About

About

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’re releasing the report on 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.

TMHJ:LA organizer

Our Team

Cydney wears a dark colored tank top and smiles widely, radiating joy in a black and white photo.

Cydney Brown

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 gazes sincerely into the camera, wearing a white and black striped shirt in front of a dark background.

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 wears a navy jacket over a blue-jean style button up shirt, smiling widely in front of a background of bright green grass and tall trees.

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 smiles genuinely, posing with his arms crossed in brown circular glasses and a white button up shirt with black circles that he wears over a gray graphic t-shirt. Behind Jaden is a field of green grass and tall trees.

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 poses with his arms folded in front of a field of green grass and tall trees, smiling slightly and wearing a black and brown fedora and teal, yellow and brown patterned shirt over a white t-shirt.

Jovan Wolf Binarao-Salagan

Jovan is a Blasian activist, the Director of Workforce Development for Trans Can Work, Designer and Business Owner. He/They identifies as a Trans, gender non-conforming free spirit. Jovan spends his working life involved with multiple trans/queer organizations such as TransCanWork, Gender Justice Los Angeles, Invisible Men, FLUX and Project Q. The main goal of being affiliated with these organizations is to ultimately empower, celebrate, commune, and bring visibility, to our powerful QTPOC community. Jovan also has a life project called Jovan Wolf Designs. Jovan Wolf Designs is an evolving leather lifestyle fashion label. The Jovan Wolf label strives to create opportunities within the QTPOC community by offering employment, skill sharing, and visibility through community and social projects, such as fashion shows and campaigns. 
Lucas stands in front of a green field of grass with their arms crossed and a joyful grin on their face. Lucas wears a maroon button up shirt with orange circular patterns.

Lucas Rojas

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 poses in front of a green field, arms crossed and wearing a maroon button up shirt. Luckie’s slight smile radiates warmth.

Luckie Alexander

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.

With a huge smile on their face, Lylliam stands in a black button up shirt and brown glasses in front of a field of green grass and tall trees.

Lylliam Posadas

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 smiles and poses slightly to the side, standing in front of a brown rock wall, wearing a light grey fedora and a white button up shirt.

Sid Jordan

Sid is a graduate student at UCLA’s Department of Social Welfare where he collaborates with organizations working for health rights, violence prevention, prison abolition, and gender, racial, and economic justice. Sid has collaborated with Gender Justice LA since 2016 as part of this participatory action research initiative. Other recent collaborations include projects with the United Food and Commercial Workers and the UCLA Labor Center, the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Howard Brown Health (Chicago), and the Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence (Seattle).

acknowledgements

Thank you to the hundreds of participants and volunteers who have supported the TransMasculine Health Justice Initiative. We especially want to recognize: AJ King, Dahlia Ferlito, Jio Im, Jesse Medina, Paolo Riveros, and Rommy Torrico. We also thank the photographers from the #TMHealthLA whose photos appear on this site: E. Jaye Johnson, Walter Perez, and Jovan Binarao Salagan.

OUr partners