Black Trans Media is an organization based in Brooklyn led by and for Black Trans and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) communities that works at the intersections of arts, media, education, and organizing to address racism and transphobia. We are committed to shifting and reframing the value and worth of black trans people everywhere using media as an organizing tool. We are black trans leaders, artists, and organizers in NYC working intergenerationally and intersectionality creating a world where black trans folks are uplifted in our communities and in control of our own narratives and futures.
Black Trans Media was founded by Sasha Alexander in 2013 following the violent attack on Islan Nettles, a young black trans woman in Harlem. Alexander worked at the intersection of media and community organizing for a decade and found that while Black Trans folks were sometimes the subject of (often violent, racialized, or over sexualizing) news or media we were rarely the authors of our own narratives or speaking on our own lives. As Black Trans people often experience racism and anti-blackness in Trans and LGBT spaces and transphobia in Black and BIPOC specific spaces we were intentional about creating a Black Trans project led by and for us where we also gained the skills to tell our own stories.
The project has been co-led and visioned with Olympia Sudan since 2014 and is deeply informed by her experience navigating violence and using advocacy, organizing, poetry, and the camera to protect and document her life. Led entirely by and for Black Trans people Black Trans Media is one of first Black Trans specific organizations to develop in NYC and more broadly. Founded prior to the Black Lives Matter Movement flourishing we began organizing out of our living rooms until criminalization and gentrification further pushed us out; after many of us had already faced a lack of access to healthcare, housing, and resources.
Building off of a long history of Black Trans leaders and Black Trans led organizations in grassroots movements Black Trans Media developed a political home specifically centering Black Trans people to address anti-blackness and transphobia fusing what we had learned from media, organizing, and navigating the non profit industrial complex.
In 2017 we obtained fiscal sponsorship with Alliance for Global Justice. We have since grown our staffing, programs, and impact through our frameworks #blacktransloveiswealth #blacktransfutures and #blacktranseverything and #spaceistheplace.
In 2020 we opened one of the only Black Trans specific spaces in the world leasing space in Bedstuy Brooklyn where Olympia Sudan grew up. The rest is a story we are still writing imagining and taking action towards...