Tony Ferraiolo, CPC
Tony Ferraiolo is known both as a compassionate and empowering Life Coach and a motivating and thought-provoking trainer. Since 2005 Tony has provided trainings to over 15,000 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.
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 200 binders to transgender people all over the world.
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”.
Beyond this list of inspiring accomplishments, Tony is known for infusing his stories of the struggles of transition with insight, humor, and compassion.
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.
A recognized leader in the LGBTQ+ equality movement for 25 years, 15 of which in the legal profession, Dru serves as Deputy Program Officer for the National LGBT Bar Association and lead for Lavender Law 365, an LGBTQ+ inclusion coaching and consulting initiative perfect for law firms, law schools, and workplaces. Dru directed Lambda Legal’s Transgender Rights Project from 2009 to 2019, a critical time in history for advancing the civil rights of transgender people, 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. Dru represented Robina Asti, a 92-year-old WWII veteran, in a successful challenge to the Social Security Administration, leading to clarified policy for fairly processing survivor’s benefits. In McCreery v. Don’s Valley Market, he secured a landmark settlement before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for a transgender woman fired after transitioning in the workplace. He was co-counsel in Esquivel v. Oregon, resulting in the removal of discriminatory restrictions on transition-related health care for all transgender employees of the State of Oregon, and in Fields v. Smith, a federal case successfully challenging a discriminatory Wisconsin law barring its Department of Corrections from providing medically necessary care for transgender inmates. 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 is a highly sought-after keynote speaker and diversity, equity, and inclusion trainer for law firms, law schools, and Fortune 500 companies. In addition to leading the National LGBT Bar’s Lavender Law 365 coaching and consulting program, he regularly presents at conferences around the country, including Puerto Rico. 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 received his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in Women, Sexuality and Gender Studies from the University of Massachusetts, and his law degree from Western New England University School of Law. He is admitted to practice in DC, NY, GA, and MA. Dru is a bereaved step-parent and lives with his partner, Rebekah Spicuglia, in Atlanta, GA after a decade in New York City.