Tracee McDaniel is, at her core, an activist, one committed to improving the lives of people who are transgender (people whose sex at birth is different from who know they themselves to be) and gender non-conforming (meaning people whose gender presentation may not align with their sex at birth). She is the Founder and Executive Director of Juxtaposed Center for Transformation, Inc., an advocacy, consulting, and social services referral organization specifically designed to empower the largely diverse transgender and gender non-conforming community. A huge part of that work is being visible, sharing her story, and empowering others to share theirs. In 2007, Tracee became the first transgender person invited to deliver a keynote speech at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration march and rally. In addition, she also lobbied Congress in 2008 to support a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
“For me, doing the work I do is not a choice,” Tracee says. “It’s an innate part of being born and who I am. My passion comes from being born transgender. I am who I am, and that’s not going to change. Seeing the stigma that trans and gender non-conforming people face on a daily basis, I wanted to be part of the solution. That’s why I do what I do. There is no reason anyone should be treated as less than. It takes more than just transgender people doing the work and calling out discrimination as it happens. Don’t just be an ally when violence happens – be an ally every day.”