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NTAC was founded in 1999, by a group of experienced transgender lobbyists, who discovered after lobbying the United States Congress in May 1999 that other organizations that were ostensibly supportive of rights for transgender people had been lobbying against the interests of the transgender community. This was documented in a report, circulated within the transgender community, called the 'transflakes' report.
NTAC was founded as a 501(c)(4) political lobbying organization in Virginia in 2000. NTAC hosted its first lobbying event in 2001, and has organized lobbying events in 2001, 2004, 2005, and 2007. NTAC keeps detailed description and statistics of what is said to its lobbyists, for future reference by activists.
Philosophically, NTAC differs from other transgender advocacy organizations in that its board is a working board of experienced lobbyists and activists, has no paid employees, has no paid office space, and remains independent and transparent in its activities, goals, and work. It has a history of being receptive and responsive to issues and cases in the transgender community; has consistently had a diverse leadership core, and has responded to issues of importance to the transgender community as they arose. NTAC also was one of the first organizations to support and encourage the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, and was front and center in support of the family of slain transgender teenager Gwen Araujo.
NTAC has had a combative, but effective, past. The board has undergone many changes of personnel over the years, as board members have had a high turnover rate. This has been balanced by the activists who joined the board who grew in knowledge and stature during their board terms. However, from its beginning, each lobbying visit to Washington, D.C. that NTAC has planned and executed has been very effective, netting useful information on the changing points of view of elected officials, building a database of useful information on the Congress, and training more citizen-lobbyists. Also, NTAC has been fortunate to have developed many fine lobbyists, and has had the services of many excellent leaders, including its board chairs:
- 2000 - Dawn Wilson
- 2001-2002 Yosenio Lewis
- 2002-2006 Vanessa Edwards-Foster
- 2007–present Ethan St. Pierre
NTAC continues today to monitor pending bills before Congress, and will organize more lobbying efforts, as needed, along with the traditional Lobby Day held in the spring of odd-numbered years to brief new Members of Congress on transgender issues.