INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Trans advocacy work is expanding in Indianapolis and targeting inequities Black and brown trans people face within employment and health care.
The grand opening of Trans Solutions Research and Resource Center, the first black-run trans organization in the state, was filled with celebration.
Marissa Miller, a trans woman who’s spent decades advocating for trans people and living with aids, is the founder.
“This is the stop station when you can’t go nowhere else. And everybody is welcome in here,” she said.
She said the agency will help trans people advocate for themselves, starting with workforce development and health care services. But the work, she says, expands farther than that with additional wrap around services.
“Trans and non-binary people have their own voices. Don’t go to the table and speak for me. Invite me to the table and allow me to speak for myself,” said Miller.
There’s a added focus on black trans people, who she says faces some of the biggest barriers and are most at risk.
“Right now, the people that are being murdered are Black or trans. When they walk out the door, they’re Black first. That’s one target,” said supporter Taylor Lianne Chandler. “Then you add all the other labels. We shouldn’t have anyone dying because who they are. So, it’s important to have organizations like this and to have representation.”
Miller said safety encompasses many thing and the work here will help define it.
“We look at safety we only equated to violence. Safety is comparable housing. Safety is access to medical care. Safety is having resources and navigation through life,” she said.