Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Twenty Inspiring Trans People of Color; #Morethanonemonth

By Sabrina Samone, TMP

I've always believed that to inspire, you must first be inspired. One month a year, society takes the time to observe African-Americans whose legacy has inspired many generations. In the trans community, representation of trans people of color is often limited to a few well known celebrities, or the news of tragic murders that plaque our community. Sadly too often on social media, and throughout trans culture, any representation of trans people of color are often overlooked, attacked or worse, simply ignored.

Many in our community claim to desire unity, yet time and time again we only like, share, or follow those in our community who are NOT trans people of color. Where is even the support of those who are trans people of color for other trans people of color who are writers, musicians, and activist? Too often we here a cry for fair representation of all those that fall under the transgender umbrella, but sadly that rarely includes people of color who are trans.

Acknowledging the work of many trans people of color only during one month, is a slap in the face to half of the transgender people of this world who are of color. Yes, this month we honor the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, but we should never forget the many faces of color who are trans that are a part of this revolution.

For those who are not familiar with anyone outside of their race, I'd like to share a few of my fellow sister's and brother's of color that are making a difference for the entire trans community, even in the face of trans-on-trans racial discrimination. Here are a few of those that have, and continue to inspire me everyday to do what ever I can for my trans community. We should always celebrate trans people color, and for more than just one month out of the year.

                 Monica Roberts

Monica Roberts, of Transgriot, is a native Houstonian and trailblazing trans community leader.  She works diligently at educating and encouraging acceptance of trans people inside and outside the larger African-American community and is an award winning blogger, history buff, thinker, lecturer and passionate advocate on trans issues.

Laith Ashley

When he's not helping our community as an insurance navigator at New York's Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, Laith Ashley is breaking barriers, not just in the modeling world as one of the first trans male models to appear in a national campaign, but in helping increase visibility of trans men of color.

Sgt. Shane Alejandro Ortega

Shane Ortega is considered the first person to serve in the U.S. Military while being openly transgender. In a statement to media outlets he said, "My commitment to serving this country runs deep. I have been a team and squad leader, a crew chief, and a machine gun section chief. I have been on over 400 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and fought side by side in fox holes, and remote operating bases. As I fight for my country in foreign lands, all I want is to be able to serve openly while keeping the job that I love."

 Amiyah Scott

After performing in club balls, Amiyah quickly became a model and
video vixen of up and coming LGBT hip hop artist. She was recently approached to do the reality TV show, 'Housewives of Atlanta', but turned it down due to the exploitative nature of trans women, beginning her career as advocate.

Cheryl Courtney Evans

Cheryl Evans is the founder/CEO) of Transgender Individuals Living Their Truth, (TILTT,Inc.) An organization formed to provide a safe, supportive place for the transgender community with tools to cope with the community at large, She is also an advocate and acclaimed blogger of Abitchforjustice.

 Shawn Stinson

Shawn is a former soldier with the Prime Marine Corps. He's a personal trainer, health fitness coach and a body builder, winning the top position two years in a row in the annual FTM Bodybuilding Competion. He's also an avid blogger and advocate through FTM fitness.

 Angelica Ross

Angelica is the founding CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises and Miss Ross, Inc. (, She is an advocate, and an inspirational speaker of empowerment for trans women. A musician and actress she can currently be seen in the new series, 'Her Story,' a first for trans women and the complexities of trans dating.

Phillipe Cunningham

Phillipe was once told he could never get into politics. Now, he's the right hand man of one of the most powerful women in Minnesota. He is the Senior Policy Adviser on Youth Development, and Racial Equity in Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges. He is also co-leading the 'My Brother's Keeper', Twin Cities Initiative.

 Tony Zosherafatain

Tony's a former student of Wesleyan University, an R.N. whose future goal as a nurse practitioner would be to focus on trans-inclusive endocrinology. He is also a film producer and director of the upcoming documentary film, 'I Am The T'.

 Seven King

King is an advocate for trans men of color, a director, screenwriter, playwright,  and producer of the hit web series 'Eden's Garden', an intimate look into the diversity in dating among trans masculine men of color.

 Lucas Charlie Rose

Lucas C. Rose, is an up and coming hip hop/trap/EDM artist, dj, and lyricist. With his own company, 'Common Sense Entertainment',  he recently became an advocate for the trans community with his pride anthem 'This is What Trans Looks Like'. He continues to advocate for Queer and Trans people of color through music, and fashion.

Nil Orera Nodalo

Nil is a trans male activist from the Philippines. He 's an entrepreneur and  the creator and on the board of directors of TransMan Philipina. 

Pat Manuel

An advocate with the Brown Boi Project, Manuel is a popular boxer in the California area. He first gain recognition for his boxing pre-transition in the Women's Olympic Boxing Trails, and was the only vocally out queer fighter. He's recently launched the 'Buff Butch' website, intending to fill the void of queer fitness interests.

Kat Blaque

After appearing in a video about gender pronouns, made by Buzz
Feed, with nearly 2 millions views, Kat Blaque became an outspoken internet personality. An advocate for transgender women of color feminism, a children's illustrator, animator, she has also become a You Tube favorite.

Geena Rocero

Geena is a model, and advocate who is as known for her modeling career, as she is for her advocacy on the behalf of transgender people. She is also the founder of Gender Proud, an advocacy and aid organization that stands up for the rights of transgender people world wide. She most recently appeared on the lgbt channel, LOGO in 'Beautiful As I Want to Be'  

Diane Rodriquez & Fernando Machado

Fernando Machado & Diane Rodriquez, are thought to be the first
trans couple in Ecuador to become parents. The two recently made world headlines when they announced the arrival of their first child. The two are very well known advocates for justice in their countries, showing the diversity of trans people, and continue to show that diversity in their personal lives.

Diamond Stylz

Stylz, first gained attention through her advocacy as the first
transgender woman to attend Jackson State University, in conservative Mississippi. Through her experiences she began to advocate for transgender women through her You Tube videos. She quickly gained a huge following, and has since expanded into making music, and public speaking.

Lorena Borgas

Lorena is a transgender Mexican woman, and has been an activist
in the Queens, NY area for nearly 25 years. Speaking out for the countless trans women of Jackson Heights who have been victim to police violence for simply being transgender. Due in part to her work with trans youth, and those affected by HIV, she was honored by the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.

Jiji Parker

Parker, is an activist, writer, and creator of  GenderFabulous Magazine, and brand. An effort by Parker to create a more inclusive sisterhood among trans women. GenderFabulous offers resources, social events, fashion, and discussions designed to empower women.

Alejandro Santiago Lord

Lord is an activist from Atlanta. An awarded member, and chapter leader of Georgia's Black Trans Men Inc., he is also active with a his grass roots organization, My Brother's Keeper, that gives transition related aid to many trans men.


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