You long time TransGriot readers know that my former Louisville roomie, Dawn Wilson’s birthday is today. While I kiddingly use the old nickname of Darth Vaderin my posts for her because she is an avid fencer and takes no prisoners on the strip, there’s no joking about her role in shaping much of the history of the modern trans rights movement.
She participated in the first national transgender lobby day in Washington in 1994 and was the first African-American transperson to win the IFGE Trinity Award in 2000. She played a major role in the passage of the Louisville and Lexington Fairness ordinances and the defense of the Louisville one in 2004.
Wilson was the first chair of the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition after its 1999 founding, has been the chair of C-FAIR, the political action committee of the Louisville based Fairness Campaign, and is currently a Metro Louisville Human Rights Commissioner.
The other person who shares this October 12 birthdate with her is Bamby Salcedo
She is the founding president of the TransLatina Coalition, an organization of national trans Latina leaders founded in 2009. She is the founding publisher of the digital XQsi Magazine, is a longtime HIV-AIDS activist in the LA area,, has been the subject of a documentary entitled Transvisible: The Bamby Salcedo Story, is a board member of Unid@s LGBT, and has also worked with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on health care services for trans people in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Salcedo has garnered a long list of awards for her advocacy work on behalf of the trans community including most recently the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Susan J. Hyde Award For Longevity in the Movement and Lambda Legal’s Liberty Award
Happy birthday to two outstanding leaders in our community. I’m proud to call both of you my colleagues and more importantly, my friends.
May you continue to be sterling examples of the leadership that is necessary to lead our community forward, and you receive the blessing of celebrating many more birthdays to come.