100 Women We Love: Class Of 2018

Each one of these women, in her own unique way, is a role model who exemplifies the best of the LGBTQ community.

Lourdes Ashley Hunter

Photo by Lourdes Ashley Hunter

“I could not just sit and wait for a world that is designed to erase me off the face of the Earth to do just that,” states Dr. Lourdes Ashley Hunter, Trans Women of Color Collective’s Executive Director. Born out of necessity, TWOCC is a leading grass-roots global initiative led by trans and gender non-conforming people of color that works to uplift their narratives, experiences, and leadership in social justice movements. They build towards collective liberation for all oppressed people, using art as a conduit for healing and restorative justice. Hunter’s dynamic lecturing, research, and academic work has played a transformative role in developing and implementing culturally competent practices at government agencies such as the United Nations, the Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the NYPD, just to name a few. Hunter seeks to create a world where Black trans people thrive, and recounts that it wasn’t until she saw another Black trans woman with a job, with a degree, or leading within their industry that she knew those were real possibilities for herself. “My greatest source of inspiration is Black trans people. Our mere essence, our existence, our capacity to love, to build community, to move mountains, to calm seas, to slay dragons, and to shine bright literally inspires me every single day.” Dr. Hunter’s work creates pathways for Black trans folk to see themselves reflected, affirmed, and celebrated. —JDG