The Washington Gender Alliance was founded as the Bellingham Gender Group April 1, 1996 by Barbara Yaple. The Bellingham Open Support Meeting has been held every single week without exception since then, and continues to meet to this day. In June of 2015, we will hold our 1,000th consecutive meeting.
We changed our name to the Washington Gender Alliance in 2001, to reflect our expanded mission to serve the gender community throughout Washington State and we incorporated as a not for profit corporation.
On the 13th of February 2002, we inaugurated the Everett open support meeting. As with the Bellingham meeting, this takes place each and every week without exception. We will hold our 700th consecutive meeting during the summer of 2015.
The Shoreline group first met on January 7th, 2013. The group was founded by Mary Irons and Paige Butler. It has met at the Center for Human Services building every week since its inception.
Walla Walla's first open support meeting was held on December 11th, 2014. The group was founded by Bobbie Stith. As with the Bellingham, Everett and Shoreline meetings, this takes place each and every week without exception. We are very pleased that our outreach program has been able to establish these meetings here in the southern central communities of Washington State. Walla Walla is a thriving rural community that has been without support for the transgender residents. The meetings are held at the Whitman College's Glover Alston Intercultural Center. The GAC is a historic home that has been restored and is now used by the program as "a resource to facilitate Whitman's commitment to sustaining a diverse community". It is located 28 Boyer avenue and is just a short walk from "downtown" on a quiet residential street and offers the advantages of greater anonymity and privacy and a much more intimate atmosphere.
Over the years, the Washington Gender Alliance has expanded our services to include a Speakers Bureau, a Web site, support meetings for our Significant Others, Friends, Family and Allies (SOFFAs) and FTMs (in addition to our regular meetings that are open to everyone). We also assist others in starting local support meetings in their areas.