BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, Brooklyn (PIX11) — A grassroots organization serving the transgender and gender non-conforming community is bringing community together while celebrating Black history this Juneteenth.
Latravious Collins is the executive director and co-founder of the Brooklyn GHOST Project, which stands for Guiding and Helping Others Survive Transition.
“As a Black trans woman, I found very much difficulty in trying to progress and get common opportunities in life, so I started the organization to provide for my community,” Collins said.
The organization says often times trans people do not find safety in public places, so the group began providing resources geared toward trans individuals.
“They have a GED program that I’m a part of,” Keasha Houston, a member, said. “They’ve helped me get a job twice. Anything of importance or something to better myself, they have always been there for me for that.”
Houston is not the only one who’s been helped.
“They helped me pretty much [get] my life together in terms of clothing, food pantries, stuff like that,” Victoria Peterson, another member, said.
At Restoration Plaza in Bed-Stuy, the group had a cook-out for Juneteenth.
“We want our Black community to see us as equal in the community, so we celebrate Juneteenth,” Collins said. “We’re a product of the same history they are, but we want to encourage gender-expanded identities to remember that being Black in America is an experience we all share.”
With at least 57 homicides, 2021 was the deadliest year on record for trans and non-binary individuals, according to Human Rights Campaign. Most, they report, were Black or Latina.
“Often we wait for other people to save us, but Brooklyn GHOST Project is a testament to me saving myself,” Collins added.
The group also gives access to housing, education, health care, and more. They meet every Wednesday at Restoration Plaza to provide those resources in person which also include a mental health outpatient program and support groups at the Brooklyn Community Pride Center located at 1360 Fulton Street.