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Gender and Sexuality Collections: Subject Guide: Transgender

Manuscript Collections

Tracee McDaniels Papers

Jamie Roberts Video Collection

Oral Histories

TAYLOR ALXNDR, interviewed by Cassidy Hayes, September 29, 2020
TAYLOR ALXNDR (they/she) is a DIY musician, drag performer, and community organizer based in Atlanta, GA. Raised in the rural edges of the metro area, ALXNDR has been creating in and captivating Atlanta and beyond since 2011. ALXNDR is the co-founder and current executive director of Southern Fried Queer Pride (SFQP), an Atlanta-based non-profit organization empowering Black queer and QTPOC centered communities in the South through the arts. They are also the mother of the House of ALXNDR, an Atlanta-based drag family and events hub, creating drag-centered, inclusive events. 

E.R. Anderson, interviewed by A.C. Panella, January 6 and 22, 2022
E.R. Anderson is a queer Southern writer, bookseller, and editor from Atlanta, Georgia. Anderson is the Executive Director of Charis Circle, the non-profit programming arm of Charis Books and More, the nation’s oldest and largest feminist bookstore. Anderson’s novel in progress, Paradise Park, tells the story of the Turners, an Evangelical Catholic family of six, who operate a sin and salvation-themed amusement park in Alapaha, Georgia. When not writing, Anderson is a recovering academic, lazy athlete, and a serious lover of bulldogscooking, and the Atlanta Braves.

Katrice Baker, interviewed by A.C. Panella, March 7, 2022

Dee Dee Chamblee, interviewed by Rachel Garbus, for the Atlanta LGBTQ History Project
Dee Dee Chamblee (she/her), often called "Ms. Dee Dee," is an activist and leader in the trans community in Atlanta. In the 1980s, Dee Dee advocated for her own respectful treatment from the public health clinic at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis. Through these efforts, she started a job with Grady Memorial Hospital as a peer counselor in the infectious diseases clinic, and became active in trans cultural competency training. This work turned into ongoing activism, and in 2001, Dee Dee founded LaGender, Inc., a non-profit organization advocating for the rights and needs of trans communities, and especially trans women of color. 

In 2011, Dee Dee was honored as a "Champion of Change" by the Obama administration for her activism on behalf of trans women of color, those living with HIV and AIDS, and sex workers. In the same year, she was chosen as a grand marshal of Atlanta Pride. Over the years, Dee Dee has served on many boards, including the Atlanta LGBT Task Force, the Positively Trans National Advisory Board, and the Center for Excellence in Transgender Health. She has also been instrumental in launching projects such as Solutions Not Punishments Collaborative (SNap Co), an organization that worked to block a 2013 ordinance that sought to increase surveillance and criminalization of sex work in Midtown.

Gabriel Claiborne, interviewed by Tracee McDaniel, April 29, 2022
Gabrielle Claiborne (she/her) has been an out and active trans woman since 2010. Prior to her transition, she owned and operated successful businesses in the construction industry, overseeing multi-million dollar projects nationwide. Today, she is a highly respected trans business owner who was honored by the Atlanta Business Chronicle with their 2019 Outstanding Voice for Diversity and Inclusion Award. In 2015, Gabrielle was recognized as Atlanta’s Best Trans Activist. In 2018, she received Emory University’s Alum of the Year Pride Award, and was chosen by the Georgia Division of the U.S. Small Business Administration as their LGBT Small Business Champion of the Year. Gabrielle’s work has also been recognized in Forbes

Along with being a successful entrepreneur, Gabrielle is a TEDx and keynote speaker, a dynamic trainer and the author of Embrace Your Truth: A Journey of Authenticity. In this “memoir meets self-help” book Gabrielle shares the life lessons she has learned about living authentically and shows readers how they can apply these same insights in order to live their highest and best lives. 

A recognized community leader, Gabrielle served on the Atlanta PRIDE Board of Directors for five years. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s TGNC Inclusion Task Force, as Co-Chair of the Trans Affairs Committee on the City of Atlanta’s LGBTQ Mayoral Advisory Council, as Inclusion Chair and Secretary on the Board of the Out Georgia Business Alliance, as Chair of the OUT Georgia Business Alliance’s TGNC360 Workplace Initiative and as an Advisory Board Member of Out Front Theater Group. She was elected to the Executive Board at City of Light Atlanta, directed their choir, and founded and led the church’s trans support group.

Gabrielle earned a BA in Mathematics from Emory University and pursued a degree in Civil Engineering at Georgia Tech. She is an Atlanta native and the proud parent of three adult children and grandparent of one grandchild.

Ashby Haywood Combahee, interviewed by A.C. Panella, March 12, 2022
Ashby Haywood is a memory worker based in Knoxville, TN and Atlanta, GA. Currently, he is the archival assistant at the Highlander Research and Education Center. He holds a B.A. from Bennington College in Music Composition and is working towards an M.A. in Education at Goddard College. Along with a passion for radical literature, Ashby enjoys learning from elders through conversation and art-making collaboration. His work is rooted in womanist pedagogy, Afrofuturism, and supporting life-long learning through unschooling and critical literacy. Ashby has previously been a part of the New York Public Library's and the Womanist Working Collective's community oral history projects.

While working as an admission counselor at Agnes Scott College, Ashby served as a staff advisor for an LGBTQ student organization. In the summer, Ashby loves working as a camp counselor at Girls Rock Camp Atlanta. Ashby also enjoys horror films, nature trails, and chocolate treats.

Denny Dallas, interviewed by A.C. Panella, May 1 and May 24, 2023
Dallas Denny has been a leader in the transgender rights movement since the 1980s. Her work as an advocate,  writer, editor, and community builder have played a significant role in the advancement of rights for transsexual and transgender people in North America and around the world. She lives in the greater New York Metropolitan Area.

Jordan Graham, interviewed by Ashby Haywood, July 10, 2021
Jordan Graham (he/him, they/them) grew up in the Douglasville area before attending Georgia State University to study literature. They later moved to Athens to complete their undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia in entertainment and media studies. Jordan first started working in libraries as a volunteer and eventually worked their way up to full-time staff member. In 2022, he completed his Master's in Library and Information Sciences degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign iSchool, where his studies emphasized Diversity, Equity and Inclusion topics with a focus on LGBTQ+ communities. Jordan currently lives in the Athens are with his husband and works as a public librarian. 

Chanel Haley, interviewed by Ashley Coleman Taylor, November 13, 2017

Monica Helms, interviewed by Rachel Garbus, April 18, 2022
Monica Helms graduated from high school in 1969 and started her service in the Navy in 1970 as a nuclear-trained machinist mate and worked on submarines. H
elms began her gender transition in 1997. The very next year, she reapplied to her local Phoenix, Arizona, chapter of the United States Submarines Veterans Inc. Helms had previously applied and been a member in 1996 but faced conflict after changing her name. Helms persevered and was one of the first women to join the organization.

In 1999, Helms created the transgender flag after she was encouraged by Michael Page, the creator of the bisexual flag, to design a flag to represent her community. She debuted her flag in 2000 at a Pride parade in Phoenix, Arizona. Over time, the flag was picked up by the transgender community and is now seen around the world.

In 2000, Helms moved to Atlanta, Georgia, so she could be closer to Washington, D.C., where she often worked to advocate for transgender people and transgender Veterans. Helms’ activism led to the founding of the Transgender American Veterans Association in 2003, an organization Helms was president of until 2013. In 2004, Helms was elected as a delegate in the Democratic National Convention, becoming the first transgender delegate from Georgia. She currently lives in Atlanta and has been involved in Atlanta’s Transgender Day of Remembrance annual event planning for many years. While in Georgia, she also attended Chattahoochee Technical College, graduating with an associate’s degree in television production technology in 2018. In 2019, 50 years after the Stonewall Riots, Queerty named Helms one of the Pride50, a group of “trailblazing individuals who actively ensure society remains moving toward equality, acceptance, and dignity for all queer people.” She also published her memoir, “More Than Just a Flag,” that same year.

Cazembee Jackson, interviewed by A.C. Panella, September 16, 2022

Tracee McDaniel, interviewed by Ashley Coleman Taylor, December 4, 2017 and A.C. Panella, May 28, 2021
Trans human rights advocate and published author, Tracee McDaniel was born and raised in Sumter, South Carolina. After her high school graduation, she spent time in Myrtle Beach, before moving to Atlanta, where she worked as a cashier in a fast food restaurant, and began her career as a female impersonator. In 1990, McDaniel moved to Los Angeles, to escape from a domestically violent intimate partner, and while she was there, she worked in the corporate world by day and as a performance artist - Destiny, Your Mistress of Illusions - by night. During her time in Los Angeles, Tracee was hand-selected to perform as Diana Ross's stand-in for her "I Will Survive" music video shoot. She also featured in the VH1 miniseries, The Jacksons - An American Dream, and appeared in the film, Primary Colors.

Once Tracee returned to Atlanta, she became involved with issues around trans housing as founder and Executive Director of the Juxtaposed Center for Transformation, an advocacy, consulting and social services organization specifically designed to empower the trans and gender non-conforming community.  Juxtaposed Center is also an anchoring organization for Trans Housing Atlanta Program, Inc, which provides supportive and emergency housing resources to homeless and marginalized trans and gender non-conforming people. In 2007, Tracee was the first trans person to be invited to deliver a keynote speech at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration march and rally. Also i 2007, she marched on Washington, D.C., and lobbied the United States Congress to support a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and increased AIDS funding.

In 2013, Tracee published Transitions: Memoirs of a Transsexual Women, and 2014, she became a vetted trainer for the United States Department of Justice CRS program, "Law Enforcement and Transgender Community," which educates federal law enforcement officers how to better interact with Trans people.  In 2015, Tracee was invited to brief the White House about employment and economic equity at its Trans Women of Color History Month Briefing. In 2016, she was appointed to serve a three-year term on the Atlanta Citizen Review Board, and is currently serving a second term.

Tracee organized Atlanta's annual Trans Day of Remembrance Vigils for ten years. She also served on the Trans Housing Atlanta Program's board of directors, the Center for Civil and Human Rights LGBTQ Institute Advisory Board, and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms' TLGBQI Advisory Council. In 2020, Tracee was recognized in a resolution from the Georgia House of Representatives, when she received the Yellow Rose Nikki T. Randall Servant Leadership Award.

Tracee always unapologetically puts the "T" first, as she believes that trans visibility saves lives.

Amari McGee, interviewed by A.C. Panella, August 2, 2022
Amari "Mari" McGee (he/him) is an LGBTQ+ professional speaker, educator, activist, life coach/consultant, and content creator. During his professional career, Mari has been featured in CanvaUSA Today, and PinkNews. He delivers educational and inspirational keynote presentations that focus on gender identity empowerment, transgender history, and family acceptance. Mari is a transgender man who, after years of gender dysphoria, decided to dedicate his life to educating and empowering the next generation of trans youth and young adults. As an inspirational speaker, educator, and consultant; Mari also brings over 5 years of experience as a transgender activist to his work. 

A.C. Panella, interviewed by Ashby Haywood, December 16, 2021
AC Panella (he/him/ they/them) is a doctoral candidate at Union Institute and University. He is in the humanities concentration and is getting certificates in museum studies and educational leadership. As a trans activist and teacher, he has worked on a variety of projects including the Trans Leadership Academy, The LA Trans Health Coalition, and has been an advisor to queer student organizations for 15 years. His research is focused on trans collective memory and history as it’s represented in visual and material culture. When he isn’t nose-deep in research, he is a full-time teacher, pet parent, and truncle (Trans-Uncle) to a super adorable three-year-old. This year, he will defend his dissertation on the role San Francisco’s Compton Cafeteria Uprising has on trans memory.

Nikita (Storm) A. Pope, interviewed by Jonathan Wesley, April 8, 2020
Nikita (Storm) Pope (she/her) is an alumni of Morehouse College.

Jamie Roberts, interviewed by Ashby Haywood, October 24, and November 14, 2021
Jamie Roberts was born and raised as a male in Griffin, Georgia. She graduated from Georgia College and State University in 1994 with a B.S. in Psychology, and graduated in 1999 from the University of Georgia School of Law with a Juris Doctor. Jamie transitioned to female in the late nineties. She has been a Public Defender in the Coweta Judicial Circuit of Georgia, and is one of the founding members of the Trans Housing Atlanta Program (THAP). She has served as a board member for Georgia Equality, a statewide organization advancing fairness for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Georgians. Her interests include history, videography, acting, and exploring sacred traditions, particularly as they relate to gender nonconformity.

Kimble Sorrels, interviewed by Ashby Combahee, April 7, 2023

Riley Voor, interviewed by Ashby Haywood, August 26, 2021
Riley Voor (she/her, they/them) grew up in Louisville, Kentucky before moving to Atlanta to attend Georgia Tech. She has been active in the trans community in Midtown and expresses gratitude for community spaces such as the Bakery, My Sister's Room, and Charis Books. Riley has been a member of the Atlanta-based cybersecurity-themed funk band, Two Factor Authentication. She is vocal about intersecting marginalizations, and in particular the  intersection of queerness and neurodiversity.

Renee Yawn, interviewed by Ashley Taylor Coleman, May 21, 2016
Renee Yawn in the mother of a trans child.

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Oral Histories at GSU

Gender and Sexuality Collections: Subject Guide

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