a.t. furuya (they/them)
a.t. furuya is a queer, trans, neurodivergent, Asian person living on the traditional and unceded land of the Kumeyaay, also known as Tipai-Ipai people in San Diego, CA. They are an organizer, educator, and advocate with over 20 years experience working in youth advocacy and education, disability, gender, racial, and economic justice movements. They have extensive work in grassroots organizing, solidarity and collaboration movement building, and supervisory skills with a decentralized hierarchical approach with a transformative justice lens.
From 2000-2013 a.t. taught karate and middle school English abroad, U.S. History at San Diego State University, and coached high school track and field in the U.S. In 2012 they started facilitating groups for youth focused on gender identity in San Diego, CA while pursuing a Master’s in History at San Diego State University. Their plans to pursue a career in higher education shifted when they encountered transphobic violence on campus and tragically lost six trans youth to suicide in 2015. Since then, they have fully dedicated their time to supporting trans youth, equity advocacy in educational spaces and in the workplace. They were the first person in San Diego and one of the first in the country to receive a nonbinary gender marker on their birth certificate and are a staunch advocate for trans and nonbinary athletes.
a.t. has worked in the non profit sector from 2012 to 2022 providing training and educational resources, media contributions, direct services, housing support, gender affirming medical care navigation, group facilitation, and organizing strategies. Working locally at the San Diego LGBT Center allowed them to work closely with people 1:1 and help find solutions for gaps in life saving services and the power of collaboration to implement these solutions. After six years at the Center they were able to elevate their skill on a national level as Sr. Youth Programs Manager at GLSEN, a national nonprofit working to build inclusive K-12 schools for LGBTQ+ students. Almost four years of service at GLSEN working to shift culture for QTBIPOC inclusion and equity, accountability, building programs, resources and departmental structure, a.t. decided to leave and focus on training and consulting for school districts, organizations, and businesses through Transform Together consulting.
Here are some of the LGBTQ+ advocacy a.t. has provided training for including the WNBA and NBA, Nickelodeon, Hollister & Co., Discord, Dicks Sporting Goods, New Balance, A&E, and LEGO. They have been invited to speak at educational institutions such as Harvard University, NYU, New Jersey State GSA Forum, National Education Association, US Soccer Foundation, John Frieda, and Asian Solidarity Collective. They have provided LGBTQ+ consulting for Target, NHL, IMG Academy, Ascena Retail Group, Disability Rights California, and Sweetwater Union High School District.
a.t. ‘s work and expertise on LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion have been featured in the New York Times, Good Morning America, Mashable, Yahoo, Logo TV, The Advocate, Washington Post, USA Today, NBC News, USC Center for Health Journalism, Ed Week, Metro Weekly and more.
a.t. is currently pursuing a Master’s in Educational Leadership at HTH Graduate School of Education. They enjoy gardening, vermicomposting and generally being connected to the earth.