Joni Jones

Columbia College Chicago

What does liberation look like for you?

Liberation looks like not having to worry about how I'm going to pay rent, pay for my books and tuition, my HRT, therapy, and every other living expense. Liberation looks like having the resources to aid in gender affirmation and enjoy my trans-ness. Liberation looks like being free from my family and being able to support myself, so I can leave that toxic situation behind.

What are your dreams for yourself and the Black Trans community?

My dream is to have a platform and the resources to express myself creatively and create my own stories, without feeling the need to tokenize my experience as a Black Trans woman. I have this dream for the community as a whole. I want us to have opportunities to pursue whatever our interests are, to not be held back by gender dysphoria, and not have to unpack our traumas to receive humanity or support. My dream for the Black Trans community is for us to know we're meant to be here.

Why should there be an increase in Black Trans representation within your chosen field?

There should be an increase in Black Trans representation, because we are constantly creating the trends and inspiring the masses, without the credit or profits. We are some of the most creative and special individuals are its disgusting how overlooked we are. We need to be respected, because so many would not be where they are if it weren't for one of us. We deserve to be seen and for everyone to see the beauty of Black Trans people.