Bryanna A. Jenkins
1.For people who don’t already know you, please share a little about yourself, your work, and/or your activism.
My name is Bryanna A. Jenkins and I am currently the Executive Director of the Baltimore Transgender Alliance. I founded this organization to give a voice to the Baltimore Transgender Community in the wake of so much violence and erasure that we have faced as a community nationwide in the past couple of years. Under my direction we organized several successful events which included the #BaltimoreTransUprising & Baltimore Transgender Day of Resilience Marches. My activism style is one that consists of realness, ingenuity, and tenacity. I am a strong believer in doing the work that no one else wants to do. One way is by engaging communities outside of the Transgender Community so that we can have the difficult conversation that forges new understanding and relationships that also help to shift paradigms. I am in the process of pursuing a Juris Doctorate degree so I can practice law one day soon.
2. Many things shape who we are. What is one person or event or experience that has empowered you?
Despite what many people think, being an activist in a marginalized community is not as fun as it seems and it makes you a target. Being in this position I have faced harsh criticism, harassment, and resistance inside my community as well as outside of my community. I hurt mainly because I know that the work that i do is not so I can benefit, but it is so I can be apart of creating a foundation to let the generation of Transgender People after me know that they are purposely birthed from a tapestry of greatness and that they are worth fighting for. Every failure or missed connection is opportunity for me to be innovative so I can create to programming and contact that can engage even my worst critic.
3. What is a piece of Black Trans History that you want to make sure others know about and don’t forget? (person, event, cultural development, trend, ___?)
One piece of Black Trans History that I don’t want people to forget is to use the elders in our community as resource and respect them for their sacrifices. In the past couple of years in the community I have noticed how the younger generation disregards and devalues the presence of the elders in our community. We have to remember that for our elders to be Transgender in their era was a completely different world than the one we live in now. They put their lives on the line and made silent sacrifices so that we could have a lot of the privileges and opportunities that we have today. They are worthy of the upmost respect and if we can’t acknowledge that then everything that we are fighting for now is in vain.
How to connect and learn more about Bryanna Jenkins:
Bryanna A. Jenkins
BSci.: Marketing for Morgan State University
MArts: Legal & Ethical Studies from the University of Baltimore
Facebook: Bryanna A. Jenkins
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