Britney Nesbit works across the South to promote full legal and lived equality for the LGBT community. As the Community Organizer and Tzedek Fellow for the Campaign for Southern Equality, she travels to big cities, small towns, and rural areas and connects with individuals who support LGBT people in their community. One of these individuals is Daroneshia Duncan, founder of TAKE (Transgender Advocates Knowledgeable EMPOWERING) and a “one-of-a-kind southern force to be reckoned with.” Britney sits down with Daroneshia to listen about what led her to create TAKE and what it takes to be a social justice leader.
“What is life like for the transwomen in your community of Birmingham, Alabama?
It’s simple. It’s a struggle, it’s a lot of negativity, it’s a lot of hate. They have experienced so many bruises, abuse, neglect. They don’t even know if I am sincere when I am offering them a service. It’s all about shade, the tea, and readin’ but there comes a time in life when [we] need to be loved and helped. We want to be people that have pride and have our own ground to stand on.
TAKE is a support service. TAKE provides any and everything to meet the needs of trans people, especially trans women that are especially trans women of color. We help them on the job hunt, find housing, get HIV testing, get an ID, help them with name changes. Whatever we can do to help improve the quality of life of trans people, we want to play a major role in it.
“Do you have any advice for other social justice leaders new to the movement?
Go in with an open mind. If you picked this line of work, to be a social justice leader, to be a grassroots leader, an advocate, a human services person, you have to go in non-judgmental. You can’t have any bias. You have to be affirming for everybody, every identity, everything that’s out there.”
To read more of Britney’s interview with Daroneshia, “Taking Charge in the South,” visit the Campaign for Southern Equality’s blog.