My Story as a Peacemaker: Eli Erlick
Hi, I’m Eli, I’m 21 years old and I’m from California. Most of my time is dedicated to my work. Trans-Student Educational Resources as well as being a student. But there are certainly quite a few opportunities outside of activism too. Recently I was in Tegan & Sara’s video for “Faint of Heart”, which was really exciting and just a great experience overall. I mean, how many music videos almost have an entire trans-cast with mainstream artist.
My project focuses on transgender injustice. This comes from a very long and personal history. I came out as a queer transgender girl, and I was 8 years old in a very rural and unaccepting community. When I was 16 I realized that I was far from alone, so many trans students have faced injustices in the school, and I was ready to take action. And let my own experiences guide me on this path of activism and organizing.
At that time I co-founded Trans-Student Educational Resources with another young activist, Alex Sinello. We focus on a “By Us – For Us” model, trans-youth led organizing that can be sustainable and transformative inside and outside of our communities. Within just the first few years of being an organization, we were able to educate millions of people online and offline. We had thousands of people attend our workshops and get educated on trans youth.
As with every member of the organization, it’s a growing and learning process. Learning about accountability, what’s effective, fundraising. Really, just, really everything there is to learn about working in an organization, working with other people, and being accountable to those people.