Road Trip! Kicking Off the #SummerofTrans

The National Center for Transgender Equality is proud to announce our partnership with the team behind Transilient, a traveling photo, video, and interview-based project. Last year, Transilient team members drove over 10,000 miles around the United States, interviewing transgender people from all walks of life along the way.

Today, the Transilient team sets off on another summer-long road trip to document the daily lives of transgender people all over the nation. Starting in Miami and winding west through the South and Southwest, and then north through California, the project will finish in Portland, Oregon on August 6.

Throughout this #SummerofTrans, Transilient team members Basil, Jonah, and SahLeem will share the stories of transgender people they meet along the way on social media and on the Transilient website.


Transilient Road Crew

From left: SahLeem Israel, Basil Vaughn Soper, and Jonah Welch

Basil Vaughn Soper

Basil is a man of transgender experience, writer, photographer, anti-racist, intersectional activist and Southerner who wears his heart on his sleeve. He is the founder and Executive Director at Transilient. He’s an astrology enthusiast and tears up when he watches unexpected-animal-friend videos on the internet. Basil’s life goals are to write a memoir and be the best uncle ever to his niece, Penelope.

SahLeem Israel

SahLeem is in charge of Operations with Transilient. He has worked as an independent graphic design artist and communications consultant, helping to fill creative branding and marketing needs for faith based and QPOC communities. SahLeem previously worked for organizations such as Black Transmen Advocacy, CK Life Trans Health Clinic and The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries.

Jonah Welch

Jonah is a visual artist and mystic specializing in work that promotes the spiritual uplift of the transgender community. Jonah is the Director’s assistant. With an academic background in Gender Studies, Jonah makes art that touches on subjects of embodiment, place, marginalization, dysphoria, sex, mental health, expansion, and transgender spiritual renaissance.


In Basil’s words, Transilient aims to “weave transgender lives into the overall human experience instead of merely focusing on transition,” with an ultimate goal of helping the general public understand who transgender people are and tackle anti-transgender discrimination.

This year’s project has a particular focus on states that have been disproportionately affected by anti-LGBTQ state legislation. The team plans to spend a full week in Texas, where political leaders will try to push through an anti-transgender law during a special legislative session that starts on July 18.


Watch this space! While the road trip is going on, we’ll be posting updates from the #SummerofTrans here on our Medium page, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Don’t forget to follow Transilient on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well!