Gender Justice League announces founder Askini to step down

Askini at this year’s Trans Pride Seattle march

The Gender Justice League, a nonprofit with an important presence on Capitol Hill providing support and advocacy for transgender and gender diverse people, has announced executive director Danni Askini has stepped down from the organization she helped found:

Gender Justice League has been rapidly growing in size, budget, and influence. However, under our current model, we will not be able to sustain this rate of growth indefinitely. We are taking this opportunity to undergo a strategic restructuring of our organization.

Askini’s legal situation, meanwhile, is fraught.

The activist traveled to Sweden earlier this year facing growing threats, the nonprofit said, as a target for “Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups in the United States, due to her work at Gender Justice League, and being a highly visible trans woman activist.”

Askini says the State Department is deliberately hindering trans travelers over gender. Now she is worried about what will happen to her if she tries to return to the United States facing passport issues over the State Department’s concerns over her citizenship paperwork, she told Swedish news outlet, The Local.

“In US immigration detention facilities, transgender women are often detained with men, and they run a huge risk of getting raped or sexually assaulted there,” Askini told The Local. “So I am trying to explore what my legal options are to remain in Sweden. It is rare, coming from the US, to apply for asylum in Sweden.”

Askini said her 90-day tourist visa would end October 9th.

The Seattle LGBTQ Commission has called on officials to ensure Askini’s wellbeing.

A legal fund for the activist has raised more than $17,000. Originally aimed at helping Askini settle the citizenship issues with the State Department, an update from Askini last month said the goal had changed. “it has been made clear to us that I cannot reobtain a U.S. passport,” she wrote. Askini’s new goal? Securing permanent status in Sweden.

The Gender Justice League, meanwhile, said that deputy director Elayne Wylie will lead the organization while the search for a new executive is underway.

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6 thoughts on “Gender Justice League announces founder Askini to step down

    • The basic outline seems pretty plausible to me. Which part is hard to believe?

      That high profile radical trans women might face threats of violence and get freaked out?

      Or that the State Department might subject trans people to extra scrutiny when they apply for passports and then inappropriately threaten to prosecute them?

  1. She’s sounds a little nuts but good on her for taking the money and using it to extend her European vacation.

    If you followed her on twitter she was all over the road with her explanations on what the issue was. Her story changed every week. But she has her $17k.

  2. In 2013, she identified herself to Seattle Globalist as having been *born* in Sweden. Oddly, no mention of that seemingly relevant fact (if it was a fact) in this latest episode.

    More recently, she has claimed she was issued a provisional passport valid for more than a year, but has made no further references to this passport, and asserts that she is unable to re-enter the US (despite, it would seem, holding a valid provisional passport).

    The general rule for dealing with Danni in Seattle LGBT circles since she appeared suddenly on the scene several years ago has been a variation on Reagan’s rule about the Soviets: “Trust, but verify…and then, don’t really trust, because she’s a bit of a whack job.”

  3. Her story is difficult to follow. She didn’t just “show up on the scene” a few years ago, however. She’s lived in Seattle, that I’ve known about her, since at least 2006-07. She worked for Verbena when Michelle “Mo” Malkin killed it by embezzling money straight to her personal gambling habit and fled Seattle with an indictment against her, which she still has. When Danni lost her job, I heard she got married to a guy looking for a US passport and left for San Francisco, I think. I’m not sure. I don’t know her well but this new information just adds more confusion to the story. Bottom line is: we’ll probably never know the truth.

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