Dr. Elijah Nicholas of 100 Black Trans Men and The Importance of The National Day of Silence

Dr. Elijah Nicholas of 100 Black Trans Men and The Importance of The National Day of Silence

Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Elijah Nicholas, Founder of 100 Black Trans Men, Inc. is a visionary leader, retired senior military officer, and spiritual gem. Dr. Elijah has over 20 years of leadership experience and over a decade of executive leadership experience in nonprofit management. Dr. Elijah is dedicated to empowering and uplifting the voices, visibility, and representation of Black Transgender Men. He combines his expertise in leadership development, AI technology, and conscious-driven content creation to drive change and advocate for racial, health, and education equity within the Black Community. His commitment to compassion, ethics, and impactful leadership shines through in all his endeavors, from advancing economic mobility and stability to promoting holistic health equity. Dr. Nicholas is a transformative force, leading the charge toward a more equitable and inclusive future for all.

Can you share your backstory?

Growing up in a community where diversity was celebrated yet the struggles of Black LGBTQIA+ individuals were often overlooked, I found myself yearning for a space that acknowledged my unique challenges and triumphs. The thing is, I really didn’t know how to articulate my challenges.

My journey over the years living as a closeted lesbian in the US military and then as a Black Trans Men led me through a life of self-discovery and advocacy. This journey has illuminated the need for a platform to amplify the voices of Black Trans Men, specifically, which ultimately led to my role as the Founder and Executive Director of 100 Black Trans Men, Inc. My experiences have imbued me with a deep understanding of the intersections of race, gender identity, and social justice, driving my commitment to create change.

Can you share how your company(s) started and the mission behind it?

100 Black Trans Men, Inc. was born from a vision to create a world where Black Trans Men are empowered, supported, and recognized for their contributions to society. Our inception was a response to the lack of visibility and resources available for trans and non-binary individuals. Our mission is to provide support through educational programs, health resources, and advocacy initiatives focused on uplifting and empowering Black Trans Men. By fostering a sense of community, we aim to break down barriers and challenge societal norms.

Significance of The Day of Silence?

The Day of Silence is a profound act of protest against the bullying and harassment of LGBTQIA+ individuals. It serves as a powerful reminder of the silencing effects of prejudice and discrimination. By taking a vow of silence, participants bring attention to the voices that are often ignored or silenced, highlighting the urgent need for inclusivity and respect in all spaces. It’s a day of solidarity, reflection, and commitment to change.

Why is there a need for The Day of Silence?

The need for The Day of Silence stems from the ongoing struggle against LGBTQIA+ bullying and discrimination. It addresses the systemic silencing of LGBTQIA+ voices and challenges the cultural and institutional biases that perpetuate inequality. This day is critical in educating the public, fostering empathy, and promoting actionable change to create a more accepting and supportive environment for LGBTQIA+ individuals.

What are the 5 things you should know about the Day of Silence?

  1. It’s a Student-Led Initiative: Originating in 1996, it emphasizes student action and leadership in addressing LGBTQIA+ bullying.
  2. Global Participation: Schools and organizations worldwide participate, demonstrating global solidarity.
  3. Focus on Action: Beyond silence, it encourages communities to take concrete steps toward inclusivity.
  4. Educational Component: It’s an opportunity to educate about LGBTQIA+ issues and advocate for policy change.
  5. Breaking the Silence: The day concludes with events that break the silence, often featuring stories, discussions, and commitments to support LGBTQIA+ rights.

How can supporters aid those experiencing bullying in the LGBTQ community?

  1. Listen and Validate: Offer a safe space for individuals to share their experiences without judgment.
  2. Educate: Raise awareness about LGBTQ+ issues and the impacts of bullying.
  3. Advocate: Support policies and initiatives that promote inclusivity and protect LGBTQ+ rights.
  4. Be an Ally: Stand up against bullying and discrimination when you see it.
  5. Provide Resources: Guide them to professional support services and community resources.

If you could talk to your younger self, what would you say?

I would tell my younger self that your identity is your strength, not your weakness. The challenges you face will forge you into a resilient, compassionate leader. Embrace your journey, trust your voice, know that you are valuable, and know that you are not alone. You are Love. And, you are Loved. You will find, and create, a community that celebrates you, and together, you will make a difference.

What are your plans for your businesses?

 Over the next 5 to 10 years, I envision our organization expanding its reach to provide more comprehensive support services, including mental health resources, career development programs, and advocacy efforts on a global scale. I hope to see our work contributing to significant policy changes and a shift in societal attitudes towards the transgender community, ensuring a safer, more inclusive world.

Any new projects?

We are currently working on a groundbreaking project aimed at improving healthcare access for transgender and non-binary individuals. This involves partnerships with legislators, medical institutions, and professionals to address healthcare disparities and educate healthcare providers on the needs of the transgender community.

How can people connect with you and follow you?

People can connect with me through our organization’s website, 100BlackTransMen.com, and follow us on social media at @100BlackTransMen and @DrElijahNicholas on all outlets. There you’ll find updates on our programs, upcoming events, and ways to get involved. We welcome support, collaboration, and any opportunities to further our mission. We are a 501(c)(3) organization and tax-deductible donations are accepted on our website.


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