In 2015, Kansas City became one of the two epicenters of violence towards Trans Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) people of color in this country. Dionte Greene, Jasmine Collins and Tamara Dominguez, three gender nonconforming and trans people of color, were murdered in the past year and a half in Kansas City. Hate crime charges were not filed in relation to any of their deaths and no suspects have been charged in relation to Tamara’s murder.
There have been no safe spaces offered yet in Kansas City specific to TGNC-youth or trans women of color, and it is an urgent matter to support continued healing and community response in Kansas City. TGNC people experience violence on a regular basis, and while there has been increased nationwide media attention focusing on the death of trans people of color, local TGNC communities lack a community response to the violence itself.
This Rocket Grant will enable the group SocialScope to create a Transforming Resiliency and Queering Violence video healing project. This project will focus on the realities of TGNC young people and trans women of color in our communities. It will empower and activate marginalized and vulnerable TGNC voices in the Kansas City Metro area, describing their experiences while navigating safety, finding community and celebrating community resiliency. The video project will focus on the ways TGNC people develop strategic coping strategies to respond to violence – ones that can be creative, campy, apathetic, resistant and empowering.
The funding will be used to place a call for TGNC youth and trans people of color to participate in this peer-led campaign video, showcasing an emerging TNGC youth community in Kansas City that has historically been assumed to be non-existent. The grant will also pay for participant stipends, assist in covering post-production and editing costs, and establish a both sustainable pipeline of leadership and a support network of TGNC people that can challenge the daily patriarchy, sexism, misogyny, racism and transphobia such communities experience.
Randall Jenson is a queer, multiracial artist of color and the Creator and Director of SocialScope Productions, a LGBTQ documentary company focused on LGBTQ and intersectional multimedia projects. He created the 50Faggots series, which documents the lives of self identified effeminate gay men in the U.S. In 2015, Randall was appointed as the lead advocate to help loved ones and their communities cope and heal from 3 LGBTQ homicides in Kansas City.
He previously worked as the Manager of Youth Services for the Kansas City Anti Violence Project, providing multi-state advocacy directly to LGBTQ youth affected by trauma and violence, as well as the LGBTQ Youth Advocate at Safe Connections in St. Louis, helping build the first regional LGBTQ youth anti violence program.
Randall has received national awards for his 15 years of leadership and work with young people and homeless and vulnerable youth, racial justice advocacy, addressing the juvenile legal system and media’s impact on queer lives. He was a featured speaker at the National ACLU Membership Conference in Washington D.C., on The Oprah Show, and awarded the “Youth Impact Award” by the National Youth Advocacy Coalition.
Ash R. Allee is a trans-masculine, queer activist and Social Worker in Kansas City. For the past ten years, Ash has conducted trainings on issues related to Gender and Sexual Minorities (GSM) in schools, businesses and social service agencies. He has experience as a community mentor for Trans and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) youth, and is a founding member of the Heartland Trans Chorus, the first TGNC-affirming choir in the Kansas City-metro area. Ash is a lead facilitator and co-organizer for this summer’s KC TGNC Summit, building a leadership fountain for youth and people of color.