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NBJC celebrates and remembers trans journalist/activist Monica Roberts on her birthday
-- From a press release
2022-05-04

This article shared 472 times since Wed May 4, 2022
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WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) celebrates the life and accomplishments of Monica Roberts, a revered transgender journalist, activist, and founder of the award-winning publication TransGriot.

Born in Houston, Texas on May 4, 1962, Monica began her transition in the early 1990s while working as a flight attendant and writing an LGBTQ+ column in Louisville, Kentucky. Her writing expanded from a local column to an internationally awarded blog known as TransGriot focusing on representation of Black transgender women in the media and accountability in accurately covering their deaths. Her extensive and groundbreaking work for the transgender community cemented her status as a queer and transgender icon. Roberts was also a founding member of the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition, recipient of the coveted Human Rights Campaign John Walzel Equality Award, the Susan J. Hyde Award for Longevity in the Movement, the Virginia Price Pioneer Award and an active supporter of the National Black Justice Coalition.

Dr. David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, a leading Black LGBTQ+/SGL civil rights organization, reflected on Roberts' legacy saying:

"Monica Roberts was a force. Her work forced mainstream media to consider how limited and problematic their coverage of trans issues had been at a time when trans folx's were not at the forefront of any cultural or political conversations or movements. Anyone who was blessed to share space with Monica knows how powerful she was. I smile remembering how she was always clear in communicating her point and demonstrating extreme compassion for the people she loved. I am thankful for the many ways that she shapes how I move through the world as a Black male feminist who has the privilege of leading liberation work. I miss her."

"Monica put herself out there and with extremely high risk so that trans children can grow up in a world that loves and supports them for being who they are in a world they did not ask to be invited into. There is so much work to be done at present to push against targeted attacks against trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming children and we have Monica to thank for being central to starting the conversation and leading this important effort. "

"NBJC is dedicated to ensuring that Monica Roberts' life and legacy endures, including through our eponymous fellowship and our Stolen Lives initiative. Black and LGBTQ+/SGL people everywhere should know, honor, and celebrate the sacrifices and contributions Monica made so that we can all thrive.

"Although I never had the honor of sharing space with Monica, her existence has touched me in incredibly tangible ways. The response I get when speaking as the Monica Roberts Fellow at NBJC serves as a reminder of this fact," said Sage Dolan-Sandrino, artist, activist and Monica Roberts fellow at the National Black Justice Coalition. "It is Monica's existence as an openly and proud transgender woman in the 90's that has allowed little girls like me to even dream of one day stepping into our truths. Legacy is often so abstract and theoretical, but Monica's legacy is strong, visible, and alive. I am Monica's legacy, WE are her legacy. At NBJC, everyday, we work to improve the lived experiences of Black Trans and SGL people. Everyday we continue the work Monica began and gave her life to. Happy Birthday Monica! Thank you for your voice, your love, and your legacy."

Monica Roberts passed away Oct. 5, 2020 due to complications from a pulmonary embolism. Her work and legacy changed the world and the field of journalism for the better.

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is America's leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+, and same gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) people, including people living with HIV.


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