Femme History: Lourdes Ashley Hunter
Lourdes Ashley Hunter
Lourdes Ashley Hunter is self-described black, trans revolutionary, healer, orator, academic, and dismantler of oppressive systems. For over two decades she has championed grassroots efforts to improve the growth and development of trans and gender non-conforming people of color and their communities. As the National Director for the Trans Women of Color Collective, she fights against the systems of oppression that deny trans and gender non-conforming people autonomy, healthcare, fair housing, equal opportunities to employment, and livable wages.
Trans Women of Color Collective or the TWOCC was founded in September 2013 by a group of trans women of color after attending a vigil held for Islan Nettels. The murder of Islan Nettles, a 21-year-old trans woman of color, has become one of the most notable examples of the atrocities perpetrated against trans women of color. These injustices continued however, when the vigil for Nettles was held without the inclusion of trans people of color. Such failures to respect and acknowledgement the experiences of trans people of color are shamefully common in the LGBTQ movement. In response to these frequent failures to uplift and empower trans women of color, Lourdes founded the Trans Women of Color Collective.
The focus of Ms. Hunter’s academic research provides an intersectional approach to activism though the intersections of racial and economic justice, policy, and legislative efforts, as well as the lived experiences of trans and gender non-conforming people of color. With a concentration in Race, Class, and Gender Studies, Lourdes earned her Bachelors degree in Social Theory, Structure and Change from SUNY: Empire State College. Lourdes went on to earn an Executive Master of Public Administration from Rutgers University. Her MPA focused on: Leadership and Diversity, Economic Issues in Public Administration, Strategic Planning, Performance Measurement, Analytical Methods, Human Resources Administration, and Administrative Ethics.
In an interview with Huffington Post she described her entrance into the world of activism:
“As a poor, black, trans woman, I was born out of and into activism.” – Lourdes Ashley Hunter
Lourdes’ unapologetic loyalty to the expression of her authentic self makes her a true revolutionary. Her existence in the world is a beacon of hope and light for trans and gender non-conforming people that face oppression on a daily basis.
"What is wrong is society's depraved indifference, willful ignorance, complicity, and inactive engagement with the systems that deny trans people our humanity and our right to life." – Lourdes Ashley Hunter