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The Advocates

Tori Cooper's Work Is Trans Liberation


Tori Cooper's Work Is Trans Liberation
Getty Images

Getty Images

This Advocate of the Year knows all LGBTQ+ people deserve health and happiness.

Nbroverman

Tori Cooper has spent her life saving lives. After years as the guardian angel of Atlanta’s trans and HIV communities, Cooper now brings her experience to a national level as the Human Rights Campaign’s director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative. “In this role, her focus includes economic empowerment; capacity building programs; public safety; and expanded public education campaigns,” according to HRC, the nation’s most prominent organization fighting for LGBTQ+ equality.

Before she got to this point in her career, the Virginia-bred Cooper moved mountains in Atlanta, where she worked at all levels of service, from volunteer to founder of Advocates for Better Care Atlanta, which provides health needs for the city’s forgotten residents. Just prior to joining HRC, she served as a consultant and prevention specialist at Atlanta’s Positive Impact Health Centers, providing HIV care to trans folks and other marginalized individuals.

Cooper’s advocacy was recognized by none other than President Joe Biden when he appointed her to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV & AIDS early in his term. Amid all this, Cooper obtained a Master's degree in Public Health.

“I am compelled to devote so much work and energy to trans and LGBQ+ folks because this is my family and it’s simply the right thing to do,” Cooper says about her life’s work. “The first time someone called me an activist, I asked them not to use that word because I felt like I wasn’t doing enough at that time. Since then, I have dedicated my life to ensuring that trans folks don’t have to dirty their feet in the mud like I did, and that they can walk freely through doors that were closed in the faces of the trans trailblazers that came before us.”

“My hope is that moving forward the trans community doesn’t have to fight as hard to be seen as humans who are worthy of love and respect. My trans family needs to understand their collective and individual powers and have every opportunity to find peace, liberation and happiness in their journey.”

Nbroverman
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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.