student | community organizer | consultant
Él Martinez (they/elle pronouns) is a student, community organizer, consultant and public health worker based in Worcester, MA. Él’s activism career started at age 15, incited by their negative experiences as a transgender student of color in MA public schools. Since then, they have worked as a legislative advocate, non-profit ambassador, DEI consultant, and grassroots activist; organizing around topics of gender identity, mutual aid, harm reduction, sex-ed, and more.
As they pursue their degree in Community, Youth, and Education studies at Clark University, Él continues their work in LGBTQ+ youth programs as the Adult Advisor for SWAGLY, a social support group of AIDS Project Worcester; in addition to their work as a freelance consultant. In their spare time, Él enjoys contributing to local mutual aid groups, creating ceramic art, and watching horror movies.
My consulting jobs vary greatly and have included speaking engagements, panel organization/facilitation, training/workshops, restorative justice dialogues, ambassadorship for high-profile events/fundraisers, public school and workplace policy audits, and personal consultations with newly-out transgender youth and their families. My approach to all my contracts is holistic, multi-faceted, and community-oriented as I pull from my experiences in a variety of different fields.
The Healthy Youth Act
In collaboration with Youth for Sex Ed and the Healthy Youth Act Coalition, Él has joined in the fight to pass "An Act relative to healthy youth" (S.268/H.544) which will require any MA public school that already chooses to teach sex ed to provide medically accurate, consent-based, LGBTQ+ inclusive sexual health education. Read more about Él's involvement here.
Photo by Daniela Minidis
While attending Lesley University, Él utilized their organizing skills to demand basic human needs from the administration after serious issues with heat, plumbing, and food insecurity affected the student population. Projects included the establishment of a food pantry, a drive for warm clothing/ blankets, a petition with over 2,000 signatures, several sets of student demands, and a protest on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. Read more about the protest here.
Él was a member of GLSEN's National Student Council from 2018 to 2020. In their position on the NSC, they produced student-authored content, and traveled across the country to model in campaigns with partners such as Hollister and Morphe. They also and acted as a representative for high-profile fundraisers and various media opportunities. Él to keeps in contact with their fellow NSC grads to this day.
At the age of 15, Él was a legislative advocate for what became known as the "Gender X" Bill in the state of Massachusetts. The goal of this bill was to cement “X” as a designation under the sex classification on documents in the state of Massachusetts. After almost 3 years of lobbying inside and outside the legislature, the DMV instituted the “X” option in late 2019. Click here to read more about the legislation.