Tony Ferraiolo, CPC
Tony Ferraiolo is the Co-Founder of the Jim Collins Foundation and held the position of the President of the board for 10 years.
He is also known as a compassionate and empowering Life Coach and a motivating and thought-provoking trainer. Since 2005 Tony has provided trainings to over 70,000 people around the country. Tony has dedicated himself to both promoting competent and respectful health care for the transgender community, by educating providers, and advocating on behalf of patients. Also, training educators on providing a safe and respectful space for transgender children in a school environment. He encompasses a unique ability to make light of a sometimes-challenging situation which puts his audience at ease to fully participate in his trainings and leaves his audience with a greater awareness of how to move forward in supporting their patients, staff, co-workers, students, and children.
In 2008 Tony started several support groups to support transgender youth and their families, the groups meet concurrently, providing a complete support system for these families, drawing families from New York and throughout New England. Since 2008 these groups have served over 1000 families.
In 2009 he recognized the need to provide chest binders to members of his community who needed them but had no ability to access them. Since 2009, Tony has given over 400 binders to transgender people all over the world. And in 2021 Health Care Advocates International took on the binder drive as part of the LGBTQ+ Youth and family program.
In 2017 Tony was a Contributing Author for Article in Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry “Ten Things Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Youth Want Their Doctors to Know”.
In 2020 he was a Contributing Author for the Springer Publication “Pediatric Gender Identity” Overview and Terminology Chapter.
In 2021 he was a Contributing Author for the Publish Your Purpose Publication “The Real Lives of Transgender and Nonbinary Humans
In 2019 he received his teaching certification in Mindfulness and incorporates mindfulness in all his trainings.
Tony is the subject of the award-winning documentary “A Self-Made Man” and the Author of the book series “Artistic Expressions of Transgender Youth”. He also hosted the A&E miniseries Transitioning, were he coached three transgender young adults through social transition.
He is also the Director of Health Care Advocates International’s LGBTQ+ Youth and Family Program.
Dru Levasseur is co-founder of the Jim Collins Foundation. For a decade, he served on the board as Vice-President. Under his leadership, along with Tony Ferraiolo, the Jim Collins Foundation provided 20 grants to transgender people in need. To learn more about the story of the foundation, its beginnings and impact, go to here. In an effort to bring greater attention to funding gaps for transgender communities and empower trans-led philanthropy initiatives, Dru currently serves as a working group member for Grantmakers United for Trans Communities.
As a leading figure in the LGBTQ+ equality movement for 25 years, 15 of which in the legal profession, Dru has extensive experience in law, advocacy, philanthropy, and community organizing. He leads the LGBTQ+ Bar’s DEI Consulting Practice, Lavender Law 365®, the only LGBTQ+ inclusion coaching and consulting program designed specifically to enable the implementation of best practice standards for LGBTQ+ equity across law firms, law schools, and companies.
Previously, Dru was Senior Attorney and Transgender Rights Project Director for Lambda Legal, the nation’s oldest and largest legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV. From 2009 to 2019, a critical time in history for advancing the civil rights of transgender people, Dru led Lambda Legal’s transgender rights work through strategy development, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and public education. He served as counsel in landmark impact litigation cases and amicus briefs in federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Under Dru’s decade of leadership, Lambda Legal’s transgender rights litigation docket more than tripled, integrating transgender rights across all areas of work, including health care, employment, education, criminal justice, housing and family law.
Dru was instrumental in the creation and development of Lambda Legal’s Transgender Rights Project in 2013, as well as Lambda’s most popular online publication, the Transgender Toolkit. He led the coalition work to publish the first Trans-Affirming Model Hospital Policy with the New York City Bar Association, Hogan Lovells, Proskauer Rose LLP, and the Human Rights Campaign. The guide has been well-received nationally by hospitals and adopted by government officials. As lead on Lambda Legal’s transgender rights advocacy efforts, Dru participated in the White House’s first transgender policy meeting in 2011, and met regularly with key federal, state and local officials, advising on development and implementation of policy. He represented Lambda Legal in international forums, including the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and transgender rights INCLO convenings in Cape Town, South Africa and Buenos Aires, Argentina. A thought leader on cutting-edge issues, Dru authored “Gender Identity Defines Sex: Updating the Law to Reflect Modern Medical Science Is Key to Transgender Rights,” published by Vermont Law Review and excerpted in the book Love Unites Us, highlighting the future of LGBTQ+ rights.
Prior to joining Lambda Legal, Dru was the first staff attorney at Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, and before that, served as a law clerk in the Massachusetts Superior Court. Dru serves on the boards of the ERA Coalition and Fund for Women’s Equality.
Dru is a highly sought-after keynote speaker and diversity, equity, and inclusion trainer for law firms, law schools, and Fortune 500 companies. A national and international media spokesperson, Dru has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, People Magazine, Self, Reuters, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, ABA Journal, Atlantic, Vice, Daily News, New York Post, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Fox News, NPR, Huffington Post, and was profiled in the Advocate and Vanguard Law Magazine. His leadership has been recognized through many honors and awards from institutions such as the National LGBT Bar Association, Inaugural “Trans 100,” City Bar of New York, Brooklyn Law School OUTLaws, and Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition.
Dru is a 2021-2022 Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at Harvard Law School, and graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He earned his law degree in 2006 from Western New England University School of Law. He is admitted to practice in DC, NY, GA, and MA.