Black VoicesGayest & GreatestGayest & Greatest 2022Trans Visibility

Gayest & Greatest 2022: Community Part III

Atlantis Narcisse lifts up Black trans women through her SOSU nonprofit.

FAVORITE FEMALE TRANS COMMUNITY HERO
LEADING TRANS COMMUNITY FUNDRAISER
MOST VALUABLE FEMALE TRANS COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER

Verniss McFarland, an LGBTQ activist, has heady praise for Atlantis Narcisse: “She is, and always will be, the hardest working woman in the community. She is the definition of community meeting purpose, and what happens when people operate in genuine love.” 

McFarland continues, “Atlantis is the chosen mother of many queer Houstonians of all experiences, including myself. Her ability to provide unconditional love and compassion during some of the most vulnerable times of her life is an embodiment of selfless giving. She is Houston’s queer mother, a goddess, and a super-shero!”

OutSmart readers have also noted her contributions to the local LGBTQ community by voting Narcisse, a Houston native and trans woman, as this year’s Female Trans Community Hero. 

“To be acknowledged while I’m alive is important because it normalizes that we exist and that we’re out here doing great things,” Narcisse says. 

She admits, “I never intended on becoming an activist. I just wanted to show people that, ‘Hey, someone is in your corner.’”

Narcisse has worked with the Montrose Center, Legacy Community Health, and the City of Houston since the early 1990s. She once organized accessible HIV/STD testing in her home, working with a local clinic to provide people with a way to find support from other HIV-positive individuals. “It opened up a conversation to normalize talking about what their needs and experiences were, without all the stigma attached,” she says.

Atlantis Narcisse (Photo by theconceptsstudio.com )

Narcisse also organizes events like Black Trans Empowerment week with McFarland, the founder of The Mahogany Project, Inc. (TMP), a nonprofit dedicated to TQLGB+ people in Houston.

She founded Save Our Sisters United, Inc. (SOSU) in 2017 and, three years later, Save Our Sons & Brothers. Both groups provide trans people with safe spaces to connect and find trans-friendly services. 

“SOSU is supposed to be a place where we can share our stories, shed our shame, and see our strength,” she emphasizes. The group launched a COVID relief fund that distributed over $200,000 to help trans people during the pandemic and Winter Storm Uri.

Narcisse is excited to launch a new project at SOSU called Affirming Lives Initiative, which will help trans people cover the costs of correcting their names and gender markers on government documents.  

Although she will never stop advocating, Narcisse feels the stress of constantly assisting people who face daily discrimination and violence. She hopes that, with this G&G award, people realize that activism is a highly challenging calling. “It would be nice if people saw the body that does the work, and not just the body of work.”

Narcisse hopes that one day soon, trans people will get to walk through the world as whole human beings. “Rather than being identified [in medical terms], as though that’s all we are, I hope people will remember that we’re human beings.” 

For information, visit SOSU at sosuinc.org.


PEOPLE

FAVORITE FEMALE LOCAL POLITICIAN
Lina Hidalgo
Finalists: Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, Ann Johnson, Jolanda Jones, Abbie Kamin, Sheila Jackson Lee, Kim Ogg

FAVORITE MALE LOCAL POLITICIAN
John Whitmire
Finalists: Adrian Garcia, Chris Hollins, Constable Alan Rosen, Jon Rosenthal, Sylvester Turner, Gene Wu

BEST FEMALE LGBTQ BUSINESS PERSON
Dylan Carnes (tie)
Julie Mabry (tie)
Finalists: Caryn Craig, Alli Jarrett, Heather Taylor, Tammi Wallace

BEST MALE LGBTQ BUSINESS PERSON
Mark De Lange (tie)
Doug Smith (tie)
Finalists: Charles Armstrong, Christopher Barry, John Donato, Ian Haddock, Bobby Hilliard Jr., Grey Stephens

BEST NONBINARY LGBTQ BUSINESS PERSON
Chip Ware
Finalist: Hexa Dulce

FAVORITE FEMALE LGBTQ COMMUNITY HERO
Annise Parker (tie)
Tammi Wallace (tie)
Finalists: Julie Mabry, Toni Mascione, Kymberlie McGuire, Megan Mooney, Tiffany Scales

FAVORITE MALE LGBTQ COMMUNITY HERO
Kennedy Loftin
Finalists: Christopher Barry, Jacques Bourgeois, JD Doyle, Don Gill, Harrison Homer Guy

FAVORITE NONBINARY COMMUNITY HERO
Kevin Nguyen
Finalists: Norma Gonzalez, Verniss McFarland, Crystal Murley, Nova, Mike Webb

FAVORITE FEMALE TRANS COMMUNITY HERO
Atlantis Narcisse
Finalists: Joelle Bayaa-Uzuri, Elia Chino, Anandrea Molina, Lilly Roddy, Eden Rose Torres, Dee Dee Watters, Alexis Nicole Whitney

FAVORITE MALE TRANS COMMUNITY HERO
Lou Weaver
Finalists: Liam Adair, Fabian Echavarri, dylan forbis, Landon Richie, Emmett Schelling

FAVORITE NONBINARY TRANS COMMUNITY HERO
Verniss McFarland
Finalists: Xitlalli Alvarez, Norma Gonzalez, Juliann Losey, Nova

FAVORITE FEMALE LGBTQ EDUCATOR/TEACHER
Kendricka “Kiki” Moore
Finalists: D’Lynn Barham, Kay Crayton, Tracy Daniel, Dana Harrell, Bianca Honore, Michelle Palmer, Samantha Pisarski-May, Pam Straker

FAVORITE MALE LGBTQ EDUCATOR/TEACHER
Paul Fox Gonzales
Finalists: R. Scott Allen, Joan Cotton, Bryant Johnson, Jesse Gover Sanchez, DeVonta Lee, Brian Riedel, Cam. O Scott

FAVORITE NONBINARY LGBTQ EDUCATOR/TEACHER
Juliann Losey
Finalists: Angela Horst, Monét Love, Myr Olivares

FAVORITE LOCAL LGBTQ JOURNALIST
Joey Guerra
Finalists: Sam Byrd, Rachel Carlton, Andy Cerota, Andrew Edmonson, Ian Haddock

FAVORITE LOCAL LGBTQ INFLUENCER
Ryan Lindsay
Finalists: @bougiebrie, Miguel Jacquez, Johnny Peden, Cam. O Scott, Diamond Stylz

BEST LOCAL LGBTQ SOCIAL-MEDIA PRESENCE
JD Doyle
Finalists: Let’s Talk About Gay Stuff, Ryan Lindsay, The Normal Anomaly, Rainbow Community, Diamond Stylz

FAVORITE LOCAL LGBTQ INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT
The Montrose Center
Finalists: BUDDY’S, Ryan Lindsay, @parentsoftransyouth, Pearl Bar, Christian Whorton

FAVORITE LOCAL LGBTQ FACEBOOK PAGE
JD Doyle
Finalists: AmistadesHTX, BUDDY’S, Eagle Houston, The Montrose Center, Rainbow Community

FAVORITE LOCAL LGBTQ TIKTOKER
Ryan Lindsay (@ryanstmichael)
Finalists: @drew_baebe, @bougieBrie, @kay.crayton, @hughdandy, @lordfeatherspolenta, @shiningnathan

FAVORITE LOCAL LGBTQ TWITTER ACCOUNT
The Montrose Center
Finalists: Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce, robcarrasco

FAVORITE MALE (COMMUNITY) TV PERSONALITY
Ernie Manouse

FAVORITE FEMALE (COMMERCIAL) TV PERSONALITY
Deborah Duncan
Finalists: Shern-min Chow, Cathy Hernandez,
Lisa Hernandez, Pooja Lodhia, Courtney Zavala

FAVORITE MALE (COMMERCIAL) TV PERSONALITY
Frank Billingsley (tie)
Derrick Shore (tie)
Finalists: Pat Cavlin, Andy Cerota, Chancy Glover, Steven Romo

FAVORITE FEMALE (COMMERCIAL) RADIO PERSONALITY
Sarah Pepper
Finalists: Roula Christie, Kara Leigh, Theresa Rockface

FAVORITE MALE (COMMERCIAL) RADIO PERSONALITY
Special K
Finalist: Carlos Dueno

FAVORITE MALE (COMMUNITY) RADIO PERSONALITY
Bryan Hlavinka
Finalists: Ernie Manouse, Easton Santos

FAVORITE FEMALE (COMMUNITY) RADIO PERSONALITY
Deborah Bell
Finalists: Gale Delaughter, Donna McKenzie, Judy Reeves, Tiffany Scales

FAVORITE LOCAL LGBTQ PODCAST
Queer Voices
Finalists: Asking for a Friend, Let’s Talk About Gay Stuff, Marsha’s Plate, Tiffany Scales, That Lil Gay Talk Show

FAVORITE LOCAL LGBTQ WRITER
Andrew Edmonson
Finalists: Sam Byrd, Scott Damon, Ian L. Haddock,
Julia Holstine, Tiffany Scales, Bryan Washington

FAVORITE FEMALE COMMUNITY PHOTOGRAPHER
Dani Benoit
Finalists: Nicky Bryant, Andrea Simonton, Wendy Taylor, Eden Rose Torres, Yvonne Tran

FAVORITE MALE COMMUNITY PHOTOGRAPHER
Dalton DeHart
Finalists: Victor Contreras, Seferino Garcia, Sebastian Gutierrez, Kennedy Loftin, Steven Tilotta

LEADING FEMALE FUNDRAISER
Chree Boydstun
Finalists: Shelby Hansen, Sarah McCoy, Kymberlie McGuire, Heather J. Taylor, Sallie Woodell

LEADING MALE FUNDRAISER
Kennedy Loftin
Finalists: Derrick Brown, Jon Bumann, Don Gill, Div Kumar, Timmy Martinez, Roger Woest

LEADING TRANS COMMUNITY FUNDRAISER
Atlantis Narcisse
Finalists: Elia Chino, Anandrea Molina, Emmett Schelling, Alexis Nicole Whitney

LEADING NONBINARY FUNDRAISER
Kevin Nguyen
Finalists: Nova, Nick Stinson

LEADING FEMALE ENTERTAINER FUNDRAISER
Ivanna Cupcake
Finalists: Regina Dane, Jessica Fox, An’ Marie Gill, Ginger Grant, Lady Shamu, Alexis Nicole Whitney

LEADING MALE ENTERTAINER FUNDRAISER
Roger Woest
Finalists: Landon J. Fatale, Sebastian Gutierrez, Shawn Michaels, Ian Syder-Blake, Mykey Whitney

MOST PROMINENT FEMALE LGBTQ ACTIVIST
Annise Parker
Finalists: Kymberlie McGuire, Megan Mooney, Tammi Wallace, Fran Watson, Kandice Webber

MOST PROMINENT MALE LGBTQ ACTIVIST
Brad Pritchett
Finalists: Christopher Barry, Jacques Bourgeois, Ian Haddock, Brandon Mack, Sal Boy Salas, Ashton P. Woods

MOST PROMINENT NONBINARY LGBTQ ACTIVIST
Kevin Nguyen
Finalists: Verniss McFarland, Nova, Odyssey Oakengrove

MOST PROMINENT FEMALE TRANS ACTIVIST
Atlantis Narcisse
Finalists: Sunny Bryant, Joelle Espeut, Anandrea Molina, Eden Rose Torres, Dee Dee Watters

MOST PROMINENT MALE TRANS ACTIVIST
Emmett Schelling
Finalists: Dylan Forbis, Jevon Martin, Landon Richie, Ian Syder-Blake

MOST PROMINENT NONBINARY TRANS ACTIVIST
Verniss McFarland
Finalists: Nova, Payshunz Nagashima, Charlie Richie

MOST PROMINENT YOUTH LGBTQ ACTIVIST
Landon Richie
Finalists: Sunny Bryant, Razi Montalto, Britt Perez

MOST VALUABLE INTERSEX ADVOCATE/EDUCATOR
Koomah
Finalist: Mo Cortez

MOST VALUABLE FEMALE VOLUNTEER
Januari Fox
Finalists: Augie Cahee, Dawn Elizardo, Jani Lopez, Kymberlie McGuire, Heather J. Taylor, Tammi Wallace

MOST VALUABLE MALE VOLUNTEER
Don Gill
Finalists: Jacques Bourgeois, Adonis Darling, Sebastian Gutierrez, Div Kumar, Patrick McIlvain, Shawn Michaels, Jim Taylor, Jovon Alfon B. Tyler

MOST VALUABLE NONBINARY COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER
Kevin Nguyen
Finalists: Xitlalli Alvarez, Hexa Dulce, Nova, Odyssey Oakengrove

MOST VALUABLE FEMALE TRANS COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER
Atlantis Narcisse
Finalists: Joelle Bayaa-Uzuri, Gia Pacheco, Joelle Salatersky, Eden Rose Torres, Catina Rose Valentine

MOST VALUABLE MALE TRANS COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER
George Zemanek
Finalists: Sebastian Gutierrez, Petey Makopoulos-Senftleber, Ian Syder-Blake, Daron Yanes


For a full list of winners, go here.

This article appears in the October 2022 edition of OutSmart magazine. 

 

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Lillian_Hoang

Lillian Hoang is a staff reporter for OutSmart Magazine. She graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in journalism and minor in Asian American studies. She works as a College of Education communication assistant and hopes to become an editor-in-chief.
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