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Emmett Schelling

Trans Rights Are Human Rights...and Trans Justice Cannot Wait

Emmett Schelling was born in Seoul, South Korea, he was adopted and moved with his parents to Ohio where he was raised.

Schelling studied Business Management and Marketing in college and moved to San Antonio in 2015 to work in corporate management.

In the summer of 2017, the community was faced with the Texas Legislature's unprecedented attack on LGBTQ+ people, specifically targeting trans people. Coupled with his experiences as a Trans man, Schelling took on full-time activism to fight bills that were harmful, discriminatory, and unnecessary.

Schelling is the Executive Director for the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT), the largest trans-led, trans-focused policy organization in Texas. TENT is dedicated to furthering gender diverse equality in Texas through policy, education, and advocacy at the local and state level.

He serves on the Community Council for Transform Houston and as a board member of Deeds Not Words, an organization galvanizing the power of young people through organizing, policy, art, and voting in Texas. He is a 2020 Trans Justice Funding Project (TJFP) Grantmaking Fellow, is a member of Transgender Law Center, and a strategic planning committee member for Transgender Legal Defense Education Fund (TLDEF). Schelling serves on the board of directors for The House of Tulip in New Orleans, which strives to create housing solutions for trans people in the south, and is a Co-Director for TransFORWARD, a statewide trans-powered research collective in Texas with Texas Health Institute and Equality Texas.

Schelling has had the honor of receiving a myriad of awards for his work. These have included: Equality Texas's 2019 annual "Monica Roberts Trans Advocacy" award, 2020's "Trans Advocate of the Year" from Transgender Legal Defense Education Fund (TLDEF) and Texas Diversity Council's annual "Trans Advocate of the Year" (2022). He is also the 2023 Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ+ Equality (GLMA's) Achievement honoree. Schelling is currently The Mahogany Project's "Man of the Year". He was named as one of TIME Magazine's 100 list of Most Influential People in the World in 2022.