Name: Nicholas “Guilly” Guillory
Title: Tryon Garner Memorial Law Fellow
Location: South Central Regional Office (Dallas, TX)
For years, the nation’s best and brightest legal minds have put their skills and passion to work for carrying forth Lambda Legal’s mission to advance the civil rights of LGBTQ+ people and everyone living with HIV In this series, you’ll get to know the people at the heart of what we do.
In this edition of “Meet Our Lawyers,” we are highlighting Nicholas “Guilly” Guillory who joined Lambda Legal in 2021 and is our Tryon Garner Memorial Law Fellow, a fellowship named in memory of Tyron Garner, one of the two men at the center of Lambda Legal’s landmark Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas. Guilly is an integral member of the team litigating Doe v. Abbott, the 2022 case challenging Governor Abbott and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) who is investigating parents and guardians accused of providing medically necessary gender-affirming care. Guilly is a standout lawyer whose passion and tenacity shine through in everything he does and in every project he lends his expertise to.
What brought you to work at Lambda?
I became a lawyer with the goal to one day join Lambda Legal in their efforts to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of LGBTQ+ people and everyone living with HIV. And when I learned of the Tyron Garner Memorial Law Fellowship, I felt that it was a great way to get involved in this work and an opportunity to serve my community. As a Black queer, transgender man, I am profoundly grateful for my community, and I hope to use my career as an attorney to help uplift their voices and experiences.
As the Tyron Garner Memorial Law Fellow, you will be tasked with tackling the most pressing issues that impact Black queer people in the South. What are some critical obstacles they face, and why do they matter to you?
Black LGBTQ+ people are faced with the compounding effects of discrimination based on the intersections of race, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The issues that impact this community the most are safety, employment discrimination, and access to healthcare. First, safety is essential—whether in their personal lives or from state violence, Black queer people should be able to exist authentically without fear for their life.
Employment is another area of significant concern. Black LGBTQ+ people face higher rates of employment discrimination, which contributes to economic disparities. Lastly, access to healthcare is another issue. Between the lack of insurance coverage for gender-affirming medical care and discrimination by healthcare workers, many Black queer people, especially in the South, go without medically necessary care. These are issues that I have faced personally and issues that I hope to improve during my time here at Lambda Legal.
What has been your proudest moment working at Lambda so far?
I have only been here a short time. However, it would have to be securing the injunction in Doe v. Abbott, which blocked the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) from investigating parents who work with medical professionals to provide their adolescent children with medically necessary gender-affirming care. And as someone born, raised, and residing in Texas, being able to help prevent further harm to Texas families of transgender youth has genuinely been my proudest moment.
How have you seen the rights for LGBTQ+ folks advance in your lifetime? What has impacted you the most?
I’ve grown up in an amazing time for LGBTQ+ rights in the U.S., largely due to folks that have come and fought before me. In just my short lifetime, I was able to see us secure marriage equality and, most recently, secure rights against employment discrimination. There is still a long way to go before we see the true lived equality for LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV. However, despite the constant attacks from the state legislature on transgender rights, the shift in visibility and support for the transgender community has allowed me to live my most authentic self.
What’s something fun or interesting you would like to share about yourself? Describe what a perfect Sunday looks like for you.
What most people don’t know about me is that I enjoy playing and watching basketball. I have even played both D1 & D2 college basketball. I also love the outdoors. So, on Sundays, whether that be basketball, brunch, or a dog park, you can catch me somewhere getting some sun.