This year’s Gender Justice Awards was a time to celebrate the artists, performers, advocates and legislators that have tirelessly supported and advanced the transgender and gender nonconforming community.

It was also a call to action in response to the anti-trans campaign expected in the year ahead.

2016 was a banner year for the Gender Justice League, which worked to oppose six anti-trans bills in the Washington Legislature this past session, and campaigned against a proposed ballot measure to remove nondiscrimination laws, which ended up not receiving enough signatures to be placed on the November ballot.

Gender Justice League executive director Danni Askini said in 2015 no one had foresaw the anti-trans attacks to come here in Washington and across the country.

“None of us knew that we would be at the center of the conversation in Washington state,” she said.

Askini said the conservative proponents of removing protections for transgender and gender nonconforming people have had more time now to raise funds and campaign, so she expects another ballot measure to come up next year.

“They came close this year,” she said, “they will probably qualify next year.”

Vowing to block any anti-trans legislation introduced in Olympia next year is Laurie Jinkins, this year’s recipient of the Power Award at the Gender Justice Awards dinner on Nov. 17.

Jinkins advised the Washington Won’t Discriminate group, formed in response to I-1515. As chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Jinkins blocked four anti-trans bills from receiving hearings.

“I didn’t have a question in my mind when those bills came before the House that we wouldn’t hear them,” she said.

Jinkins urged awards dinner attendees to do their part in the fight ahead.

“We will most certainly have another initiative filed,” she said. “It will be very difficult for us to stop that from getting on the ballot.”

Taking home the Accomplice Award this year was Monisha Harrell, chair of policy and political advocacy nonprofit Equal Rights Washington. Through the organization, Harrell helped raise $45,000 for the Washington Won’t Discriminate campaign. She said the next four years will be a tireless fight to maintain the rights achieved in Washington state from national players.

“We will defend it with every last breath we have,” Harrell said. “We are family, and our family fights.”

Mobilization Award recipient Jeremiah J. Allen, who formed TRANSform Washington through a partnership with the Pride Foundation, dedicated the honor to the people and organizations that inspired him to keep up the fight for transgender rights, including Elayne Wylie, advisory committee member and member of the Gender Justice League, who joined him in a statewide educational tour this year, with the goal of fighting anti-trans legislation and I-1515.

“And now, after this election, it’s become clear that this work won’t get easier,” Allen said.

The election of Donald Trump as president and Mike Pence as vice president has the entire LGBT community fearful their rights will be stripped away. Of more immediate concern is how the president-elect’s alt-right supporters have been emboldened to lash out against them, Askini said.

“We just elected a fascist, and I feel fine saying that,” she said.

The day after the election, Askini called for a protest, which resulted in a large march — the first of many — from downtown to Capitol Hill and then the University District.

She said her car was keyed and her tires slashed after that burst of activism. She’s received more than 500 hate messages, many through Gender Justice League’s phone line.

The Southern Poverty Law Center on Saturday reported finding 701 incidences of hateful harassment since the Nov. 8 election.

“This was like one of the worst weeks — maybe of my life — and it’s only been a week,” said Creator Award recipient Micha Cárdenas.

Cárdenas is an assistant professor of interactive media design and interdisciplinary arts and sciences at the University of Washington Bothell. She is also an artist who studies the movement of trans people of color in digital media.

Cárdenas said protests gave her a reason to get out of bed. She and other UW Bothell faculty drafted a letter to the administration on Wednesday, Nov. 16, demanding the campus be a sanctuary from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

A first-generation Colombian American, Cárdenas is disturbed by Trump’s plans to deport three million immigrants during his first 100 days in office. The Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando this June hit the trans Latina community hard, she said, adding the murder of trans women grows annually.

“Every single year, the number keeps going up,” Cárdenas said.

Many of this year’s Gender Justice Awards recipients spoke about the inspiration they’ve drawn from the younger generation of LGBT advocates, who are embracing the fight they’ve been carrying on for long.

“I always learn from queer youth — every day — what is next and what is possible,” said Longevity Award recipient Seth Kirby, executive director of Oasis Youth Center, Washington Won’t Discriminate member and Pride Foundation vice president.

Youth Justice Award recipient Marci Owens talked about her coming out to her grandmother and the unexpected support she received.

“This means a lot to me, because I just came out to my grandma, I think last year, and I was really scared of what might happen,” she said.

Owens’ mother died when she nine, and she felt it was because she fell through the cracks of a broken healthcare system.

“And she shared that story all the way to the White House, and she’s a big reason why we got expanded Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act,” said Xochitl Makovich, with the Washington Community Action Network, where Owens also works.

Owens stood next to President Barack Obama as an 11-year-old boy when Obamacare was signed into law in 2010. Her transition and life since then was recently featured by CNN.

“When that article came out, it felt like the world came off my shoulders and I could be myself,” Owens said.

This was the second year guests of the Gender Justice Awards were asked to pledge funds, Askini said, and this year’s goal was $25,000. The Gender Justice League is starting a free legal clinic with the QLaw Association, to help transgender people acquire identification and name changes that match their identity, which will likely become a greater obstacle when Trump takes office on Jan. 20. Just 21 percent of trans people have such IDs. It can cost more than $600, if a person needed to change their license, passport, birth certificate and other forms of identification, Askini said.

Not counting the $7,500 in ticket sales and a $5,000 donation before the start of the awards dinner, the Gender Justice League raised more than $36,000.

“This is really important to me,” said Sarah Moran, who made the largest donation of the night. “I’m trans myself, and I know Danni is doing a lot of work, and her organization is doing a whole lot of work, to protect me and other in the community and across the state.”