21 Evonne.jpg

Jackson, MS

“I mean I have a rod in my foot and everyone can’t understand how I can still wear heels. I have a rod and 12 screws and I wear heels every day of my life. Sometimes it gets painful, but I just pop a Tylenol and keep moving — and keep moving. It just give me life. It just give me life to walk around and just smile and give hope to other people. I can say that I’m among the crowd of the oldest transgender people here in Jackson, so a lot of the kids look up to me. I am one of the mothers of one of the largest gay families here in Jackson. 

I mentor all kinds of kids from all walks of life... actually that’s one of my kids right over there! When I invite someone into my space and call them my child or grandchild, I take it very serious. I’m gonna be with you through rain, shine, snow, til the end. And I respect you, and you respect me as you would respect your real parent. So what that mean… when you hurt, I hurt. When you going through something, I’m going through it. It’s just like... my problem. We got to try and figure out how we’re gonna solve this together. When you sick, I’m sick, because I’m worried about you. So when dealing with mentoring, it comes in different forms and shapes. With me it does, so I have to stay prayed up to deal with it.

My advice to my young people is — get a education. One thing about a education, no matter what you choose to be in life, cannot no one take your knowledge away. Second of all, I tell my young people - learn to listen. Everybody’s not out here to hurt you. Sometimes listening can help you. I tell everyone that when I started out, if I hadn’t listened to the older people I would be dead. I started out with ten gay friends from my area. There's only three of us alive. I'm the only one in good health who walks around, the other two are not in good health. So I tell everyone, live life to the fullest. Don’t let life live you.”