1.For people who don’t already know you, please share a little about yourself, your work, and/or your activism.
My name is Louis Mitchell. I’m a man of trans experience, a father a man of faith and someone committed to spreading love and support to our community. While my activism may show up in various forms or places, my great joy is in being available to chat or email individuals who have questions or just need a little support.
2. Many things shape who we are. What is one person or event or experience that has empowered you?
There are so many people who have shaped who I am, there really is no way to choose one. I will share an example of a friend whose example of love and commitment inspired me then and now. My friend, Garland, had one of the worst childhoods I’d ever heard of – full of abuse and abandonment, in his family and in the world. He was one of the most loving, generous, thoughtful people I’d ever known. The ways that he reached out with his heart and spirit to people who had been thrown away by their families gave me a road map to follow. I was a newbie, barely in my 20’s and working for the LA Gay and Lesbian Center. I saw lots of things that shaped me differently – respectability politics, racism, classism, sexism, biphobia and transphobia. I was nearly crushed by the experience of having my idealism crashing into reality. But Garland stayed focused on the lives of the people who we were there to serve – and he helped me to do the same. My life was forever changed by his example and our love for each other.
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, ___?)
In the mid-90’s, Dawn Wilson, Monica Roberts and others in Louisville, KY convened the Trans-sistahs and Trans-brothers conference at the Galt Hotel. It was short-lived, only last a couple of years, but was a precursor to the Black Trans Advocacy Conference which will celebrate its 5th conference this April. So many of us had the chance to be involved, to attend, to present, to meet for the first time and are still in contact with each other. Big lesson of the TS/TB? Anywhere there is a will to serve and people willing to step up and make stuff happen is a place where community can be nurtured and fed.
How to connect and learn more about Louis Mitchell:
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