Kansas City

Transformations KC shifts to focus on trans women of color – Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri 2022-06-29 06:30:46 –

Kansas City, Missouri — This month’s Pride Month, we would like to share the stories of the most marginalized people in the LGBTQ + community.

This means sharing the story of a transgender woman in color that has historically been misrepresented in media coverage and even hurt by it.

This story is central Convert KCAn organization working to actively center and move forward with transgender women.

For years, Melike Jenson saw the violence faced by her transgender-colored sisters, but in her mind no organization was doing enough about it. ..

So she started Transformations KC in 2016.

It began with securing grants to fund a three-day leadership summit for color and youth transgender. After the summit, Jenson said the group was begging more.

“At that time, we built this really makeshift youth organization. It was really cool,” Jenson said.

The group was started by color transgender women, but she noticed that young transgender people in color have not yet accessed their services.

“Every transgender, non-binary person, every LGBTQ person has the right to feel safe,” Jenson said.

But they realized that their model was versatile, and Jenson said it didn’t work.

Often they were looking at white families who had more time, money and resources, but color transgender children probably didn’t have access or support.

“We have really shifted to a lens of racial equality and racial justice,” Jenson said.

Historically, we know that people of color have less access to resources than white communities. The same applies to the trans community.

“This month, Pride is announcing the transition to an organization that specializes in capacity building and leadership development for transgender people,” said Jenson.

By devoting resources to color transgender women, people like Nyla Foster will be considered professionals in a variety of disciplines.

“We are leaders, strategists, artists, all of these different things,” Foster said.

Foster was one of the first leaders of Transformations KC.

Originally from Kansas City, she is homeless and discriminated against at school.

Nevertheless, she has lived the truth since she was 14 years old and has since been a member of the pageant, leading a youth group and advocating.

“In the past, it wasn’t us who came to us on transgender issues,” Foster said. “They will report about us, we were more statistical or participants, but we did not play a leading role.”

The The latest survey of the National Center for Transgender Equality Transgender people are more likely than the US population to live in poverty, be assaulted, survive sexual labor, experience discrimination and be denied service.

And the statistics are even worse for color trans women.

“Four of my friends with black transgender experience were killed,” Foster said. “Now I’m talking to you at the age of 33, so for me that means a lot, because many of my peers aren’t over that age.”

The Human Rights Campaign 200 transgender people have been killed since 2013.. Some of those murders happened in Kansas City.

These acts of violence are often underreported, and victims often have a misgender in the first report.

Speaking frankly about this reality is at the core of the transformational work, but it is also confirming that it intersects with empowerment.

“In many cases, society will tell you that you will be a sex worker, a drag queen, or a low-paying individual, and that’s not just us.” Told.

Transformations has launched a microgrant program that awards thousands of dollars to color transgender women and adolescents.

They are reviving the national virtual summit “Puppets are thriving”.

They have also started a mentorship program. HeySis— “HeySis, like” Hey girl hey “,” says Jenson. A young woman can affirm that she does not get from her family or society.

“It’s important that there is an organization like transformation, because we don’t have the opportunity to see ourselves being promoted,” Foster said.

Transformations KC is looking for donations to fund the new program. They are expanding to serve the Ozark Mountains region of northern Arkansas, as well as Kansas and Missouri.
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