Across Gender (AG) exists because we want to create a space in which people can look into other people's experiences, stories, and faces to validate and inform their own exploration of their identity, without forgetting their own experiences of themselves in the world.
At AG, we are dedicated on building an environment that a gives our community a sense of being “at home”, safe, and free from judgement or hostility. Although AG welcomes all trans and gender-variant folxs to our spaces and resources, we focus our efforts towards marginalized groups within our community: youth, people of color, and those financially disadvantaged.
For Across Gender, to empower our trans and gender variant community is to aspire them to advocate for themselves. We hope that our projects and resources can help strengthen and build upon their own sense of trans resiliency. The projects we create each targets a specific marginalized group within the trans and gender variant community.
- Transcending Faces Project
- While 2016 and 2017 brought an immense awareness to the trans community, queer people of color still struggle to be equally represented. The media continues to ignore those who expand the gender binary, favoring those on the edges of the gender spectrum.
- This project is a series of narratives revealing the many faces and stories of trans and gender-variant people of color. We believe there is no better way to challenge the mainstream status quo than with true transgender narratives.
- Having a platform for trans and gender variant people of color (TPOC and GNCPOC) to tell their stories has the ability to show the potential and resilience TPOC and GNCPOC individuals have, despite roadblocks. Our hopes is to transcend beyond our current perspective on conventional and common trans and gender variant narratives.
- Lighthouse Project
- 29% of our community are living in poverty, compared to 14% of the general U.S. population. That notwithstanding, trans and gender-diverse folxs also face the expenses of transitional healthcare and surgeries as well as legal fees that can have a significant financial impact.
- This project caters to those who are struggling financially. We strive to help by providing access to basic necessities such as food, toiletries, and clothing.
- By providing access to basic necessities, we hope we can empower our community to keep moving forward regardless of their adversities.
- All About Youth
80% of trans students feel unsafe at school, and 32% faced physical, emotional or sexual abuse at home. Gender-diverse kids face high rates of bullying, assault, depression, school drop-out, drug abuse, self-harm and suicide. Their best predictor of success is whether that child receives support from teachers, peers, and at home.
At AG, we offer our youth two projects 1) Youth Giveaways where they have an opportunity to receive basic transitional items to affirm their gender identity or explore a new one. 2) Meet-ups where we provide a safe space for youth to connect with each other in a safe environment.
By accommodating early intervention and preventative services can give trans and gender-variant youth a chance to succeed with social support and community.
Growing up in a time where there was a lack of representation and visibility of trans people of color in the trans community and media, I didn’t know the person I am today could exist. When I understood my identity as a biracial, first generation, queer, trans person of color I asked myself, “Where do I fit" and "where do I belong?” In life, especially while socially and medically transitioning, I never really felt I belonged in certain spaces, like puzzle pieces that didn’t quite fit. When I socially and medically transitioned, I soon realized how lonely transitioning as a person of color can be and the toll it can take mentally and emotionally.
In my work when I reach out to trans people of color, especially the youth, they often talk about this loneliness, hollowness, and emotional pain -which is so difficult to put into words because it’s a unique feeling. I always say being trans is both a blessing and a curse. A curse because it’s a constant struggle, especially with the multiple facets of my identity, but a blessing because I can uniquely relate and genuinely understand that pain. It’s a particular and interesting experience where two strangers, living in two different worlds, can overlap and can relate to that unique feeling and are able to heal one another by understanding that pain together.
I dedicate my effort in Across Gender to the vulnerable and marginalized people in the trans and gender variant community who have always felt like outsiders looking in. My hope is this platform will create a space for them to never feel alone and the sense of solidarity that we're in this together.