HISTORY

Marsha C. Botzer founded Ingersoll Gender Center in 1977 as an organized response to emerging discussions of gender identity.  From our beginning we’ve been focused on providing a dynamic person-centered direct service experience.

Starting with a support group modeled on work done by our friends at  Seattle Counseling Service, Marsha expanded Ingersoll and created specific programs for transgender and gender nonconforming people.  In 1984 Ingersoll became a formal not-for-profit organization and further developed its service capacity. Our support group lives on today, having run weekly for over 40 years!

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Ingersoll volunteer leaders, working mutually, were crucial to the Center in the early years of experiment and discovery.  Members quickly learned how the Center’s work needed to recognize not only the full human person, but their relations to care, government, and society.  Standing against discrimination and in favor of inclusion became a formal value.

Ingersoll has successfully led efforts to change policies and public understanding, and has assisted other support systems around the world. From inclusion of gender identity and expression in Washington State’s 2006 Law Against Discrimination, to innumerable trainings and policy projects, Ingersoll has lived its mission of providing mutual support through peer led support groups, advocacy in navigating resources, community organizing, and education — all in the pursuit of our collective self-determination.   

Today, Ingersoll carries on this proud history. Staff members work daily to improve services and find new ways to help.  Follow Ingersoll as we make real the famous call from the 19th Century leader for whom we are named, Robert Ingersoll: “The Time to be Happy is Now.”