My first venture as an advocate was with Brothers United where I volunteered as the Transgender Program coordinator. In my time at Brothers United, I educated different organizations and health facilities on how to care and treat Trans people who utilize their services.
I was a part of the reason they put transgender on the documents in preventive care, and counseling and testing for HIV and STD’s.
I have continued to advocate for the Trans community, by helping those I came across on a daily basis, and I helped as many as I could to the best of my ability. At the time I was volunteering with Brothers United, I had limited education and no source of income, so I had to take a break to get myself together.
In 2009, I realized the problem still existed, and I was still in the same predicament I was in when I left Brothers United: I didn’t have a job, or education.
In February 2009, I went to the Walker Career center with the last 60 dollars in my pocket and paid to take the GED test. When I got my results back, I saw I passed the test. I then picked up my GED and headed to Ivy tech Community College, where I completed my AAS degree, and have been working every since.
I have since returned to the advocating table and met with a couple of Trans people in the advocate scene and joined forces with them. Perhaps the highlight for 2015 was speaking at the Transgender Day of Remembrance event on the circle this year, and speaking up for trans people who do not have a voice for themselves.
Trans women of color have been left behind for countless years. I would like to bridge the gap, and give this lost community visibility; shining a light on all the adversity myself and others like me have faced being Trans in Indiana. The Trans community of color does not have a lot of avenues when it comes to support of any kind.
There have been a lot of organizations that always put us on the agenda but never deliver any kind of justice or helps our community. These organizations who have added the T to its LGB need to realize it is important to have the services that come along with being transgender.
We need to encourage these organizations, and others like them, to add Trans person of color representation in their offices. There needs to be an understanding that more than makeup and hairstyling techniques need to be talked about when it comes to the Trans community.
I hope to use my voice to encourage other Trans women of color to come together and build a support system. I would like to see us come out the darkness. It is time to release the cocoons, and blossom into the beautiful women we are meant to be. I want to encourage others like me to start by showing up to various round-table discussions, and different venues that are going on, and let your voices be heard.
If we start by supporting each other, we could become strong enough to start a Trans-friendly facility that is both for us and by us. Perhaps we can start a foundation with Trans leaders in the forefront who could help guide the lost, and strengthen transgender unity.
These are things I hope to encourage others to want. It’s hard for someone who does not identify as Trans to completely understand what it could be like for a person who is going through transition. How could someone relate if they have not experienced the struggle?
Or put another way, how can they know what our lives are like, unless they’ve walked a mile in our high heels?
Well sisters, I will use my voice to expose the truth, and really show the ugly face of how it has been.
2016 should show a different outcome for the transgender community. People want to know, and we will let them know all about us.