Interview of Kiara St. James

Kiara St. James is the CEO and a co-founder of New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG). Here, she recalls the experiences throughout her life that inform her activism and advocacy today as a trans woman of color. She recounts her early upbringing in an evangelical Christian community in Beaumont, Texas and her adolescence spent with a foster family in Heidelberg, Germany. She details many of the scenes and spaces she inhabited as a femme queen in nineties-era New York City, and reflects on both care and conflict within the trans community during that time. She describes her evolution as a community activist, and considers the opportunities and challenges of trans-led advocacy to secure civil and political rights, economic empowerment, and personal dignity.

Date of Interview:

March 6, 2017

Location of Interview:

Housing Works, Brooklyn, New York

Place of birth:

Beaumont, Texas



Interviewed by

Michelle Esther O'Brien

Summary by

Justine Ambrose