Honorees

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IV Staklo

IV Staklo is a trans and intersex resident of New Haven. They are the Hotline Program Director at Trans Lifeline, a nationwide crisis hotline and support organization for trans people staffed entirely by trans people. Trans Lifeline was founded in 2014, at which time IV became a volunteer operator. In 2017, they became the Hotline Program Director, developing new training and support materials to grow the organization’s capabilities and increase its ability to support the trans community across the US and Canada. Since then, Trans Lifeline has been able to meet the increasing demands of support needs for its callers – including answering over 20,000 calls with mostly volunteer operators in 2018.

IV holds a degree in Forensic Psychology and seeks to use their education to advocate for LGBTQ people in crisis, especially on the intersection of mental health and criminalization of marginalized people.

IV is also an activist and organizer with the Party for Socialism and Liberation, a revolutionary socialist organization which they joined in 2012 seeking to be part of the movement for a new society based on full rights for all people. Recognizing the importance of not only mourning for our community’s losses but also fighting for their memories and those who are still with us, they have spearheaded the organizing of Trans Day of Remembrance in New Haven for a number of years, including efforts to unite the Yale and New Haven communities. IV has also been part of the New Haven community’s efforts to push for a real All-Civilian Review Board to oversee the New Haven police department, after spending years advocating for victims of police violence in Connecticut. IV’s advocacy has also extended to immigrant rights, reproductive justice and antiwar struggles.

As a person born in the USSR, they seek to provide some insight into the struggles of immigrants in the US, as well as anti-imperialist efforts here and abroad. IV believes that the greatest strength the trans community has is solidarity and peer support, and they see their work as a bridge between direct service and community organizing for long-term fightback.