Nala Simone

Interviewed By Yana Calou

Nala Simone is an activist who was born and raised in Brooklyn. Nala begins with her childhood in Bushwick, her time as a fashion design student at the Fashion Institute of Design, and her process of coming out twice. She discusses her experiences with retail work and workplace discrimination, as well as her involvement with Retail Action Project and the TransWomen of Color Collective, which she co-founded. She also explores her experiences with Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, both as a patient and an employee. Nala emphasizes the importance of creating trans home spaces and trans siblinghood. (Summary by Izzy Levy.)

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Transcript

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Interview Data

Date of Interview
June 9, 2017
Location of Interview
CUNY Graduate Center, CLAGS Office
Place of birth
Brooklyn, New York
Occupations
Visionary Creator, Advocate for Girls for Gender Equity
Birth Year
1990
Gender Pronouns
She, Her
Rights Statement
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About This Collection

NYC Trans Oral History Project

NYPL's Community Oral History Project is teaming up with the NYC Trans Oral History Project to collect, preserve, and share oral histories from our city's transgender and gender non-conforming communities. 

We'll be training a community corps of interviewers to collect these largely undocumented oral histories in order to build a lasting and expansive archive on NYC transgender experiences.

About the NYC Trans Oral History Project:

We are a collective, community archive working to document transgender resistance and resilience in New York City. We work to confront the erasure of trans lives and to record diverse histories of gender as intersecting with race and racism, poverty, dis/ability, aging, housing migration, sexism, and the AIDS crisis. 

We are inspired by the public history activism of the ACT UP oral history project to build knowledge as a part of our anti-oppression work. We believe oral history is a powerful part of social justice work, and that building an alternative archive of transgender histories can transform our organizing for transgender liberation. 

You can listen to interviews, search interviews tags (like #genderfluidity #self-knowledge #gentrification and #queerfamily), and soon read transcripts. We hope the interviews and tags will preserve and proliferate new knowledges about trans and gender non-conforming experiences.

Content warning: Many of the interviews here include personal accounts of violence, sexual assault, abuse as children, or trauma.