This project is led by a core team and volunteers comprised of trans health organizers, researchers, educators, cultural workers, policy advocates, activists, and artists working across Los Angeles County. TMHJ:LA is part of a broader strategy within Gender Justice Los Angeles and includes research and community organizing by and for trans people to advance health justice in California.
The project started with #TMHealthLA, an arts-based health promotion campaign with support from the City of Los Angeles AIDS Coordinator’s Office. This included a photography exhibit featuring portraits by and of Transmasculine people set against iconic backdrops and neighborhoods across Los Angeles. The show opened at the downtown public library in Los Angeles and has since traveled to multiple venues across the county.
This project inspired a participatory action research initiative in partnership with the UCLA Department of Social Welfare. We conducted interviews, focus groups, and the Transmasculine Sexual Health & Reproductive Justice Research Survey which included 310 transmasculine participants. We have held community meetings to discuss the work and presented findings at Los Angeles City Hall, several academic and practitioner conferences, and with local activist networks, health workers, policymakers, funders, and researchers.
We formed the Transmasculine Health Research Justice initiative in 2020 to use our data to identify advocacy goals and future research priorities. Based on this analysis, we developed a report focused on the health and health care inequities facing transmasculine people in Los Angeles along with foundations for action to advance health justice. We published our 2021 Web Report April 7, 2021.
Our research and organizing process builds on the knowledge we carry as trans people; challenges us to learn more; and creates evidence to advocate for health justice.
Cydney is a graduate student at Claremont Graduate University, where they are pursuing their master’s degree in public health and gender studies. Cydney is deeply invested in the nourishment and empowerment of black queer and trans people and views holistic healthcare as a critical necessity for a better society. They envision the Transmasculine Health Justice Initiative to eventually serve as the model for research in trans healthcare.
Ezak Amaviska Perez
Ezak was born and raised in and around Tongva land (Los Angeles, CA). They identify as a trans, two-spirit, indigiqueer. He is of Xicanx, Hopi & P’aéaekilâ Puebloan people. Ezak is the Executive Director of Gender Justice LA – a grassroots social justice organization led by and for Black, Indigenous, non-binary, two-spirit, trans people of color in LA. Ezak has been holding circles, organizing, training and facilitating locally in LA as well as nationally for the past 15+ years.
Gia Ryan Olaes Miramontes
Through the Department Of Public Health, Gia is an advocate for the well-being of the TGI (Trans/GenderNonbinary/Intersex) community. Additionally, Gia works as Reentry Counselor responding to those in the LGBTQI2-S community who are impacted by incarceration. Serving with the Transgender Service Provider Network and the LA Transgender Advisory Council, Gia hopes to actively create progressive & inclusive change in policy for TGI identities with a focus on proper Gender Affirming care. Gia also sings with the Trans Chorus of LA and continues to support gender & sexual diverse artistic expression.
Héctor T. Plascencia
Héctor is a movement consultant, community builder and social justice advocate working at the intersection of community & coalition building, public policy & advocacy and research justice. For 15+ years, Héctor has worked with and for undocumented Californians, communities of color and transgender and queer communities. As a member of these identities, Héctor offers a unique perspective and strategic approach to creating movements and social justice practices.
Jaden J. Fields
Jaden is a poet, cultural worker, and educator dedicated to cultivating healing-centered spaces for marginalized communities. He is the newly appointed Equity Director for the Association for Size Diversity and Health. His work within grassroots and nonprofit organizations has included designing and leading programs for trans folks to access health services, training government agencies to better serve transgender people, participatory action research, and policy advocacy at the city and county level.
Jovan Wolf Binarao-Salagan
Lucas (he/they) is a Latinx transmasculine identified individual who works at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in the Center for Transyouth Health and Development in Health Services, Clinical and Behavioral Research, specifically with transgender/non-binary/gender non-conforming youth and young adults as well as in data analysis and is the Director of Research for the Non-Binary & Intersex Recognition Project. They also serve as the National Director of Operations for FLUX aiming to raise the profile of Trans and Gender Non-Conforming community. They have a background in Mathematics, Statistics, HIV&STI testing and as a former client is an advocate in the transgender community.
Luckie, founder of Invisible Men, is a Transman who is an advocate of exacting change that builds bridges within the LGBTQI community and creates resources and support around transmasculine folks and trans parents. He is a member of Los Angeles County Transgender Advisory Council, CHIPTS CAB Member, HIV Commissioner and a proud member & Historian of the Brown Boi Project, Director of Workforce Development at Trans Can Work and the designer of the “ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER” art installation on Hollywood Blvd. He received the title of Mr. Quest 2018, a community advocacy award with APAIT. He was the Assistant Strategy Director for the historic 2019 National Trans Visibility March and has received the Lou Sullivan Award for the work he does centered around transmasculine individuals in the HIV/AIDS arena.
Lylliam is a caregiver and advocate for equitable and culturally responsive health care. They have experience with collaborative and community-driven research within healthcare settings as well as museums, universities, and community organizations. They are inspired to work with others to design and implement better ways of achieving wellness on a community-wide level and believes community interconnectedness itself is an essential aspect of that wellness. Lylliam received a double BA in Anthropology and Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and an MSc in Technology and Analysis at University College, London. Lylliam lives in an inter-generational household with their family, partner, and dogs in South Central Los Angeles where they grew up.
Sid is a graduate student at UCLA’s Department of Social Welfare where he collaborates with organizations working for gender, racial, economic, and health justice. Sid has worked with Gender Justice LA since 2016 as part of this participatory action research initiative. Sid’s other recent research collaborations include projects with the United Food and Commercial Workers and the UCLA Labor Center; the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and the UCLA Center for the Study of Women; and the Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence (Seattle). He is also a research team member with the Four Corners Trans and NonBinary Health Research Advisory Network, a steering committee member of the National Institute on LGBTQ Intimate Partner Violence, and helps develop community resources with Creative Interventions.