This Is Realness


Transgender Day of Remembrance

*Spec work

There is a blatant disregard for Black trans lives who are dying at much higher rates and at much younger ages.
Of transgender deaths in 2019, 91% of them were Black women and 81% were under the age of 30. This is due to the societal barriers put in place to oppress the Black trans community, and more specifically Black trans women who face triple marginalization (racism, sexism, and transphobia).


Bring the world’s attention to Black trans lives and create a means for every Black trans person to feel like they’re finally seen.


Although the Black trans community was by far our primary audience, we also found interesting evidence suggesting that young Americans ages 18 to 29 were 68% more likely to support transgender rights over the past five years.


With the way 2020 has gone so far, people just want their lives to go back to normal. But even before 2020 Black trans people faced triple the poverty rate of the rest of the U.S. and were at high risk of homelessness (42%), sexual assault (53%), and attempted suicide (47%). 


So for the Black trans community, normal was never an option. 


In ball culture, which consists primarily of Black and Latinx LGBTQ+ members, "realness" is the ability to pass as a heterosexual male or female. To be "normal". 


But there’s no need to try to "pass as real" or fit into heterosexual norms. It’s time to show people that being "real" really means being your true, authentic self.


This Is Realness: By spotlighting success stories and community members, we empower every Black trans individual to share their truth and make them feel like they're finally seen.


In cities with large Black trans populations, OOH posters and billboards promote positivity and encourage being unapologetic about who you are.

Here, categories are a subtle nod to ball culture as a space of acceptance and expression for the community. 

Transgender Day of Remembrance commemorates those who have passed. But it's important to give hope to the people still living. 

By celebrating those who have succeeded despite the odds, we inspire others in the Black trans community to reclaim their future. 

Website + Social

All campaign assets lead to our website, where allies show support by donating.

100% of donations go towards the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, an organization that fights to protect and defend the rights of Black trans people.

In addition to the success stories, our social page honors the memories of community members who might otherwise be forgotten.

Shocking stats shed light on the issue and raise public awareness about the disproportionate rates that Black trans lives are being affected. 


The campaign culminates in what we call the "Realness Ball", where we bring underground ball culture into the spotlight at Washington Square Park.

Allies and members of the Black trans community are invited to strut their stuff, strike a pose, and celebrate life.

On-site donations are welcomed and the event is live-streamed on our website for greater visibility. 

My Role. Strategist & Copywriter
Art Director. Ingrid Wu