— About —
We are #MoreThanTrans. We are Transilient.
Transilient is a traveling photo and interview-based project. We candidly document transgender and gender non-conforming people in their day-to-day lived realities using only their voices.
The project attempts to humanize, educate and destroy the assumption that trans folks are solely defined by their physical experience and their oppression. To bring about understanding and tackle transphobia we aim to weave transgender lives into the overall human experience instead of merely focusing on the transition.
Our objective is to create a platform that is accessible to all people, in and out of the trans community.
In 2016 and 2017 the Transilient team collectively traveled 19,000 miles in 11 weeks. We interviewed 120 people and supported 4 team members while on the road with a tiny budget of $9,200.00.
In 2018, Transilient wants to start a third tour in Washington and end in Pennsylvania. We want to accurately portray as many trans lives in diverse terrains as possible.
Help make our plans for our 2018 tour possible by donating here and following Transilient's journey on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr.
Our long term goals are to publish a book of our travels and open a trans artist residency for trans folks of all ages.
To read through the interviews go to the Gallery page.
— Gallery —
— Blog —
— Transilient Path —
Summer/Fall 2018 TBA
— Press —
— Who we are —
Who We Are
BASIL VAUGHN SOPER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
BECK BENDETTA, ASSISTANT TO THE DIRECTOR
JAMES HEATHERLY, DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCER
Beck Bennedetta is a nonbinary organizer who grew up throughout the south and currently considers Asheville, North Carolina home. Part of the Pansy Collective, they help organize a yearly queer arts festival, Pansy Fest. They live for queer southern resilience against southern pride. When they’re not organizing, they enjoy painting, learning to play new instruments, and spending time amongst the flowers. They have a BA in sociology and gender studies, a passion for disability justice, and a penchant for fizzy water drinks.
James Heatherly is a photographer, cinematographer, graphic designer, and trans activist. He has an intense passion to share peoples stories and help them speak on a platform that they otherwise might not have access to. If he's not out taking photos or getting video footage, he's either writing, exploring this beautiful planet or spending time with his exquisite Fiancée, Taylor.
Cady is Transilient's life source as the web designer. Cady makes glitchy art, interactive multi-media installations, weird music, and websites and mobile apps for causes she cares about. She's also totally into interaction and experience design. Like it's weird how much she's into that.
Sierra Debrow is a nonbinary young professional living in Jackson, Mississippi. Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Sierra received a B.S. in Psychology from the College of Charleston in 2017. It was at the College of Charleston that they found a passion for Jewish Education, Disability Studies, and a passion for LGBTQ+ advocacy. Sierra is currently an Education Fellow at the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life. In their free time, Sierra enjoys hiking, writing, cooking, and exploring new places across the United States. After their fellowship, Sierra hopes to pursue a Master of Social Work degree and work with Jewish communities and spaces to be more inclusive of people of all backgrounds and abilities.
Reeves is a Trinidadian-American filmmaker who strives to heal the world, if only just a little. When not building computers, he can be found binging video games he can be found experimenting with crepe recipes or pondering Leninism (but only on Tuesdays).
Basil Vaughn Soper
Basil is a man of transgender experience, writer, photographer, intersectional activist and Southerner who wears his heart on his sleeve. 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.
To learn more about Basil visit:
Carmen was on Transilient's Content Creator Team in 2017. Carmen is a dog enthusiast living in New Orleans. She was our first interview (ever!) and was also the first to be featured in our #MoreThanTrans mini-series. Carmen spends her days managing the largest pit bull rescue in the country. She is also pursuing a career in medical esthetics and make up artistry. Carmen is a jack of all trades, master at none, who loves nothing more than creating with her friends.
SahLeem Israel was in charge operations and budgeting on the 2017 tour and has moved on to other work. He also assisted in interviews, capturing video footage, and transcribing interviews.
Laura is a Chicago based writer and trans ally. She has a knack for incorporating domesticity, heart break, humor, and pop culture into her writing. Her writing has has been featured in FORTH, Deluge, Hooligan Magazine, and Entropy. When she is not reading, writing, or trying to seem more chill than she is, Laura works at a rape crisis center. She is moving towards obtaining her MSW at Erickson Institute.
— Help us out —
Please consider contributing to our mission!
— Contact —
Want to follow us on our journey?
or anything else you can think of, please reach out to us at
Sign up here!
— Thank You —
There have been SO MANY amazing people who have volunteered time with us through transcribing, sponsoring us, working with us, letting us crash with them, or helping us find funding. We couldn't be more grateful for you and your efforts!
The National Center for Transgender Equality
Johanna Campbell Case
Shannon Soper and Adam Laiben
Rachel Gonzalez (and the whole Gonzalez family)
The Carolina Youth Action Project
Paula Sophia Schonauer