Proud to be ELIXHER’s cover girl! In the Body Issue we create a space to celebrate our bodies, our narratives and our truths.
I’ve written about my experience shooting the cover and helping shape the theme of the issue with ELIXHER editor in chief Kimberley McLeod.
Lastly, I will be joined by Kimberley and the other queer women of the Body Issue who bravely bare all — Kim Crosby, Mia McKenzie and Tiona McClodden — on Thursday April 24 for a LIVE conversation via Google Hangouts at 3pm ET/12pm PT.
Can we talk about how fly these buttons are?
They were created by The Multicultural Center at UW-Madison, an initiative called Crossroads, which hosted me last night for a talk about Redefining Realness.
I will wear the one with my name sharing space with TWoC legends, Miss Major, Marsha P. Johnson, and Sylvia Rivera until it falls off my chest!
The profiling and over policing of trans women of color’s lives will no longer stand — and Monica Jones is the embodiment of resistance and brilliance.
I am Mikayla Christine, but most people just call me Mika!
I’m currently 22 years old and have been transitioning for about a year and a half now. During this time, I have found many friends and sisters to help me on my journey. I live in a small town in Kentucky, and I am thankful that I had companions with open minds and open hearts to help me understand myself more fully.
Now that I do understand myself, I’m ready to give back to the community and be there for others who face similar struggles. I hope to finish college and go into education or social working. I love fashion and art and hope to incorporate those into my life as well!
I am Mika.
I am an artist, fighter, sister, idealist, and charmer.
I am #RedefiningRealness!
Thanks for sharing your life and work, Mika!
I am an fiercely unapologetic woman of trans* experience.
I am an ex-Mormon from Utah who transitioned in her teens after years of undoubted identity and conviction of self.
I am a suicide survivor, a sexual assault survivor, and a survivor in my own right.
My story began the moment I realized my gender did not match what others expected of me on the basis of my assigned gender. This was obvious to me by the age of 3.
The heartache I have overcome and the trials I have endured cannot be matched by my will to live and my need to be real in my own skin. We make many transitions in life that go far beyond transcendence of sex, gender, and identity, such as the transition from shame and stealth to visibility and voice. I worked tirelessly after surviving my eating disorder, being the speculation of my community, my suicide attempt and severe cutting habits, and exiting my outpatient treatment facility to track down inclusive health care.
Miraculously, I found a inclusive clinical social worker who gave me care and there was no going back after that. I developed into a young woman and had life-saving surgery at age 18 thanks to my father’s retirement account and love.
My parents gave me life twice and I will never forget that.
I am a fierce advocate for my community, my self is legitimate, my love is as real as it gets, and my spirit can never be broken. I reject all preconceived notions of my realness; I redefine that for myself and I live it as I see fit. I have an insatiable love of art, culture, food, and fashion. I work primarily in caretaking in my beautiful Oregon town.
I will always be undoubtedly and unapologetically ME.
"My self is legitimate." —Cassandra, on her story on I AM #REDEFININGREALNESS.
I started my social transition as a female about a month ago, and I haven’t been happier.
I’m a senior in an arts high school, and I am lucky to have such a supportive environment where I can be myself. My friends and teachers respect me, my name, and my pronouns, which is something that I do not take for granted.
Things are a bit rough on my dad’s side of the family, but my mother could not be more accepting. She took me to get my eyebrows done the day after I came out!
I am a spoken word poet and I use poetry to express both myself and the changes that I want to see in my community. I have already been given the opportunity to advocate for trans student rights in my school district. Next month, I am speaking at a school board meeting about my experiences as a trans woman in a public high school. I hope to change a few policies!
I am Contessa.
I am affirming, an advocate, thespian, poet, and friend.
I am #RedefiningRealness!
Contessa is serving me everything!