By Roadtrip Nation

Tori Cooper


My road in life has taken me all over.
I always knew I wasn’t like other little girls or boys.
I really got to start exploring my gender identity and sexuality when I left home for college—I had a group of friends and we would all go out and party together as a community.
When I started taking hormonal therapies, I didn’t feel the need to share that with anyone because it was a very personal journey for me and I didn’t think others would understand.
A few years later, HIV and AIDS started ravaging my community.
I kept going out and living my best life fully expecting to be taken down by HIV or HIV stigma, yet I wasn’t.
In my forties, as a Black trans woman, I felt called to work to fight for my community as a health and equity consultant advocating for trans people, Black people, and people living with HIV.
I currently work as the Human Rights Campaign’s director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative.
Keep following my journey


High School
Human Services


Director of Community Engagement

I focus on economic empowerment, capacity building programs, and public safety for the transgender community.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Helping People

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Do something. The people protesting on the front lines are the ones who will be named and recognized. But there are many, many different roles that are behind the scenes but just as important. There are people organizing, people cooking for those who are marching, people buying ink for printing our causes. Don't do it for name recognition—do it because it's the right thing to do. Just make sure you do something.


Challenges I Overcame

Death and Loss