Young transgender women of color are among society's most vulnerable groups. Facing cultural stigmas, violence and homelessness, many enter into destructive environments, including coercive sex work, because they have no other options. They are among the highest at-risk groups for HIV infection, and in a culture that lacks widespread representation and support for trans-identified people, positive role models and resources are hard to come by.
The Howard Brown Broadway Youth Center fills that void by providing free services for trans youth, including housing referrals, HIV testing and counseling.
In collaboration with the BYC and our photographer Kyle LaMere, we created a brochure for TransWomen Informing Sister TransWomen on AIDS, or TWISTA, a groundbreaking program created to inform and empower at-risk women. We printed the colorful pieces in sizes small enough to be shared discretely and safely to young women in the streets.
BYC provided informational content and we coordinated a high end photo shoot, complete with professional hair and make-up, to capture the TWISTA participants—themselves a group of diverse, trans women—in their full, glorious light. They are thriving, healthy, proud and unafraid, and together they're sending a signal to LGBTQ youth everywhere that they are not alone and there are needed resources out there specifically for them.