Want to Support the Women of the Trans 100? Here’s How.
Posted by Mey on April 9, 2014 at 8:19am PDT
The second annual Trans 100 list was announced at a live event on the night of Sunday, March 30th. This list highlights trans people who are helping to make a positive impact in the trans community and the world. Jen Richards, who cofounded the Trans 100 with Antonia D’Orsay, says that the Trans 100′s goal is “to create a counter narrative that offers a growing compendium of people organizations and projects that simultaneously reveals the diversity of trans people and celebrates the work being done in the community.” She also added that the list “is not a ‘Top 100,’ ‘Best Of,’ or even the result of straight voting by the public or volunteers. It is an intentionally curated list of out trans people who are working on trans issues in the United States and having a positive impact.” The event included many great speakers and performers, including Richards, Kye Allums, Laverne Cox and members of Trans*H4CK Chicago. This year’s list was curated by 2014 Trans 100 Co-Director Asher Kollieboi. If you’d like to watch the event, it’s still available to view online (the event starts about ten minutes in).
Janet Mock, the author of Redefining Realness and one of last year’s honorees, helped to introduce the Inaugural Trans 100 Living Legend Award. She gave me some great advice on how to support trans women.
One way we can work in coalition with trans women is by embracing trans women as women, and hopefully the ones you know, as sisters. This work is one that’s harder for many to do due to the misleading and pervasive rhetoric around trans women’s identities, lives and bodies being framed as inauthentic and artifice. Combatting this misinformation and replacing it with truth is a powerful first step towards working in solidarity with trans women. Various other ways include hiring the amazing women on the Trans 100; donating your talent, time and funds to the organizations they lead; and incorporating and engaging these women in discourse and actions addressing criminalization, healthcare, reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS, homelessness, employment, domestic violence and much more.
It was my first time being in Chicago, so what better way to be welcomed than being at HOME, with my community of amazing trans sisters and brothers. It was a powerful weekend full of LOVE and support. I believe the Trans movement as a whole is at a turning point. We are here and we are visible. We will continue to elevate each other’s platforms!
The best way for people to support trans women is by simply supporting our work and to continue to tell our lived experiences. We have a lot of powerful stories that needs to be told NOW! And get to know a transwomen, you’ll be surprise what you find out about our feminine divine!
This list is a great way to get familiar with a huge number of trans activists, artists and workers who might not otherwise show up on your radar. It’s also a great way to find out about a huge number of ways you can support trans people. Here are some of the trans women and trans feminine folks who made this year’s list along with information and links that let you know how to support them and their projects. If I don’t have specific information, I provide info on the kind of projects they are involved with. I also talked to several of them to get special insight on how Autostraddle readers can support our trans sisters. All information comes from the 2014 Trans Booklet unless otherwise stated.
1. Gloria Allen (Inaugural Trans 100 Living Legend Award recipient)
Allen is an elder trans woman of color who started transitioning in the 1970s. She currently shares her experience and wisdom with young people in Chicago where she is known as “Mama Grace.” She runs a “Charm School” where trans youth can learn safety, skills and education in order to live and thrive in the city. Her Charm School is hosted at the Center on Halsted, which you can volunteer at or donate to.
2. A. Dionne Stallworth
Stallworth is one of the founders of Gender PAC, the first transgender political action committee in the country and one of the founders and first cochairs of the Transgender Health Action Coalition. You can support her current work by helping out Project H.O.M.E., a housing and support organization that looks to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty.
3. Alana Nicole Sholar
Sholar released a memoir, Hung in the Middle: A Journey of Gender Discovery in 2012. She currently shares her experiences as a trans woman by speaking at colleges and public events. You can buy her book (and her spouse’s book My Husband Looks Better in Lingerie Than I Do… Damn It!) online and you can check her facebook fan page to contact her about speaking engagements.
Rashayla Marie Brown: On Her Intersectionality Critique Initiative | College Art Association Columbia Blog
LL: As a practicing artist why did you feel it was important to work within education?
RMB: When I started as an artist, I felt very alone and unsure that my type of art, the kind that critically engaged my identity and cultural theory, was valued and appreciated. That feeling often directly relates to one’s success – if you don’t have role models or peers to safely share ideas with, you might take much too long to explore and articulate your ideas.
Thank you, La Keisha Leek, for giving me an opportunity to share my work in academia to a broader audience. I’ve been running this series since fall of 2013, which allows for expansion in our notions of community and education in the arts. I’ve been thinking a lot about the “artist-as-” phenomenon, and the idea of artist-as-scholar and artist-as-educator aligns quite squarely with my practice.
Chicago’s trans advocates, from celebs to social workers
During a March 30 ceremony at Rogers Park’s Mayne Stage, activists from across the country were recognized for their advocacy of the trans community. Among the honorees at the second annual Trans 100—cofounded by WeHappyTrans.comcreator and Reader People Issue subject Jen Richards—ten were locals. Trans MMA pro Fallon Fox was one of them; here are the other nine.
While working as a “showgirl” in clubs along Halsted Street, Davis witnessed LGBTQ youth flocking to Boystown from the south and west sides. She also became familiar with the peculiar public apathy toward these young people, many of whom were homeless. The experience drew her to mentorship, and three years ago she was hired as youth outreach coordinator at Center on Halsted, where the 28-year-old Columbia College alum helps implement trans advocacy and HIV prevention programs.
Laura Jane Grace
About her recent move to Chicago from Florida with her wife and young daughter, Against Me!’s frontwoman commented in a recent Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session, “I like the city, could do without all of the snow.” For Grace, questions that aren’t about identity are few and far between: her ongoing high-profile transition (which inspired her punk band’s latest, Transgender Dysphoria Blues) has thrust her into the position of role model in a community that sorely needs more.
Riley D. Johnson
By day a DePaul University administrator, Johnson spends his free time consulting with nonprofit organizations and health-care providers on how best to serve the trans community. At this year’s Trans 100 event, Johnson presented the Referral Aggregator Database, a not-yet-launched web tool that sprung out of his involvement in last year’s Trans*H4CK transgender hackathon in Oakland. Combining provider information, referrals from community organizations, and patient reviews, RAD aims to be a Yelp for trans-centric health care.
At Loyola University, where the 32-year-old also works as a teaching assistant, Jourian is pursuing his PhD in higher education with a vision for improving access and experience for trans students, staff, and faculty. To that end, he organizes awareness training and educational programming at the school and conducts research to advocate for policy and curriculum changes.
The 24-year-old Edgewater resident provides trans people free legal services as a member of the Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois and runs a pen-pal effort to connect trans prisoners in Illinois to supportive people on the outside. She also oversees Invisible to Invincible, host of a monthly support group for trans Asian-American and Pacific Islanders.
Parker Marie Molloy
From her home office in Andersonville, the Advocate.com freelancer keeps a close watch on the trans beat, covering everything from transphobic lawmakers to pop culture’s portrayals of trans people, with a knack for finding the trans angle buried in big issues like immigration and military service.
Host of this year’s Trans 100 ceremony, the 33-year-old from Albany Park also was honored at this year’s event for her work as coordinator of TransWorks, the employment wing of the TransLife Center. When it opened last July in an Edgewater mansion that was once a Chicago House–run AIDS hospice, the center was touted as the country’s first housing facility to offer a full range of services for transgender people. It’s there that Ross facilitates employment workshops and career coaching for a population that frequently faces workplace discrimination.
The pink-haired Matrix codirector—raised in Beverly with brother and collaborator Andy—was a big contributor to the previously mentioned TransLife Center. Wachowski lives in Lakeview with her wife, Karin Winslow, and has said seeing the neighborhood’s adrift LGBT youth inspired her to get involved.
Z Jae Williams
Known as “Auntie Z” to her Lakeview clients, the 60-year-old created Youth Lounge, a twice-monthly “safe space” event at Broadway United Methodist Church that draws more than 60 people (90 percent LGBTQ; 55 percent homeless, according to the organization) for a meal, games, arts and crafts, and clothing giveaways.