Earlier this year, GLAAD’s Webby Award-winning web series Changemakers unveiled an inspiring second season featuring the stories of four Black trans and nonbinary business owners reshaping their communities and disrupting their industries.
On the heels of Transgender Awareness Week, celebrate trans live everyday by educating yourself on trans issues, holding space for trans friends and family, and uplifting stories of those in the community by diving into Changemakers.
Presented by Ally Financial and produced by NEON, GLAAD’s digital content brand aiming to increase the visibility of Black LGBTQ people, the 4-part season spotlights WNBA Star Layshia Clarendon, Shark Tank’s Braxton Fleming (Stealth Bros & Co), House of Tulip Executive Director Mariah Moore, and Head Developer of ValiDate Dani Lalonders.
In a statement, NEON co-founder Abdool Corlette said that, “The new season of Changemakers is so timely because it tackles some of the most pressing issues facing Black LGBTQ people across industries. From sports to housing to video games to health care, Changemakers is shining a light on four Black trans and nonbinary leaders who are fighting to make sure that the needs of their communities are not ignored.”
The first episode of Changemakers season 2 follows Mariah Moore, the executive director of House of Tulip. This New-Orleans based nonprofit provides zero-barrier housing, case management, linkage to care, and community programming to trans and gender nonconforming people in need of a safe place to stay while growing the supply of affordable housing in the area.
Moore says that “I leaned into my experiences as a young Black trans woman. More than anything, I didn’t want anyone to ever feel the amount of pain that I felt.”
Episode 2 follows Stealth Bros & Co‘s Braxton Fleming. Stealth Bros & Co is a luxury Dopp kit supply company that provides travel and at home personal storage for medical/personal necessities. Fleming was recently featured on “Sharktank” where he secured a deal for his company!
The third episode features ValiDate Lead Developer, Dani LaLonders . ValiDate is a visual novel/game about 13 struggling singles navigating the harsh realities of love and life.
LaLonders talks about how video games had always been a form of escapism for them as a kid, but they wanted to create a more inclusive space for Black and queer gamers.
The final episode features Layshia Clarendon, the first openly trans/non-binary WNBA player, and the first active WNBA player to have top surgery. Clarendon is the founder of the Layshia Clarendon Foundation, an organization that grants access to life affirming healthcare and wellness services for the trans community through education, advocacy, and direct financial assistance.
The first season of Changemakers featured four Black LGBTQ small business owners, including Kingsley Gbadegesin of the clothing brand K.NGSLEY; Jannah Handy and Kiyanna Stewart, owners of Brooklyn-based antique/vintage concept shop BLK MKT Vintage; nonprofit founder Guy Anthony of Black, Gifted & Whole; and Chef Joya, a premiere vegan chef in Charlotte, NC.
Watch season one here.
In addition to sponsoring the series, Ally Financial donated $10,000 to each “Changemaker” to empower them to continue making positive change in their communities.
“This series humanizes issues. It allows audiences to see the people being the change. It allows audiences to peek into what it takes to move mountains and make shifts in industries that have often neglected Black LGBTQ communities,” said Major Nesby, co-director of Changemakers & founder of NEON.