Living life as a black trans woman certainly isn’t easy. But I think what most people take for granted is that the hardest parts of our transitions seldom are in the public eye. Many times it is the people behind the scenes they have the biggest impact on our lives.

I can’t begin to explain the impact of Monica’s work without first providing a real life example of what happens when that level of positive impact is not present.

Barely eight months into my transition, I returned back home to Texas in 2018. Having to close a chapter on a book that had barely even gotten started was devastating to me at the time. After living a lie for 22 years and getting a glimpse of the truth for one year I knew for certain that how I felt was here to stay forever. During this time I met and became friends with a trans man named Adam, and we were inseparable. 

Unfortunately, every day is not promised and I got the devastating news January 19th that Adam had passed away. Despite only knowing Adam as a male, at his home going services it was as if I had stepped into a complete strangers life. Adam was referred to as “Emily” and he became she. Everything that I had enjoyed to know about Adam was left out of the ceremony and I felt like a stranger or some type of uninvited guest at own my friend’s funeral. To this day revisiting this memory still stirs up strong emotions within me.

I bring up the story of my friend Adam to highlight the critical importance behind the very work that Monica spent her life doing. Monica’s work ensured that what happened to my friend Adam, didn’t happen ANY to black trans woman. A champion for justice, Monica proudly stood there in the gap advocating for folks who could no longer do so for themselves.