Principal Consultant and Founder
Cecilia Gentili started Transgender Equity Consulting in the beginning of 2019 after serving as the Director of Policy at GMHC, the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy from 2016 to 2019.
Originally from Argentina, Cecilia came to the United States for a safer life as a
transgender woman and lived, in the country undocumented for 10 years. During this time Cecilia gained her living through sex work, which came with drug use - for which she was continually targeted for policing. After multiple arrests and an immigration detention, she accessed recovery services and with more control over her life fought and won asylum.
Her experience surviving this time in her life impassions her desire to ensure that all people living on the margins are provided with access to the dignity and respect deserved in all spaces.
Cecilia’s first role within community services was when she started working as an intern at The Center in New York City. From 2012 to 2016 she was brought into Apicha Community Health Center to develop the transgender health services into a stand alone program where she managed a team of of 3 Patients Navigators and 6 Health Home Outreach Workers. Cecilia’s
involvement was instrumental in expanding the program from 27 patients in 2012 to over 500 in 2016.
Seeing so many clients affected by institutional discrimination and widespread lack of access, Cecilia decided to move from direct services into policy work at GMHC from 2016 to 2019. There she became the Managing Director of Policy and was one of the hardest fighters for the passage of GENDA (Gender NonDiscrimination Act).
Her successes in policy inspired her to found Decrim NY, a coalition working towards the decriminalization, decarceration and destigmatization of people in the sex trade. Cecilia was instrumental in the development of two statewide bills to provide survivors of trafficking with record relief, and to end the criminalization of ‘loitering’ - a charge overwhelmingly leveled against transgender women, regardless of their involvement in the sex trade.
Cecilia started working independently with Trans Equity Consulting in 2019, and has already collaborated extensively with organizations including the AIDS Institute, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Funders for LGBTQ Issues, Borealis
Foundation and Cicatelli Associates Inc. Her reputation amongst these organizations, and many more, is reflective of the deep personal commitment she brings to the work, and her unique insight which enables a deeper connection with queer and trans communities.
Cyd started political organizing during his early experiences in the sex trade, joining
alongside other workers to pressure management into bettering conditions. After
starting gender transition, he moved to San Francisco where he started volunteering at
the St James Infirmary - a peer run clinic for current and former sex workers in San
Because of his passion, and ability to connect with community members
he was quickly hired and within two years became Harm Reduction Coordinator -
managing a team of counselors, alongside providing testing and peer counseling
services both within the clinic and at sex venues, street events, and strip clubs.
In 2012, he started organizing to commemorate the 25th anniversary of ACT UP, bringing
together members from long disbanded chapters together with younger activists for a
300 people protest march informing the public on issues facing PLWHIV today. This
intergenerational coalition continued to work together for creative and dynamic protests,
reinvesting a younger generation in conversations about HIV.
From 2013-2016 Cyd worked as the Programs Director of St James Infirmary where he provided programmatic support, tripled the HIV testing numbers, successfully organized for a citywide
ban on condoms as evidence, and guided the clinic through a change in location after an eviction from their space. From this role he brings extensive experience in conducting evaluations, writing reports, researching epidemiological data, and providing supervision.
In 2019 Cyd completed a Bachelors in Global Studies at The New School, graduating with honors. He has since been working alongside Cecilia for Trans Equity Consulting as consultant and facilitator, providing material creation and administrative support services.