Female Identifying Nominees 2024

Please read through the nominations below and click on a button to vote one you are ready.  You are encouraged, but not required to vote in all categories. 

Atlantis Narcisse

Atlantis Narcisse is the Founder and CEO of Save Our Sisters United (S.O.S.U), Director of Programs with the Transgender Education Network of Texas, and Deputy Director with Lets Roc. She is also the. Additionally, Atlantis has worked with historical institutions in Houston like the Montrose Center, Legacy Community Health, and the City of Houston bridging the gap between community and needed services since the early 1990s.  During the early years of the HIV epidemic. Atlantis was known for organizing accessible and stigma-free HIV/STD testing whether it was from her living room to partnering with local clinics.  

Narcisse began this journey decades ago as a housemother who held space for people who needed a comfortable, judgment-free environment for medical aid. This “house” Atlantis birthed, was created to close the familial gap that many members of the LGBTQ+ community experience with respect to their birth or legal families and is lovingly called House of Capri (HOX). HOX is a home that has been chosen to routinely guide hundreds of Black LGBTQ+ community members along the paths of self-care, self-empowerment, and self-worth.

When Atlantis founded Save Our Sisters United, Inc. (SOSU) in 2016 and, three years later, Save Our Sons & Brothers, she made sure both groups provided trans people with safe spaces to connect and find needed trans-friendly services. SOSU is a space where people of trans experience can share stigma-free stories, shed any shame, and see individual strength.

As a native Houstonian, she has been engaging her local and national Black LGBTQ+ community as an advisor, mentor, and consultant for more than 20 years. She speaks to educators, students, and professional organizations about life’s journey as a transgender woman of color with the intent to destroy the barriers of stigma transgender women encounter.  Atlantis obtained her Bachelor of the Arts – Sociology, with a minor in Health Studies, from Texas Southern University. As a mentor, Atlantis’ goal is to stand in solidarity by holistically empowering and mobilizing transgender women of color, and the communities they live in, to confront issues in society.

Joelle Espeut

Joelle Bayaa-Uzuri Espeut (she/her/hers) currently works with The Normal Anomaly Initiative, Inc.  Serving as Program Director, she oversees the advocacy/ leadership programs, including Transgender Ally Collective (a leadership program uplifting and empowering Black Trans Women), and Project Liberate (a year-long intensive leadership development program for Black Queer businesses).

Deeply committed to community and political activism, Joelle also serves on the Board of Trustees of The Houston LGBTQ Political Caucus (the first Black Trans Woman nominated to the Board) and allgo QPOC, and recently has joined the Black Leaders Caucus of the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund.  

Joelle has worked with NASTAD, Yale, AIDS United, GLAAD, Gilead/Compass Initiative, Transgender Law Center, SUSTAIN, and Emory University, and appeared in Houston Chronicle, Outsmart Magazine and Fox26 Houston’s “Isiah Factor Uncensored”.  She was awarded The Mahogany Project, Inc.’s Rising Star Phoenix Award in 2020, as well as the ‘Carrying The Torch’ Award at 2022’s Houston Trans Pride and the 2022 Monica Roberts Award from The Houston LGBTQ Political Caucus.  In 2023, she became a graduate of the American Express Leadership Academy, as well as a Victory Empowerment Fellow of the LGBT Victory Fund. 

As a writer, Joelle has been published in the queer publications Spectrum South, the Trans Griot, and Q26. 

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