“The T is Not Silent” by Andrea Jenkins

March Lavender Lit Club : The T is Not Silent
by Andrea Jenkins

Book Discussion
March 16, 2021 | 5:00 – 6:00p
On Zoom – register here 

Author Talk with Andrea Jenkins
March 30, 2021 | 6:30 – 7:30p
Live on facebook & YouTube

The Lavender Lit Book Club is a monthly literature series hosted by Miranda Rector, the Center’s LGBTQ+ Women’s Program Officer. Each month, we’ll be reading a new book by a queer woman/femme author to celebrate queer women and femmes in literature.

In March, we will be discussing The T is Not Silent By Andrea Jenkins.


About the Book

The title The T is Not Silent was derived from a quote by Janet Mock. She and I were both at a convening hosted by the Arcus Foundation, where she is on the board. We were doing our introductions—there were Transgender activists from all across the country in the room—and she said, “The T is no longer going to be silent,” and I immediately thought, That’s going to be the title of my next book.

Visibility in the Trans community is increasing dramatically. Ultimately, this book is an effort to create understanding and awareness of a marginalized community. A community that is invisible to most and vilified by some. A community that is traumatized by the constant threat of violence as well as unemployment, housing instability, and discrimination in multiple areas of social and economic life. A community that is also creative, beautiful, and resilient.

Buy the Book
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About the Author & Moderator

Andrea Jenkins, Author

Andrea (she/her) is the first Black transgender woman to be elected to public office in the United States. She was elected to the Minneapolis City Council with 73% of the vote. A poet and artist as well as a public official, Andrea is the author of the poetry collection, The T is Not Silent: New and Selected Poems (Purple Lioness Press, 2015), and contributor to the acclaimed anthologies Queer Voices: Poetry, Prose and Pride (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2019), A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2016), and Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2015). Jenkins is currently the Oral Historian for the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota Libraries, documenting the lived experiences of transgender and gender nonconforming people in the Upper Midwest and the United States. Previously she worked for twelve years as a policy aide to two members of the Minneapolis City Council.

Discussing what made her campaign successful, Jenkins notes, “We didn’t shy away from my identity as a black woman, as a trans woman,” Jenkins told Minnesota Public Radio. “I have lived firsthand the oppressions that others only talk about, only think about. But that is not what we led with. That’s not what won us this race,” Jenkins added. Her platform framed all of her key issues in terms of equity: in public safety, transportation, and affordable housing, among other issues. “There is a very deep gap between whites and people of color. The disparities are present in healthcare, homeownership, employment … all of these issues.”. Minneapolis is one of America’s most racially segregated cities.

Jenkins holds a bachelor’s degree in human services, a master’s degree in community economic development, and an MFA in creative writing. She is the recipient of many awards, including a Bush Foundation Fellowship.

Jahnice Cajigas, Moderator

Jahnice (she/her), is the Director of Organizing for the Citywide Youth Coalition Inc. Jahnice is a Strategy Council Member for the Perrin Family Foundation. She has also previously interned for PPSNE, with them they successfully launched the state’s first queer camp specifically for youth of color. For Jahnice the camp is more than just a program, it’s providing a space she always wished to have offered to her . Jahnice has been a community organizer for the past seven years she has worked on issues like LGBTQ+ rights, juvenile justice reform and the miseducation of our education system, among many other issues. In total, Jahnice is a true organizer and leader in the state of Connecticut who exudes the spirit of a new generation of youth that are politically conscious and personally committed to improving the community for the better.”