Activist Spotlight: Mallery Jenna Robinson on Trans Activism, Black Lives Matter, and Intersectionality

Mallery Jenna Robinson (she/her/hers) is a well-known activist in the transgender community. Her work is mostly focused in Southern California but her impact is felt around the world. Mallery has worked with Long Beach Trans Pride, West Hollywood Transgender Advisory Board and hosts a podcast that is very important to the community. Mallery identifies as an AfraCaribbean trans woman. She is an advocate for not just the trans community, but also the HIV positive community. She began her gender journey at the young as of 16 in Montgomery, Alabama. That was in 2006 and ever since she has been a true force in the trans community. Rock the Pigeon is so grateful to chat with Mallery. We know that you will find her story inspiring!

RTP: Hi Mallery, thanks so much for chatting with us today. How did you get into activist work? 

M: I’ve been advocating for the trans community since I was a youth I advocated for myself in the Montgomery Public school system graduating with my senior pictures as Mallery Jenna Robinson and with a date for Senior prom thanks to my incredible high school classmates.

RTP: That is incredible and it’s even more incredible knowing that this was the early 2000’s. A very different time for trans people, especially in the South. What is your favorite part of being an activist? 

M: My favorite part of being an activist is building a true bond with our love TGI community members engaging with them and provided resources for their betterment brings me so much joy. 

RTP: What is the most challenging part of being an activist? 

M: The most challenging part of being an activist is when a community members comes to me in distress due to family trauma, stigmas, and stereotypes due to their gender identity. 

RTP: What social justice issue do you think the transgender community needs to focus on the most right now? 

M: Healthcare, housing, employment, transportation, and access to equity opportunities. 

RTP: As a trans activist, why would you say sharing pronouns is important? 

M: It’s a part of affirming someone’s existence sometimes. No matter how much we express our identities we may not find the validation through our identities so utilizing our pronouns validates who we are and sometimes it’s the only affirmation we have.  

RTP: Should cis people share their pronouns too? Why or why not? 

M: Yes, it’s a sign of inclusiveness and equity each and everyone should have and by expressing pronouns. 

RTP: Can you give us some insight on how the trans equality movement and black lives matter movement intersect? 

M: Black Trans lives must be included in everything we do if we are going to be equitable in the trans equity movement. That means being inclusive of black trans and enby (nonbinary) folks. Trans lives are black lives as well and we must include black trans and enby folks in the Black Lives Matter movement both are synonymous to the inclusion and progression for black trans community members. 

RTP: Do you think that anyone who is out and visible is considered an activist or does it take more than that? 

M: I believe anyone who is empowered to share their truth and motivate others can be an activist. Everyone shows up differently and just being a safe space for someone is one of the best forms of advocacy, that’s something we all can be for people. 

RTP: What does it take to be an activist? 

M: Empathy, compassion, assertiveness, tenaciousness, determination, and resilience.

RTP: How can other people take action? 

M: Research about the trans and HIV positive community regarding the stigmas and stereotypes. 

RTP: Can you give us a little bit of information on your podcast and how people can listen to it? 

M: A Hateful Homicide is a true crime and investigative journalism podcast dedicated to telling the stories regarding the transgender, gender non-binary and gender diverse community members in the United States and abroad. Follow us on IG @ahatefulhomicide website please take a listen and share. Thank you all for your support. 

To Keep in touch with Mallery please follow:

My IG is @MalleryJenna99

TikTok @ malleryjennarob

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