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!
This Sunday evening, I supported the Trans community from my living room couch. So much sparkle, Beyonce dubs, weave and pride. What a beautiful moment to highlight, Gloria Allen, among others, for all they have done for their community.
So honored to be part of this legendary moment!
Today is Transgender Day of Visibility! Today is the day for us to thrive! To organize! To resist the systems creating violence in our lives: prisons, capitalism, racism, transphobia, transmisogyny! Today is a day to envision a powerful future for Trans Women of Color! Support us in doing just that by donating to our International Trans Women of Color Network Gathering! This gathering is for trans feminine people, two-spirit people and people who don’t identify with western ideas of gender but identify as gender variant and female or feminine!
We still have $4500 to raise in 13 days! That’s only $346 per day which is only 17 people per day donating $20!
Thank you all so, so much who have donated, who have given perks, who have put your time into helping organize the perks, who have shared our fundraiser online! Please keep helping us spread the word and reach our goal!
Give if you can!
I was born December 1989 in Oklahoma City, the first child my parents had. My parents split up when I was around age 4 and my father raised me until I was 18. During my early childhood, I began to stand out - and not necessarily because I was tall. Nor did I stand out because I was quiet.
I stood out because I was different.
I loved dolls, I loved hanging and playing with the girls, and I was VERY feminine. I slightly recall my parents arguing throughout my childhood, because my father was upset that my mother allowed me to play with girl toys and was supportive of my femininity.
After graduating high school in 2008, I relocated back to Oklahoma City to attend college. This would be the beginning of a new chapter in my life. By age 19, I had already become androgynous and actually celebrated my 19th birthday as a woman. At the time, I lived in a community where I was teased, bullied, harassed, and pointed out. To my advantage, I had cisgender women friends, one who identifies as lesbian, who took me to the gay clubs and allowed me to openly display my femininity. They were actually the first women to help me with hair, make up, and clothes in the very beginning stages of my transition.
I must add that, at that particular time in my life, I did not know I was transgender. I just assumed I was a feminine gay boy. However, about two years later, after networking on an LGBT website for people of color, I discovered the meaning of transgender, after being curious as to what the acronym “T” of LGBT represented.
I recall sitting at the computer in awe - jaw dropped, eyes releasing tears like sprinkles from a water faucet. I was overwhelmed with joy, relief, an answer to that prayer that I prayed almost faithfully as a child. I could be a woman and nothing or no one could stop me. I knew in that moment of revelation that this was what I wanted to do and, since then, my mindset has been as solid as it was on that magical day.
At 21, I flew to the local courthouse with $150 ready to legally file paperwork to have my name changed. At the time I was self-medicating with hormones and, although I wasn’t doing things by the book, I was happy. I knew I was on the road to becoming my true self. I was blossoming almost flawlessly, totally unaware of the hurdles ahead of me. I had no clue that family members would misgender me purposely. I had no clue that people would value their religious beliefs to the point where they were willing to sacrifice their relationships with me. I had no clue that “best friends” of years would disown me, disapprove and secretly hate me for making one of the most liberating decisions of my life. No one prepared me for the rejection, depression, isolation, fear, and hurt that I’ve had to experience over the last few years of my life.
Although I’ve experienced my hardships, I am coming to learn how beautiful and amazing this journey is. This is not just a physical journey. This is a spiritual journey as well. I didn’t choose this life. This life chose me and I respectfully accept the challenges that lie ahead of me.
I am more than my gender, more than my body. There is nothing fake about me, because I’m not a fake person. I didn’t “choose” to be a transgender woman; I naturally and unintentionally chose to decline the male stereotypes and expectations that were expected of me. If anything, I chose to be honest and truthful with myself and the world around me.
I am brown. I am bold. I am beautiful. I am #RedefiningRealness.
"I am more than my gender, more than my body. There is nothing fake about me, because I’m not a fake person." — Sasha