other local organizations to expand Human Rights Ordinances around the State to include language covering Gender Identity and Expression. We also partner with Equality Texas, allgo and other statewide organizations to achieve equality, acceptance and understanding for all LGBT Texans throughout the State.

Legislative Caucus/Lobby Day

Transgender Education Network of Texas works each Texas legislative session to bring together activists and allies from across the state to brainstorm change needed on the state policy level and to visit with elected representatives in educational settings to best position and activate lasting gender equity.




Working with youth organizations throughout the State of Texas, Transgender Education Network of Texas helps younger people gain more self acceptance. Working with schools and colleges, we help administrators and teachers to better deal with those who are struggling with their gender identity as well as their peers.

Real Change happens locally:

Transgender Education Network of Texas seeks to engage and support organizations and individuals “on the ground” around the state to do two main things.

  1. Tell our stories, as individuals
  2. Change hearts and minds through authentic partnership and sharing.

Hormone Testing:

Proud To Be Organizational Partners with



Board of Directors

photo of Brandon Beck

Brandon L. Beck, Ph.D.


Brandon, Chair of TENT, is a trans man who lives in San Marcos, TX, with his wife Marcia.  He is faculty in Curriculum and Instruction at Texas State University.  At Texas State, he is part of Alliance, AdvoCats, The Transgender Task Force, and Transcend – all organizations working to promote inclusion, diversity, equity, and access for LGBTQIA faculty and staff.  He especially enjoys mentoring transgender and gender diverse students through Transcend, a student organization for gender diverse students and their allies.  He also is a board member with GLSEN Austin and PFLAG San Marcos.  He has written articles and presented at conferences locally, nationally, and internationally about the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse students in schools and also works to promote equity and access for transgender and gender diverse people in churches and workplaces.

photo of Bailey Killian

Bailey Killian

Coastal Region Coordinator

Bailey Killian serves TENT as the Coastal Regional Director. He specializes with transgender issues in higher education by seeking to educate institutional administration in areas of diversity and inclusion. He volunteers as a transgender mentor for the coastal bend area and collaborates with Aspire Services Group and the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation. He is employed and is alumni of Texas A&M University-Kingsville, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science in English. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education and Organizational Change.

photo Sam Almeida

Samantha "Sam" Almeida

Upper North Texas Region Co-Coordinator

Samantha Almeida is a Senior at The University of Texas at Tyler, graduating in May 16’ with her Bachelors of Business Administration in Business Management. She is applying to graduate school at The University of Texas at Tyler to study political science and plans to attend law school after her graduate program. She aspires to work as a social justice lawyer for The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Transgender Law Center (TLC) or the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). Samantha is president of the Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Alliance (GSSA) at UT Tyler, which is the gay/straight alliance on campus. She joined the Tyler Area Gays board in December 2015 and also serves as the Student Committee Chair. Samantha is a two-time Tyler Area Gay’s Advocate of the Year nominee. She is co-founder of the Tyler Transgender Support Group (TTSG) along with her husband Wyatt who also serves with her as Regional Coordinators and board members for the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT). Samantha and Wyatt are minimalist, currently in the process of building a sustainable ‘tiny house.’ Her mission while serving on the board with Tyler Area Gays is to educate on LGBTQIA issues, create safe spaces and bring our community together. Transgender education is definitely lagging behind the LGB community so that is a large goal. She hopes to bring students together on and off campus and help foster change in the East Texas Area.

photo of Wyatt Almeida

Wyatt Almedia

Upper North Texas Region Co-Coordinator

Wyatt Almeida is an engineering major at The University of Texas at Tyler. Wyatt is actively involved with the Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Alliance (GSSA), UT Tyler’s gay/straight alliance, and has helped coordinate transgender educational opportunities on campus. Wyatt also speaks to undergraduate and graduate level psychology students each semester to better educate on transgender topics or any LGBT question future healthcare providers might have. He leads the Camping Group with Tyler Area Gays, a local East Texas LGBT organization, and is also active in Tyler Junior College’s SAFE (Students Advocating for Equality) program. Wyatt is co-founder of Tyler Transgender Support Group (TTSG) along with his wife, Samantha. Wyatt joined the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) in 2015 with hopes of bringing more educational resources to the East Texas area.

photo Stephanie Guerra

Stephanie Guerra


Stephanie is currently employed at AIDS Services of Austin where she has been an important part of ASA’s vision and mission for the past eight years. Most recently Stephanie has taken on the role of ASA’s Testing and Linkage to Care Coordinator, and has from day one been a strong advocate for transgender visibility and inclusion. During her tenure at ASA she has worked in different rolls and capacities and has also most recently been very instrumental in working collaboratively with her team and other service providers in moving ASA’s HIV Testing Program to align with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and High Impact Prevention (NHIP).


As a Trans* Latina Tejana of over forty years, and Vice Chair on the TENT Board of Directors, Stephanie plays a vital role in the trans community especially communities of color by being a voice, an advocate, a mentor, and an educator through private and public forums. Her passion in building community, visibility, and service, as she continues to pave the way for generations to come.


In the movement to halt discrimination through social, legal, legislative, and corporate education, Stephanie has been a fierce hero, and has spent numerous hours talking with representatives and stake holders at all levels about issues and laws that impact the Transgender community.


“We have come such a long way since Stone Wall, but we have a long way to go” continues to be Stephanie’s message to others.


**More than ever discussions relevant to trans-visibility and inclusion are moving to the forefront and main stream media firing up meaningful conversations that in turn merit changes in policy, law, and access to services. These changes have been a long time coming, and make a huge difference in so many lives.

For more information as regard to HIV/AIDS: [email protected]


If you have personal questions or would like more insight or in-depth conversation, please feel free to call 512-696-3644


Capital Region Coordinator

Sandra Dunn

Amarillo, TX

Corey James Benson

Austin/San Antonio, TX

Katrina Dawn Stewart

Central Texas Region Coordinator

College Station, TX

Terry Thompkins


Michelle Stafford


Advisory Board

Lisa Scheps
Austin, Tx
Lauryn Farris
San Antonio, TX
Dr. Oliver Blumer
Paula Buls
Austin, TX
Carmarion D. Anderson
Austin, TX

Resource Suggestions

We frequently refer people to resources and services.  If you have a resource you think would be valuable for us to know about, send us a message!

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