SEATTLE — A Seattle transgender teenager is using her influence on social media to fight racial and gender discrimination.
Ve’ondre Mitchell is sharing her experiences as a proud Black, Latin x and transgender woman of color to inspire change and promote acceptance for all.
“There’s so much injustice in the community, and I was very enraged by that, and there’s a lot of bullying I was suffering at school, and I continue to. So speaking up about those issues to see if anyone else could relate was a main thing for me,” said Ve’ondre.
Using social media to amplify her message for racial and gender equity, the 16-year-old is making an impressive impact. Ve’ondre has 2.3 million followers and 104 million “likes” on TikTok, and those numbers continue to grow with every post.
“I have a large community online now, and not all of them are trans, but like that’s the whole point. There’s allies who are speaking up for us, especially being Black and trans. There’s not a lot of representation, so seeing that is noticed is amazing. And seeing that my message is being received is also amazing,” said Ve’ondre.
A fierce LGBTQ+ advocate, Ve’ondre was recently selected as a Human Rights Campaign Foundation youth ambassador. She will also appear on Seattle Pride magazine’s Spring cover with a special youth feature story.
Seattle Pride’s Program Manager Noah Wagoner said Ve’ondre is a role model for the BIPOC trans community.
“Black trans women are disproportionately marginalized and harmed and victimized. When we moved towards justice for the Black and Brown and Indigenous communities, it serves the white community as well. But they are the ones disproportionately affected, and we need to focus on their success and their triumphs and what they need,” said Wagoner.
As a trans person himself, Wagoner is inspired by Ve’ondre’s courage to live her truth and empower generations younger and older.
“It really helps parents reframe and see, ‘If I love and support my kids, this is who they can be. They can be successful. They can be happy and smart, and they’re not just focusing on being trans, but they can also be so many other things,’” said Wagoner.
Ve’ondre hopes her stories encourage others to be vulnerable and inspire allies to challenge discrimination at all levels.
“You have intersectionality coming into play, with not only racial bias but also transphobic stigmas and transphobia in general. So there’s a lot of people coming at you in different ways, so it’s really important to families to be supporting, so you can have that backbone to thrive,” said Ve’ondre.
Ve’ondre is a junior in high school and has even bigger plans for the future. She hopes to become a model or actress and continue her role as a vocal advocate to fight for equality on multiple platforms.