- Capacity Building Assistant Specialist
Yavanté’s previous HIV prevention experience includes assisting Atlanta, GA in starting their needle exchange program back in the early 90’s when HIV/AIDS first became rampant. Since then, he has had a few jobs that focused on instilling self-worth in individuals & helping them to reduce their participation in activities that compromised their HIV status. In 2007, he became a council member on San Francisco’s HIV Prevention Planning Council (first Jewish African American Transman), where he represents the African American Transgender Community. His overall purpose is clear: to ensure that each member of the transgender community is represented regarding health care (mental/physical), employment rights, and the right to be human beings. As a council member, he makes sure that the Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) that have accepted the challenge to assist the transgender community are adequately funded. He believes that regardless of their primary function, if they are assisting people in bettering their circumstances, they are also helping to fight HIV/AIDS.
“Address all of me, not just my addiction, mental/physical health, HIV status, housing situation, educational level or my employment needs. Help my community to become truly healthy beings by partnering with other organizations that can assist in accomplishing this critical mission. It’s never one single thing that leads us down the path of contracting HIV/AIDS.” Yavanté is also Co-Chair of San Francisco Transgender Empowerment, Advocacy & Mentorship (SF TEAM), where they attempt to strengthen the transgender community through various large community-wide events. It is their goal to instill worth for both self and community.
He joined the Transitions Project as a Capacity Building Assistant (CBA) Specialist in 2008, where he provides technical assistance to agencies implementing evidence based HIV interventions for transgender populations.
Spare time? “I write & one day I actually will complete my autobiography. Being a Jewish African American Transgender male, has not been easy and I never did find any printed material that I could relate to. I hate the idea that there is another guy out there thinking that he is as alone as I thought I was. It’s my duty to make life better for the generations of transgender males of color that follow me.”
Last modified: March 21, 2011