There are many wonderful volunteers in Houston—dedicated people who make the wheels go ’round. But Crimson Jordan, 24, brings an extra dose of energy and talent to the table. Outsmart readers recognized his tireless commitment to the city’s LGBTQ community by voting him Most Valuable Trans Male Volunteer this year.
Whether it’s passing out pamphlets, speaking in public, designing a website, or developing a capital campaign, this gracious and intelligent young man has done it, and is happy to do it again.
Jordan has volunteered for a long list of organizations, including the Montrose Center, the Mahogany Project, Impulse Group Houston, the Trans People of Color Coalition, and the Law-Harrington Senior Living Center.
Even with that record, the humble Jordan is surprised that he won. “Surprised? I didn’t even know I had been nominated!” he laughs. “Yes, I am surprised and deeply flattered. I am so grateful!”
Jordan’s journey to becoming a tireless Black trans activist was not a smooth one. He was only three years old when he realized his body and his mind didn’t match. Being the son of a preacher, the youngster’s protests were dismissed out of hand.
As he grew, so did his awareness of the discord. “I did not know the name for it, but I knew I was not being who I really was,” Jordan explains. “In school, I was living a double life, like something out of a movie. I would leave the house in one set of clothing, and then find a restroom and put on a binder and different clothes [so I could] spend the day as myself.
“At home, the first time I officially announced that I was a boy, I was met with laughter from my parents. The next time, when I was in my teens, my mother told me that ‘only white people do that.’ Then she invited me to leave the house,” he says, quietly.
The young man became homeless, but desperately wanted to complete his education, so he attended school during the day and slept under a bridge at night. After his best friend’s family became concerned and took him in, he lived safely with them for his remaining high school years.
On his journey to becoming his authentic self, Jordan also found help at the Montrose Center and through the welcoming embrace of its Hatch Youth program. “Sometimes they were the only thing that kept me going,” he recalls.
Today, Jordan is a high school English teacher with a degree from the University of Houston. His commitment to our city’s LGBTQ community and the organizations that helped him when he so desperately needed it is steadfast.
“I have to give back. I simply would not be here without my friends and the support of our community,” he states with a smile. “So far, it’s been a pretty wild ride.”
Keep up with Crimson Jordan on Instagram at @crimsonlovescomics.
Favorite Male Community Hero
Finalists: Piero Arevalo, Don Gill, Jason Rocha, Mykey Whitney, Ashton P. Woods
Favorite Trans Male Community Hero
Finalists: Logan Knight, Ian Syder-Blake, Lou Weaver
Favorite Female Community Hero
Finalists: Julie Mabry, Heather J. Taylor, Tammi Wallace, Fran Watson, Kandice Webber
Favorite Trans Female Community Hero
Finalists: Dina Jacobs, Evie Lavender, Monica Roberts, Alexis Nicole Whitney
Favorite Nonbinary Community Hero
Finalists: Mike Webb, Eric Edward Schell
Leading Female Fundraiser
Finalists: Chree Boydsstun, Angela Tate, Linda Rhodes, Carol Wyatt
Leading Trans Female Fundraiser
Alexis Nicole Whitney
Finalist: Mya Kori Wesley
Leading Male Fundraiser
Finalists: Derrick Brown, Stephen Duckett, Don Gill, Timmy Martinez, Mykey Whitney
Leading Trans Male Fundraiser
Finalist: Richard Long
Leading Female Entertainer Fundraiser
Finalists: Ivanna Cupcake, An’Marie Gill, Angela Mercy, Alexis Nicole Whitney
Leading Male Entertainer Fundraiser
Finalists: Ian Syder-Blake, Travis Webb
Most Prominent Female Activist
Finalists: Julie Mabry, Lo Roberts, Kendra Walker, Kandice Webber
Most Prominent Trans Female Activist
Finalists: Dee Dee Watters, Alexis Nicole Whitney, Jessica Zyrie
Most Prominent Male Activist
Ashton P. Woods
Finalists: Antonio Arellano, Piero Arevalo, Brad Pritchett
Most Prominent Trans Male Activist
Finalists: Caleb Elijah, Ola Osaze, Emmett Schelling, Ian Syder-Blake
Most Prominent Nonbinary Activist
Finalist: Eric Edward Schell
Most Valuable Female Volunteer
Lo Roberts (tie), Donna Junker (tie)
Finalists: Ana Sanchez, Heather J. Taylor, Tori Williams
Most Valuable Trans Female Volunteer
Finalists: Mia Ryan, Alexis Nicole Whitney
Most Valuable Male Volunteer
Finalists: Domenic Cusano, Stephen Duckett, Don Gill, Tony Martinez, Kevin Nguyen
Most Valuable Trans Male Volunteer
Finalist: Emmett Schelling
Most Valuable NonBinary Volunteer
Finalist: Kelsey Reynolds
This article appears in the October 2020 edition of OutSmart magazine.