The Trans 25: A Salute to Transgender Activist Part 2

Lasaia Wade along with Gloria Allen Photo from Lasaia Wade Facebook page

PrideIndex proudly presents part two of The Trans 25. Profiles from Wikipedia

Angelica Ross 

Angelica Ross is an American actress, and businesswoman. A self-taught computer programmer, she went on to become founder and CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises, a firm that helps employ transgender people in the tech industry.

Ross began her acting career in the web series Her Story (2016), after which she received further recognition and critical acclaim for her starring roles in the drama series Pose (2018–2021) and the anthology horror series American Horror Story (2019–present), both from FX.

Ross launched TransTech Social Enterprises in Chicago in 2014. The nonprofit creative design firm trains and contracts transgender and other workers.

Channyn Lynne Parker

Channyn Lynne Parker is a Transgender advocate, public speaker, community-centric leader and Manager of External Relations for Howard Brown Health Center. Prior to her current role, Channyn served as manager of The Broadway Youth Center’s, Youth Development Program, and manager of    Chicago House Social Service Agency’s TransLife Project (2017).

Channyn, is the first openly transgender woman to work in the Cook County Dept. of Corrections, working with populations in protective custody. Inaugural Trans 100 awardee (2013). White House speaker, National HIV/AIDS Strategy (2015). Chicago Women’s March speaker (2017, 2018). Recipient of the Henrietta Lacks award, Women in Health in Chicago (2018) and Equality Illinois prestigious, Freedom Award (2019).

Celena Morrison

Originally from North Carolina, her advocacy work has always been driven by her desire to be of service. She served as Community Engagement Specialist of the Mazzoni Center for several years, a Recovery Specialist at Morris Home where she supported trans- and gender-nonconforming individuals as they develop the knowledge, skills necessary to promote sobriety.

She served on the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations from 2018 – 2020 and was honored as one of Philadelphia Pride’s 2019 Grand Marshalls. Philadelphia Magazine named her one of 2020s 76 Most Influential Philadelphians. Celena is currently serving as the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs

Karen Kendra Holmes

Karen Kendra Holmes is an advocate and Award-Winning Public Servant. She has a passion for helping others transition and to foster acceptance and support from those around them, and how life can be fulfilled by being true to oneself and to others. Karen educates others who are not transgender to foster understanding that she and others live normal lives, and are doing good things in our community, state, and country. Karen works for the Federal Government as a Safety Officer. She has won many awards as a passionate and highly effective public servant and volunteer in the National and State (MD) Guards, and many national and local community service and first responder organizations. LGBTQ Nation selected Karen as one of the Top 50 Transgender Americans You Need to Know in 2017.

Janet Mock 

Janet Mock is an American writer, television host, director, producer and transgender rights activist. Her debut book, the memoir Redefining Realness, became a New York Times bestseller. She is a contributing editor for Marie Claire and a former staff editor of People magazine’s website.

After graduating from New York University, Mock started working at People magazine, where she was a staff editor for more than five years. Her career in journalism shifted from editor to media advocate when she came out publicly as a trans woman in a 2011 Marie Claire article, written by Kierna Mayo in Mock’s voice. Mock took issue with how the magazine represented her by stating that she was born and raised as a boy; she says she was always a girl. Mock said, “I was born in what doctors proclaim is a boy’s body. I had no choice in the assignment of my sex at birth…. My genital reconstructive surgery did not make me a girl. I was always a girl.”

CeCe McDonald

CeCe McDonald is an African American, bisexual, trans woman, and LGBTQ activist. She came to national attention in June 2012 for accepting a plea bargain of 41 months for second-degree manslaughter of a man she stabbed after McDonald and her friends were assaulted in Minneapolis outside a bar near closing time. The attack, a year prior, was widely seen as racist and transphobic, and became physical when McDonald was struck in the face by the man’s friend with “an alcoholic drink” glass causing a bleeding gash that needed stitches.

McDonald was released in January 2014 after serving 19 months. She was profiled in Rolling Stone among other publications and included as part of Advocate’s annual “40 Under 40” list.

Christina Kahrl 

Christina Kahrl is one of the co-founders of Baseball Prospectus. She is the former executive editor of the think tank’s website, the former managing editor for their annual publication, former writer and editor for, and is currently sports editor of The San Francisco Chronicle. She is a member of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Kahrl is an activist on civil rights issues for the transgender community in her hometown of Chicago and a member of the Equality Illinois board of directors. The story of her coming out as a transgender sportswriter in 2003 was part of a GLAAD award-nominated segment entitled “Transitions” on HBO’s Real Sports that aired in 2010.

As an activist and board member for Equality Illinois.  Kahrl has been actively involved in an effort to curb police harassment of transgender Chicagoans, and has helped launch the Trans-Friendly Bathroom Initiative with fellow activists from Genderqueer Chicago. She has also helped organize the public observation of Transgender Day of Remembrance in Chicago. She has also discussed the nature of transgenderism at the Chicago History Museum, stating, “You have to explain to people that, no, this (being transgender) does not mean that you are supergay, although it’s sweet of you to say so. Forging acceptance in the face of inevitable confusion and concern is the diplomatic mission of a lifetime, for each and every transsexual.” On November 8, 2013 it was announced that she had been named to GLAAD’s Board of Directors.

Kahrl, who identifies as bisexual, married Charley Wanamaker in 2014.

LaSaia Wade

Video still from Lifetime, #HerTake Women’s History Month.

LaSaia Wade is an open Afro-Puerto Rican indigenous Trans Woman, founder of TNTJ Tennessee Trans Journey Project, and member of Chicago Trans Gender-Nonconforming Collective and the Trans Liberation Collective, and Director of Brave Space Alliance. Recently, she was honored at the Chicago LGBTQA Black History Recognitions ceremony and is the first Trans woman in Illinois history to be celebrated in Women’s History month for the work she’s doing, not limited to community organizing. Her role in organizing ranges between and beyond as a central organizer for the Trans Liberation Protest Chicago, the largest march for trans rights in Midwestern history. 

Angelina Nordstrom

Angelina Nordstrom is a lyricist, poet, and advocate based in Chicago, Illinois. As a two-spirit, Indigenous black trans femme who grew up in the south (Memphis, Tennessee) and has indigenous roots with the Choctaw tribe, I bring a unique perspective to my work. My written pieces have been published in compilations such as the TransWorks of Chicago House, Infinite Genders: You Can’t Read With Us, and Changing The Story.As a writer, I have been creating pieces for over 20 years. I am finalizing my debut poetry anthology, slated for a fall 2022 release. 

Dr. Elijah Nicholas

Dr. Elijah Nicholas is 10-time published author Dr. Elijah Nicholas spent over half of his life in the US Military, retiring as a Lt Col in 2012. Transitioning from female to male in 2018 manifested because Dr. Elijah could no longer live his core values: Authenticity, Integrity, and Transparency. After retiring from the military and then leading ministers and pastors around the globe, Dr. Elijah found it most befitting to resign his duties as a pastoral leader in 2018, just before he began his gender reassignment.  

Dr. Elijah holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, Masters in Business Administration, Masters in Adult Education & Training, a Masters in Military Operational Art & Leadership, and Bachelors of Science in Administration of Justice. He currently resides in Atlanta, where he continues to be a Spiritual Advisor, Light Coach, and Mentor. He is a member of the Atlanta Veterans Administration (VA) Mental Health Advisory Committee and the OUT Georgia Business Alliance’s TGNC360 (Transgender, Non-Gender Conforming) Advisory Committee.

He is the founder of Dr. Elijah Nicholas Ministries, LLC, The Dr. Elijah Nicholas Foundation, and other ventures. Dr. Elijah provides keynote speaking, does trans advocacy work, and offers organizational training on gender identity and transgender and non-binary inclusion.

Tori Cooper

Tori Cooper is a health and equity advocate, community organizer, educator, published author and leader in the transgender and HIV communities. She leads with more than 30 years of experience at all levels of HIV service, from volunteer roles to her service as executive director and founder of Advocates for Better Care Atlanta, LLC. She now serves as the Human Rights Campaign’s Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative. In this role, her focus includes economic empowerment; capacity building programs; public safety; and expanded public education campaigns.

From HRC

Zahara Bassett

Zahara Bassett is the Founder/CEO of Life Is Work, an Black & Brown trans women-led social services organization located on Chicago’s Westside.  Zahara has served as Director of Development and external relations at Brave Space Alliance.  She spearheaded their Crisis Food pantry and collaborating Trans relief fund initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic months, Which helped raise over a million dollars and brought much-needed resources to marginalized communities across the Chicagoland area.

Zahara received a degree in Broadcast Communications from Illinois Media School; she started her initiatives with Life is Work in 2015 by providing meals for Christmas to homeless transgender Non-binary communities of color on Chicago’s West & Southside.  Zahara, serves nationally on many grassroots Boards of Directors, Adviser Boards, and planning committees.

Source 2022 Impact Awards: Zahara Bassett – Chicago Foundation for Women (

Myles and Precious Brady Davis

Myles and Precious Brady Davis Photo from Myles Brady Davis Twitter

Myles, who identifies as two-spirit and trans masculine, underwent fertility treatments with the support of Precious, a Precious is a queer biracial trans woman of color and Myles identifies as two-spirit and trans masculine.

The power couple are outspoken advocates for the LGBTQ+ and people of color communities. Myles is the director of communications at Equality Illinois; Precious works at the Sierra Club.

The couple was featured on TLC’s “My Pregnant Husband” that explores the lives of trans-men and their partners after they become pregnant.

Special Mention: Z’ Jae Williams, Evonne Kaho, June Latrobe, Vanessa Sheridan, Reyna Ortiz, Brandon Cox Sanford, B. Scott