Kricket Jerná Nimmons was raised in a small town in South Carolina in the 1970s and 1980s, surrounded by anti-LGBTQ feelings and discrimination. Kricket is a transgender woman, meaning that she was raised male but knew from a young age that she is female, and so she transitioned to live every day as the woman she has long known herself to be. At 16 she was diagnosed with HIV, which amplified the challenges she faced. She moved to Atlanta to attend school, but the challenges kept piling on, with her health deteriorating, debt racking up, and discrimination and hostility in the community weighing her down. Ultimately, Krickett was sent to prison in Georgia for credit card fraud, and there, she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a guard. Kricket pressed charges, and the guard was convicted and imprisoned.
In 2015 Kricket moved to New York City for a fresh start. She found housing, and she worked with TLDEF to legally change her name. After New York lifted its ban on Medicaid coverage for medically necessary transition-related health care, she received the health care that she needed, and shortly after took up advocacy alongside TLDEF. “People said this day would never come for somebody like me, an African-American transgender woman without a lot of resources,” Kricket said.