Journey through the heart of your story.
Journey through the heart of your story.
Transilient is a traveling photo and interview-based project. We candidly document transgender and gender non-conforming people in their day-to-day lived realities using only their voices.
The project attempts to humanize, educate and destroy the assumption that trans folks are solely defined by their physical experience and their oppression. To bring about understanding and tackle transphobia we aim to weave transgender lives into the overall human experience instead of merely focusing on the transition.
Our objective is to create a platform that is accessible to all people, in and out of the trans community.
We Tell Stories
In 2016 and 2017, the Transilient team collectively traveled 19,000 miles in 11 weeks. We interviewed 120 people and supported 4 team members on the road with a tiny budget of $9,200.
In 2018, Transilient wants to start a third tour in Seattle and end in Memphis. We want to accurately portray as many trans lives in diverse terrains as possible.
Our long term goals are to publish a book of our travels and open a trans artist residency for trans folks of all ages.
Transgender and non-binary people are far more than their bodies, social transitions, and the oppression we face. We aim to tell stories of the lives of these individuals, be it stories of their successes and aspirations, their stories of healing, or their stories of exploration of their identity and the world in which they live.
Supporting trans advocates and nonprofits is an essential part of our work. We believe that transgender and non-binary people hold the strength, love, and power to change society merely by existing. By showcasing the work of members of the trans community, we hope to aid members of our community in making passionate, effective change. Any and all profits made through Transilient’s work is given to nonprofits and projects we encounter through our travels.
Collaboration with members of the trans and gender nonconforming community allows everyone involved in the storytelling process to have autonomy over their story. Instead of simply interviewing our subjects, we aim to support their endeavors and personal growth however we can. Transilient also joins forces with similar projects, media outlets, and LGBT nonprofits with the understanding that these collaborations create more spaces where our community’s stories can be told.
Every human being is just that: a human being. Restorative justice efforts aim to repair harm caused or revealed by difficult or criminal behaviors. While no form of restorative justice is perfect for every situation, it is imperative that we explore the many pathways to healing that these efforts provide. By replacing “call-out” culture by “calling in” those who may have harmed us or our community, we can create a more holistic culture of patience, growth, and understanding.
Liberation starts with leadership. For this reason, all members of Transilient are trans, non-binary, or gender non-conforming.
Transgender and nonbinary people are active members in society. They are our neighbors, our teachers, our children, and our friends. Transilient’s work helps to foster a world in which trans people and their narratives are valued and shared just as openly as those of cisgender people.
We spread the recognition that trans people come from various backgrounds, experiences, and identities. We foster a place that allows community members to ask questions and engage with us on anything surrounding our work, how things are organized in Transilient, or the trans and nonbinary community.
Transgender and nonbinary people in the southeast and rural areas of the United States are consistently left out of the movement and we work to give these folks, in particular, visibility. Transilient’s team members have never been professionals in any aspects of the project. Transilient gives opportunities to those who have not been given “traditional” education opportunities, who’s trans identity intersects with another marginalized aspect of themselves, and those from low income backgrounds that need a platform to expand their work. The project takes on new assistant’s every year. In terms of who we interview, class, race, and education divides have a tendency to corrode the root of any movement. We uphold all voices regardless of their political affiliation, language they use to describe themselves, past histories, mistakes made, and how they handle transphobia, while keeping in mind all members in the community are coming from different financial, political, and educational places.
There have been SO MANY amazing people who have volunteered time with us through transcribing, sponsoring us, working with us, letting us crash with them, or helping us find funding. We couldn't be more grateful for you and your efforts!
Rachel Gonzalez (and the whole Gonzalez family)
The National Center for Transgender Equality
The Carolina Youth Action Project
Paula Sophia Schonauer
Shannon Soper and Adam Laiben
Johanna Campbell Case
SahLeem Israel Butler
Transilient is creating a way to humanize trans & non-binary lives.
Please consider contributing to our mission!
Want to be interviewed on an upcoming tour?
If you are interested in helping transcribe, fundraise,
or anything else you can think of, please reach out to us at:
Assistant to the Director